What are You Looking at?

The black squirrels are common along the riverbank.  But they’re rarely near enough that I bother to take their picture.  I must admit that there are a number of things – squirrels, robins, dandelions – that I don’t bother to memorialize here.  One of the things I’ve noticed is how selective I can be and ignore the plants or creatures I don’t really find interesting!  But this one got into a tree and, when I stood next to it, was too frightened to go back to where he’d come from.


Blue Skimmer

We found an area with a lot of frogs and I was down there investigating the other afternoon, the dog patiently standing by.  This blue creature flew past and I eventually tracked it down to the nearby goldenrod stalks.  It happily sat there in the sun, not bothered at all by either the dog or my approach.  It is a Twelve Spotted Skimmer ( Libellula pulchella ) and the picture doesn’t do justice to the blue color of its back and wings.  It’s a large dragonfly, probably 6″ from tip to tip.



The raspberries are almost irresistable now.  They are just ripening and these black raspberries ( Rubus occidentalis ) aren’t going to last long.  If we didn’t grow red raspberries at home, I would be tempted to stop and have some.  I suppose its better to leave them for the animals.


Diseased Limb

This repulsive object was growing around a stick and caught my attention.  It looks like a dog turd, in color and rounded shape.  At first I wondered if it might have been applied by someone, like mud.  But it appears to be called Black Knot ( Dibotryon morbosum ) and is a disease that grows in these black lumps.


Damsels and Dragons

I am not certain what this is.  The damsel fly and dragon fly are similar insects and the nuances of the wings escape me.  If I were to guess, I’d say a dragon fly because of the broadening at the wing tip.  I will have to do some more reading!

In any event, this one alit on a leaf nearby and waited long enough for me to snap its photo.


Blackbird in Tree Top

Perhaps singing a song of sixpence but definitely not in a pie.  This fellow was high up in a blue sky, chirping away.  It looks like a run of the mill blackbird but I admit I didn’t spend much time watching it.  The song caught my attention and then I listened as we kept along the path.


Gathering Nectar

Someone mentioned they’d also seen Baltimore orioles along the path, and that they were hovering around the fruit tree blossom and honeysuckles, looking for nectar.  I have only seen one oriole, underway, but the bees are out already.  It seems a bit early, as we have had very cold nights and frost but there were large bumblebees and smaller ones busying visiting the honeysuckles.


Moth Larvae in a Tent

The tent caterpillar is actually moth larvae.  It is one of the things I find rather disgusting along the river.  It’s not the individual caterpillars but the writhing mass that I always seem to find them in.  These seem to have just appeared out of nowhere.


Goose on Guard

The nesting goose has disappeared and I hope it’s because the gosling hatched and not because it was chased off.  A goose was further upriver, standing on one leg on a stone in the middle of the water.  It raised its head momentarily but seemed to realize it was pretty safe from any predator.


Blown Up Blackbird

I am a big fan of the red-winged blackbird ( Agelaius phoeniceus ).  The yellow and red wing stripes are pretty, they have a unique call, and herald the long-awaited spring.  There’s something a bit jaunty about them.  Their call is distinctive and a bit jarring.  This one was sitting on a tree branch, and I tried to capture him in mid-puff, with his chest out, head up, shoulders back, and his colored plumage showing a bit of how round he was.


Weekend Sleep In

The Canada geese have started nesting.  I noticed this one soon after it started sitting, and have now seen another one along the railway further south.  This bird was still in a restful pose although the sun had been up for an hour and many joggers would have passed by on the bridge.  There was a lone goose further up river and I wonder if that is the mate of this.