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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I’m baaaaack!

The sun and I have been hibernating. I don’t know the sun’s reasons, but I was clobbered by a pretty nasty cold. Hopefully that’s IT for 2010 and I can get through the holidays without anyone else’s germs glomming onto me…

Saturday and Sunday were nice (we’re back to no sun again today), but my niece’s baby shower was Saturday, so I didn’t get to go revel outside until Sunday. I saw some winter ducks – buffleheads and hooded mergansers (my favorite!) – as well as a few great blue herons and a kingfisher (which I didn’t get a shot of – wah!).

Fall flowersWaterBlack CrowMilkweedTreesGreat Blue HeronLoonBokehConch shell underwater

I love this shell – reminds me of Grover!

Quahog Shell

The mother of all spiders

I went back to Nasketucket this morning, and for half of my walk I didn’t see anything special – tons of pearly crescentspots, and one spicebush swallowtail when I first pulled into the parking lot – but on the walk back, I spotted my first – and only – praying mantis of the year…

Praying mantis

… and then one of my favorite butterflies – a great spangled fritillary – which I’ve only ever seen at Nasketucket…

Great spangled fritillary

… and then a giant garden spider. I haven’t seen one of these bad boys in years! I’d forgotten just how big – and, well, oogy – they are. But, as always, I’m thinking “Contest!”

Spider and preyGarden spider

I did some laundry at my mom’s afterwards. She has a butterfly bush that was popular with the painted ladies…

Painted lady

… and took a quick walk around the end of River Road, where I saw a great blue heron hanging out with a bunch of ducks.

Great blue heron and duck

What I Did on my Summer Vacation

I go back to work – and reality – tomorrow. (Big plus: AC!!!) Should be interesting, in terms of adjusting to an entirely new work load. I have been spoiled by little work and short days, but alas, that ship has sailed. And hit an iceberg. Sigh!!

Anyhow, I got some work done that I had to, then crammed as much good stuff as I could into my week off – which technically was longer than a week. I went to Nasketucket Bay State Reservation – Allen’s Pond Wildlife Refuge (twice, because I love it) – the Butterfly Zoo (twice, because I left my closeup filter there) – Buttonwood Park a few times – to a bird sanctuary I’d never been to before (my calf muscles are still screaming at me) – Turner Pond – and to three different Savers (I actually gave way more than I bought). Oh, and I went to the fireworks last night (duh). And today, at long last, I finally motivated myself to get some housework done, so I get to feel all virtuous about that.

Butterfly Zoo

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Nasketucket

ElfinsAmerican CopperSkipper

Great Spangled FritillaryRed-spotted Purple AdmiralDragonfly with mites

Buttonwood Park

WaspFlycatcherFlower

Norman Bird Sanctuary

Night HeronNest

Turner Pond

Carolina saddlebagsSpicebush swallowtailDragonfly