Little White Gliding Hood

Three duck sight

Three duck sight

Like three chums out for a watery stroll, these Hooded mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) were on their way to meet up with a fair number of others of their kind in Franklin Lake.

The male in front has his hood or crest full extended, while the one next to the female shows a more relaxed attitude.

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S(nake) curve

Non-digital scales

Non-digital scales

On an unusually warm day in November (notably not today), this snake was an equally unusual sight. About two feet long, it may have been a Common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis).

After zigzagging itself across one of the paved paths, it took off towards the woods once it got into the grass.

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Orange globe theater

Soft, chewy sun spots

Soft, chewy sun spots

Floating like festive paper lanterns near the top of a multi-trunk persimmon tree, these bright round fruits were hanging on ’til the bitter (or at least astringent) end.

(Earlier post about the persimmon.)

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Rodentures

Count squirrelula

Count squirrelula

A fairly tame park squirrel, this fellow seemed to be wearing little plastic fangs and a big grin. On closer inspection, it was probably just something he was chewing on.

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Adjust seasoning

Cold leaf

Cold leaf

Sitting right on the thin line between autumn and winter, this newly fallen leaf (red maple, I think) rests on some of the first ice of the season.

(Previous, sunnier posts about the Red maple and its amazing colors.)

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Princess of parkness

Royaltree

Royaltree

Like a nesting doll, the stalk of flower buds on this Princess or Empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa) form a brown-baubled tree within a tree.

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The pH factor

Phoebe snow-white breast

Phoebe snow-white breast

I think this little grey and white bird is an Eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe). He was flying and perching around the edge of the meadow portion of Weltz Park.

With the afternoon sun shining directly on him, his undercarriage looked almost bleached.

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