Sunday, April 29, 2018


I met this opossum at an outdoor event in South Jersey last weekend.  He's a wildlife ambassador for a conservation group, helping to promote good will toward opossum-kind by posing for photos and looking cute. He is cute, right? Click to enlarge. He was full of personality, too. 
Here he is eating a raw brussels sprout. The Virginia opossum, Didelphis virginiana, is the only marsupial that occurs naturally in the United States. Like other marsupials, mother opossums have a pouch to carry nursing baby opossums. Fun facts: the babies are called joeys, adult males are called jacks, and adult females are jills. LoL! 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Spring Flower Edition

Spring flowers are open all around today. Yay! A quote from Iris Murdoch: "People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us." Click to enlarge. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Northern Shoveler Ducks

Here is a pair of northern shoveler ducks, Anas clypeata. The female is in front and the male behind. Shovelers are famous for their larger-than-duck-average bills, which are flattened on the ends, like shovels. The bill shape and their habit of using them to "shovel" food from the water gives the birds their common name. 
You often see them as in this picture, with their bills barely submerged. They sweep their heads from side to side to filter food from the water, finding algae and plant material, aquatic insects, crustaceans, and more. Click to enlarge. 
Shoveling. Makes it look easy, doesn't he?
Shovelers also sometimes up-end like this in a move called dabbling.  It distinguishes them and the rest of the surface feeding or dabbling ducks from ducks that dive underwater to feed. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

New Neighbors

One gray squirrel in the maple tree hole. Click to enlarge.
Wait ... there's two!
Make that three! Cuteness overload!