Muskrat Rushes

One afternoon on the way home, the water was deep and the ducks were dabbling.  Then a muskrat swam up and started grabbing the rushes from near the edge of the pond.

Brown-Eyed Susan

We have a number of these flowers – brown-eyed susans, black-eyed susans, and the prairie coneflower – all along the runoff pond by the Tom Taylor trail.

Singing Sparrow

The sparrows seem to be the least concerned about passersby.  The finches and warblers move on very quickly but a sparrow will sit and sing despite me stopping to watch.  I haven’t identified this one – I need to do a better job of recalling their song – but it was certainly belting out its …

Unusual Eastern Phoebe

This was the first time I had spotted one of these birds.  It was flying from tree to tree along the river.  As far as I can tell from the Cornell All About Birds site, it’s an Eastern Phoebe.

Sandpiper Fishing

This Least Sandpiper – now there’s a name to give you self esteem problems – was fishing in the runoff pond near the Tom Taylor Trail in Newmarket.  It didn’t take any notice of the swelling chorus of frogs or toads around it.

Goldenrod Fuzz

The goldenrod has dropped its color and is slowly sagging as the cold weather comes.  The ends look furry now, gray and seed loosening up.  The birds must be having a grand time filling themselves.

Exposed Roots

The river rises and falls and this trees roots are exposed at the low point.  It reminds me of images of the World Tree, Yggrdrasil.  It’s hard to believe there’s much left of the tree on land, or that it will be many years before the rest of the earth erodes.

Cucumbers, Fresh and Gone

The wild cucumber vines are still easy to see with their large leaves.  Some are just flowering, quite late in the year.  Some have fruited and the cucumbers are just greening up, their spiky bodies easy to see hanging off the vines.  Others have already gone past their ripened stage and have dried to husks.

Fairy Toadstool, Transplanted

Fungus on trees is pretty common.  This small toadstool – or mushroom – was jutting out of the place a tree limb had been, about 10 feet off the ground.  No reason it shouldn’t grow there but it’s the first I’ve seen.  It must be nice and damp in the wood there.

Watchful Rodents

The squirrels were out all over the place yesterday.  Like other mammals, they seem quite happy to be in close proximity to humans and dogs but not too close.  Both of these squirrels stopped what they were doing to make sure they weren’t under a threat.