The action at the bird feeders was crazy busy this morning–as if a snow storm might be on the horizon.
Some goldfinches managed to dine together in peace, while others displayed a midair squawk over perch choice.
The hairy woodpecker often had the suet to himself, until, that is, the nuthatches, titmice and chickadees flew in.
And somehow the female cardinal managed to pose upon a perch across from a chickadee. She never looks quite comfortable up high.
Her guy always checks out the local scene before foraging for seeds on the ground. He’s not the only forager in the neighborhood.
And beyond the feeders, the ice rink is open. Of course, if you want to use it you need to bring your own shovel. My days of being the human zamboni ended a few years ago.
I’d intended to join friends in Falmouth for a tramp today, but with the impending storm, I decided to stick closer to home. And so this afternoon found me exploring familiar grounds, wondering what I might see. What could possibly be different?
Ah, the intrepid raccoon had passed this way. I love the pattern it leaves behind, with each set of prints on the opposite diagonal.
And then there’s the vernal pool. Nothing new about that, but at the same time, it’s ever changing.
The fact that dainty Queen Anne’s Lace is filled with spiky seeds seems almost an oxymoron. A beautiful one.
The snow was just starting to fall when I happened upon the QAL. And so I continued on, crossing the road and disappearing into a familiar place–Pondicherry Park.
With every step, I needed to be mindful of where I placed my foot to avoid slipping. Though I’m weary of ice, I never tire of the formations it manifests.
I’m going out on a limb here, but believe based on the structure of the single winged samara that these are green ash seeds that litter the ground. As the wing surrounding the seed tapers toward the tip, it is straight versus the slight curve seen in a white ash. In addition, the white ash samara is wider than a green ash.
And then there is the ash leaf mystery. Leaves still on trees? Ash leaflets are not marcescent so why have these leaves withered and stayed attached to the twigs? Ah, but when some trail management was conducted this past summer, the cut branches that crowded the path were tossed aside. The leaves died then and there, thus not being “cut” off by the tree and falling in a normal manner.
Of course, the marcescent leaves of witch hazel and American beech against the blue of Willet Brook provided a display worthy of attention as the snow began to collect.
Witch hazel isn’t the only witch in the park. Witch’s butter decorates a red pine trunk.
Likewise, witch’s butter isn’t the only fungi. Jelly ears decorate a fallen oak branch.
There’s always plenty to wonder about. In this case, a very, very dead snag–leaking sap. How can that be so?
The ice lining the banks of Willet Brook crinkled and crackled with the flow of the water, adding an eerie sound to the landscape.
Meanwhile, in Stevens Brook, several pairs of mallards quacked constantly, announcing their presence.
The snow increased as I crossed the Bob Dunning Memorial Bridge and
walked past the Stevens Brook dam.
At home, it’s still Christmas. Snow be it.