A final set of photos from Wednesday’s walk at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.
A rich variety of wildlife makes every visit a fascinating new adventure.
(The ducks pictured above are a new species for me, and I would love a little help identifying them. Are they Gadwalls?)
As much as I enjoyed taking these photos, I regret that I missed the deer.
And I’m aching to know who left the following tracks on a patch of sand near the trail.
There were two sets of tracks, side-by-side, moving in the same direction. The footprints were slightly smudged, but the tail-drag marks were clear enough. What do you think? Did I miss otters? Or are the tracks more lizard-like?
I can’t resist a mystery, and I would love to add deer photos to the archive. I’m already planning my next walk…
It was a beautiful day for a drive. And for a walk through Huntsville Botanical Garden.
First Landing State Park is beginning to feel the onset of fall. The osprey are migrating, leaving egrets and herons in charge. Grasshoppers carry on as if winter will never come, but the butterflies know better. They’ve disappeared, along with most of the bees. (I did see something that might have been a bee, but it also might have been a fly that wanted me to think it was a bee.)
Despite these changes, summer hasn’t abandoned the park entirely. Mosquitoes still bite and squirrels still play. Crabs forage while frogs sing a frantic final chorus. Turtles patrol the shallow ponds, their backs mounded with mud so that they look like curiously mobile islands.
And the sun is still strong enough to burn if you stay out too long. Like I did today. But I have a good excuse for my over-long walk and uncomfortable sunburn. I was chasing a kingfisher…
The lotus garden near Sandbridge Beach is beginning to bloom. Today I stopped for a few minutes, trying to ignore the ridiculous heat and harsh midday glare.
Another beautiful, warm day. The last thing I really wanted to do was crank the lawnmower. But, as is often the case, my last-choice task was on the verge of critical. The yard was calf-high in places. (In my defense, I think the moths and bees prefer it that way…)
Unfortunately, moths and bees aren’t running things. (Or… Maybe they are?)
No matter who is in charge, the yard needed mowing. So I laced up my grass-stained shoes, slapped on some sunscreen, and charged my iPod’s battery. I was almost finished, tired and grumpy and over-hot, when this little turtle popped out of the grass right in front of the mower.
I wasn’t able to stop before catching him a bit with the front wheel. (I think I might have been the one who nicked his tail…) But he doesn’t seem to have suffered any lasting harm. Later this evening, I’ll release him near a pond. For now, he’s resting under an open window, safe from the yard’s many dangers.
He’s very small. Probably the smallest turtle I’ve ever seen!