Herons and goose butts

It cleared up early this afternoon, after raining all day yesterday and all night last night, so I went for a walk around Buttonwood Park, which never fails to have wondrous things to see and photograph.

First, there was this cormorant:

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Next, this great blue heron:

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Another great blue heron – I’m not sure whether he’s actually swimming here or not:

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But here he was definitely wading:

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Some water lilies and irises:

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Baltimore oriole nests that withstood all the rain:

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More bees in one place than I have ever seen in my life (sorry for the cruddy picture, they were way high above me – thank goodness):

bees

And some Canada geese with seriously cute babies:

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Hilariously, they would be dunking for goodies to eat and roll right over:

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The parents got spooked at one point (not by me) and actually flew across the pond, leaving their babies, but came back a minute later (whew!)

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Sandpiper Central

I’ve been away from this blog so long, I now don’t even know how to navigate WordPress anymore!

The winter months are always lean for photos, between a lot of things being dormant (or wintering elsewhere) and my being a giant baby when it comes to being out in the cold. I have, however, been to a few beaches over the last couple of months, so here are some of the sights I’ve seen:

Loon, Cape Cod

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Ruddy Duck, Westport Point

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Goldeneye, Wareham

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Absolute scads of Sanderlings and Dunlins, Gooseberry Point

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I have a Canon Rebel T3, which does some interesting vignetting (which may be the new 55-250mm lens). I think I like it,though…

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And this is a shorebird I haven’t seen before – a ruddy turnstone. Male, I believe. (Bird experts, please correct me if I’m wrong!) This is his winter plumage; their breeding plumage is striking, although I’d have to follow him up to Alaska to see it.

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BTW, I have a new shop on Etsy with both stock photos and fine art prints. The stock photos are the decent ones I’ve taken over the years, that I’m not necessarily in love with or attached to; the fine art prints are the ones I am most proud of and don’t want to essentially give away. I’m pretty happy with the logo I designed, which I also made a brush in Photoshop for easy watermarking.

I hope it rains…

I know, blasphemy, but I have a very good reason: I am worried about the frog eggs in the vernal pools at Nasketucket. There is a big sack of eggs, each with a tiny developing tadpole inside, but about a third of it, if not more, is above the water level now. They are sealed inside – in some kind of amniotic fluid, I assume – so maybe they’ll be okay, but it still bugs me. I almost wonder whether I should go back and at least maneuver the stick so they’re under the water? But then I think, no, let nature be. The pool and the life forms in it will either make it or it won’t. What would you do?

Frog eggs

Frog eggs

Frog eggs

Frog eggs

2 More Skull Pics

Still looking for help in identifying whatever this was. I’d estimate the piece I found was about 5 inches long. I’ve turned it over and over and not found any indication that it had teeth.

Skull

I have looked online at a variety of skulls of animals that are native to this area – deer, coyote, opossum, rabbit, fox, woodchuck – and none are even close. There is a possibility whatever it was wasn’t from here, but got caught in a storm and washed up here from somewhere else.

Skull

I actually went to the beach again today and took it home, so I can study it more closely. I’m thinking I may have to sketch it and then try to approximate the fleshy parts in hopes that it becomes recognizable.

Eye See You

I have gotten some quality exercise this week; every day I’ve walked farther and longer than I usually do on my weekends.

Today I walked around Buttonwood Park for about 2 hours; my legs are still killing me!

At first the park was like, meh. I saw a few turtles from a distance. Saw some little red dragonflies. The light wasn’t great.

Then, I saw a whole mess of mushrooms, and I was like, cool, at least deciding to come to the park wasn’t a total waste.

And then I was walking along, looking for ‘shrooms, and BAM, there was a red-tailed hawk, just sitting on a branch about, oh, 25-30 feet away from me? And not even up that much.

Red-tailed hawk

I figured he’d take off the second he saw me, but he didn’t, which makes me think he was a juvenile and didn’t know better.  (He could also have been sick, but he looked alright to me, and thinking I got all these great photos of a red-tailed hawk close-up only because he was sick would bother me to no end…)

Red-tailed hawk

Red-tailed hawk

One last shot before I left him in peace…

Red-tailed hawk

I’m sure this is what his hungry eyes were yearning for (a mama, no less, I’m thinking):

Squirrel

Blue algae

So, I went to the park this morning, thinking I’d get an hour in before I had to get ready and leave for work, and the water was entirely fenced off. I’d been there just this past weekend and noticed a smell – not an unpleasant one – sort of like when you shuck corn – but I hadn’t seen anything unusual. Now, the water has a polluted look from this unnaturally blue algae growing in it, and the corn smell has morphed into something far less pleasant. I am incredibly disappointed, because this is the time of year when the park is just loaded with butterflies, dragonflies, turtles, birds, herons – everything – and they’re all on or around the water.

So… these may be my last photos for a while. :(

DragonflyMonarchBee

BirdsTree swallowsTree swallows

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Mini Vacay

I took two vacation days this week, and while I’ve been getting some work done during them (I am closing my antiques booth because it’s just not something I can keep pouring money into), I have also had some ME time. Today was the first chance I got to get out and take pictures – on my way from one task to another – and it was glorious. I went to the water pumping station, which is just this little plot of land but is rich in wildlife. I saw frogs, turtles, dragonflies, butterflies, caterpillars and even green herons.

DragonflyDragonflyDragonfly

Joe-Pye WeedSkipperJoe-Pye Weed and Mint

WildflowersJoe-Pye WeedGreen Heron

Monarch butterfly caterpillarsMonarch butterfly caterpillarMonarch butterfly

Turtle

This squirrel cracks me up – he was digging around inside a hollow tree trunk for edibles.

Squirrel

Does anyone else see the freakishly huge frog I was totally oblivious to?

Turtle and frog