The Shortest Day

With temps in the single digits (°F), nearly still air, and a bit of sun shining down before it hid away behind thickening overcast, it was a fine morning for returning to Estabrook Park. The pond was frozen over, and the river was icing up, but there was still plenty of open water.

I was thrilled to see that a couple of winter visitors have already arrived. Dark-eyed juncos are here, of course, but they were too quick for me this morning. Instead, I managed to capture this common merganser drake amongst the ice out on the river between the islands.


Back on shore, the woods are full of chickadees, cardinals, nuthatches, and woodpeckers, as usual, but this cute little puffball close to the ground, a hermit thrush, really caught my eye.


Even better, it ignored me and climbed higher to gulp down some berries, and a bit of sunlight really brought out the cinnamon in its plumage.


Finally, there were a slew of mallards on the river, and here’s a pair keeping warm while napping with one eye on me.


Lastly, happy Winter Solstice to those who celebrate. The forecast is for snow showers tomorrow morning, which could make for some pretty pictures, if we have any luck.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

3 thoughts on “The Shortest Day

  1. Welcome back, Andrew! Is it just for a visit, or is your work-study period over? Would you ever share with us your loyal fans what you’ve been doing in the Netherlands with the bicycle research and development? No matter what, my best wishes to you for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year. Sincerely, Jean G.

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