Leaving home

The hand that rocks the maple

The hand that rocks the maple

Like the bony hand of a skeleton, the bare twigs of this maple tree cradle its newly emerging leaves and flowers with a gentle, if somewhat spooky, touch.

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The blue & the gray

Catch as gnatcatch can

Catch as gnatcatch can Catch as gnatcatch can

Among the first arrivals of the summer renters, these Blue-gray gnatcatchers (Polioptila caerulea) were hopping around the willows and vinier material in search of small insects.

Meanwhile, others in the group were kicking up quite a racket in a nearby thicket.

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Five-petaled, one-flower lying purple people greeter

Wink, wink

Wink, wink

Welcoming visitors near one of the entrances to the Little Silver Nature Trail, a lone Periwinkle flower was lolling about just above the forest floor.

Probably a Common periwinkle (Vinca minor), it provided one of the few spots of color in the still winter-worn woods.

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Upright behavior

Loves of grass

Loves of grass

Perpendicular from their more common crawling position, these Oil beetles were standing right in the middle of one of the small meadow paths in Weltz Park.

The larger female seemed rather uninterested in what her consort was up to, preferring instead to focus on her grassy meal.

(Earlier post about an oil beetle.)

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Sylvan spa treatment

Froggy fence-sitter

Froggy fence-sitter

Straddling a beam that lay across part of a tree-lined creek, this lounging frog seemed to be relaxing contentedly as the water washed around him.

Despite the allover dye job provided by the orange mud, this may be a Northern green frog (like this previous one).

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Willow Maize

Fuzzy cornfobs

Fuzzy cornfobs

While most of the buds on this willow tree were still quite fluffily plush, a few on one branch were already beginning to pop into bright yellow, corn-shaped flowers.

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Mr. Teal

"I pity the fool that doesn't think I'm adorable!"

“I pity the fool who doesn’t think I’m adorable!”

Although the swampy area of the park was dominated by American black ducks, one little Green-winged teal (Anas crecca) seemed to feel right at home among them.

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