Eastern freebie

Grayscale

Blending in with the smooth gray tree trunks & charcoal shadows, this little Eastern phoebe was still noticeable as it groomed, preened, and perch-posed — a nice complimentary performance.

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Creature from the White Cocoon

Tiny & piney

Armored in green spikes, these catkins certainly look more menacing than the cottony centers from whence they came. Though pine-like in appearance, I think they’re on some type of willow tree.

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Gold standard of Spring

The Yellow Pose of New Jersey

Bright as a marshmallow peep, this male goldfinch was like a shiny ornament tucked into the pine branches.

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And the kitchen sink

Sink or swim

Perhaps washed ashore during a recent nor’easter, this steel basin stuck out like a shiny sore thumb among the sand, shells, and smaller debris along a beach on Sandy Hook.

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Common ground cover

Blue & white earthenware

Easy to miss because of their size, tiny white and blue flowers growing low to the ground were still worth a look as some of the first signs of the spring blooms to come. The blue ones might be Corn speedwell (Veronica arvensis) and the white ones Spring draba (Draba verna); really not sure, though.

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Blue with cold

Coldbalt blue

Coldbalt blue

On a chilly but clear afternoon, a small flock of Eastern bluebirds was flitting around at the edge of the woods, looking for berries & whatever else they could find.

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Frosted phragmites — they’re Grrrreat!

Sugar-coated shafts

Sugar-coated shafts

Bowing a bit under their icy coverings, these marsh reeds (probably Phragmites australis) withstood their first real winter storm.

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