Sunday, March 17, 2019

Winter's End

Crocus flowers are open in my neighborhood!

 "The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size."
                                                                                          Gertrude S. Wister 

Spring starts on Wednesday, March 20! 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

A Tree

I was minding my own business, taking a walk in the woods, and I saw this tree.
Here's a closer view. There's a letter A there, right? I'm pretty sure it grew naturally on this tree's flaky plate-like bark. The tree is in a swampy place and would have been difficult to get to, climb, and initial. So I'm just saying, hmm.
Is this just puzzling?
Or is it scary? Click to enlarge. Sorry about the lost hour of sleep.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

A Duck Walks Into A Bar

There are lots of cool ducks in the coastal waters of New Jersey and New York these days, like this gang of male northern shovelers, Anas clypeata, that I saw at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge this week. Click to enlarge.
Here are some canvasback ducks, Aythya valisineria,  with a a photo-bombing northern pintail, Anas acuta, star of last week's blog, heading left near the margin. These were at Forsythe last week, but I've been seeing canvasbacks in the Delaware River lately, too.

The ducks above are wild ducks of course, but they reminded me of this story that features their barnyard cousins. 
It's by Garrison Keillor, from Truckstop and Other Lake Wobegon Stories

“He takes a kitchen chair and sits in the yard and all the ducks come around. He holds up the cheese curls in one hand and caramel popcorn in the other and his audience looks up and he tells them a joke. He says: So one day a duck come into this bar and ordered a whiskey and a bump and the bartender was pretty surprised, he says, "You know we don't get many of you ducks in here." The duck says, "At these prices I'm not surprised.* And he tosses out the popcorn and they laugh. 'Wak wak wak wak wak. I was shot in the leg in the war.' Have a scar? 'No thanks, I don't smoke.”

And here's a portrait of a handsome male mallard duck,
Anas platyrhynchos.