Col Sam Smith Park, December 5, 2017

10 degrees and overcast at the start

Bird Highlight: Redhead


Botany Highlight: Bur Oak

Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)

Species list: red-necked grebe, mute swan, mallard, American black duck, gadwall, American wigeon, redhead, bufflehead, common merganser, red-breasted merganser, ring-billed gull, rock pigeon, downy woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch, black-capped chickadee, golden-crowned kinglet, European starling, house sparrow,  northern cardinal, American goldfinch.  (20 species)

House Sparrows

Manitoba maple (Acer negundo)

Mallards, Wigeon, Black Ducks and Gadwall

Thornless Honey Locust (Gleditsia tricanthos var. inermis)

American Wigeon (male)

Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)

European Starlings

Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbicuatus)

Miles Hearn



Breathe stillness:

inhale the fresh purity of this white world,

the crisp air of the northern noon.


Here in the woods,

here in the utter quietness

the pristine silence of the calm forest

(spruce trees pointing upwards searchingly to a serene heaven)

our snowshoe tracks

cross the trigrams

of the rabbit trail

where the tiny footprints of the frisky field mice

make arabesques on the crystalline crust.


Here is a peace so deep

so encompassing

that a chickadee’s sudden note

startles the squirrel

perched pensively on a pine bough.

He jumps – –

but into the engulfing stillness

into the silence of this white and muted world.

Rest here. Feel the quietude.

  • Doris Huestis Mills Speirs



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