Usually we see Great Blue Herons at some distance; either on the other side of a marsh or high in the sky. Today (temperature: 18 degrees and overcast at first), we discovered a heron in a little stream nearby. Because of the forest overhead, the bird was unable to make a quick getaway and we all all had a good look.
Species list: great blue heron, American black duck, mallard, wood duck, red-tailed hawk, northern flicker, hairy woodpecker, black-capped chickadee, blue jay, American robin, gray catbird, house sparrow, northern cardinal. (13 species)
Large sections of High Park make up a Black Oak savanna.
This morning’s group:
John Frederic Herbin (1860-1923).
from The Marshlands (1893).
From the soft dyke-road, crooked and waggon-worn,
Comes the great load of rustling scented hay,
Slow-drawn with heavy swing and creaky sway,
Through the cool freshness of the windless morn.
The oxen, yoked and sturdy, horn to horn,
Sharing the rest and toil of night and day,
Bend head and neck to the long hilly way,
By many a season’s labor marked and torn.
On the broad sea of dyke, the gathering heat
Waves upward from the grass, where road on road
Is swept before the tramping of the teams.
And while the oxen rest beside the sweet
New hay, the loft receives the early load,
With hissing stir, among the dusty beams.