Category Archives: Nature Walk Reports

Col Sam Smith Park, November 23, 2017

2 degrees and overcast at the start

Bird Highlight: American Wigeon

American Wigeon

Botany Highlight: Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

Species list: red-necked grebe, mute swan, Canada goose, mallard, gadwall, American wigeon, greater scaup, bufflehead, long-tailed duck, red-breasted merganser, American kestrel, greater black-backed gull, herring gull, ring-billed gull, rock pigeon, long-eared owl, downy woodpecker, blue jay,  European starling, house sparrow,  northern cardinal, American goldfinch.  (22 species)

Brome Grass (Bromus enermis)

Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Cat-tail (Typha angustifolia)

Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)

Bufflehead (male)

evidence of Beaver

 

Miles Hearn

                                                              FALL POETRY

The green elm with the one great bough of gold

Lets leaves into the grass slip, one by one, —

The short hill grass, the mushrooms small milk-white,

Harebell and scabious and tormentil,

That blackberry and gorse, in dew and sun,

Bow down to; and the wind travels too light

To shake the fallen birch leaves from the fern;

The gossamers wander at their own will.

At heavier steps than birds’ the squirrels scold.

The rich scene has grown fresh again and new

As Spring and to the touch is not more cool

Than it is warm to the gaze; and now I might

As happy be as earth is beautiful,

Were I some other or with earth could turn

In alternation of violet and rose,

Harebell and snowdrop, at their season due,

And gorse that has no time not to be gay.

But if this be not happiness, — who knows?

Some day I shall think this a happy day,

And this mood by the name of melancholy

Shall no more blackened and obscured be.

–Edward Thomas (1878–1917

Ashbridge’s Bay, November 22, 2017

0 degrees and overcast at the start
Bird Highlight: Long-tailed Duck

Long-tailed Duck (female) photo: Marlene Danicki

Botany Highlight: Tamarack

Tamarack (Larix laricina)

Species list: Canada goose, mallard, American black duck, gadwall, lesser scaup, common goldeneye, long-tailed duck, bufflehead, common merganser, red-breasted merganser, ring-billed gull, black-capped chickadee, northern cardinal, American tree sparrow.  (14 species)

Bald-faced Hornet’s nest

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)

Northern Cardinal (female)

Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus)

Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)

Tamarack (Larix laricina)

Common Burdock (Arctium minus)

Miles Hearn

                                                         FALL POETRY

October is the treasurer of the year,

And all the months pay bounty to her store;

The fields and orchards still their tribute bear,

And fill her brimming coffers more and more.

–Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872–1906)

Marie Curtis Park, November 21, 2017

7 degrees and sun / cloud mix  at the start

Bird Highlight: Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Botany Highlight: Reed Canary Grass

Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

Species list: black-crowned night heron, Canada goose, mallard, American black duck, common goldeneye, hooded merganser, red-breasted merganser, red-tailed hawk, ring-billed gull, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, black-capped chickadee, American robin, house sparrow, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, dark-eyed junco.  (17 species)

Teasle (Dipsacus fullonum)

Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)

Riverbank Grape growing on Ash Tree

Red-tailed Hawk

Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)

American Black Duck with Mallards

Red Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

Panicled Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum)

Miles Hearn

                                                               FALL POETRY

O hushed October morning mild,

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,

Should waste them all.

–Robert Frost (1874–1963

Scarborough Bluffs, November 20, 2017

1 degree and overcast at the start


Bird Highlight: leucistic Trumpeter Swan

leucistic Trumpeter Swan

Botany Highlight: Miscanthus

Miscanthus (Miscanthus sacchariflorus)

Species list: trumpeter swan, Canada goose, mallard, American black duck, bufflehead, long-tailed duck, red-breasted merganser, red-tailed hawk, ring-billed gull, rock pigeon, red-bellied woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, blue jay, white-breasted nuthatch, American robin, house sparrow, northern cardinal, dark-eyed junco, American tree sparrow.  (20 species)

Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Black Walnuts (Juglans nigra)

Frost

Northern Cardinal

Mallard (female)

Trumpeter Swan

Ring-billed Gull

Miles Hearn

                                                      FALL POETRY

The trees are in their autumn beauty,

The woodland paths are dry,

Under the October twilight the water

Mirrors a still sky.

–William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

Humber Bay, November 18, 2017

4 degrees and overcast at the start
Bird Highlight: Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Botany Highlight: English Oak

English Oak (Quercus robur)

Species list: red-necked grebe, double-crested cormorant, great blue heron, mute swan, Canada goose, mallard, American black duck, gadwall, northern shoveler, redhead, greater scaup, common goldeneye, long-tailed duck, bufflehead, hooded merganser, red-breasted merganser, ring-billed gull, belted kingfisher, downy woodpecker, house sparrow,  northern cardinal, dark-eyed junco, American tree sparrow, song sparrow.  (24 species)

Spindle Tree (Euonymus europaea)

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)

Ring-billed Gull

Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)

Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)

Speckled Alder (Alnus incana)

Buffleheads

Red-necked Grebes

Miles Hearn

                                                     FALL POETRY

The trees are in their autumn beauty,

The woodland paths are dry,

Under the October twilight the water

Mirrors a still sky.

–William Butler Yeats (1865–1939

Col Sam Smith Park, November 17, 2017

0 degrees and sunny at the start

Bird Highlight: European Starling

Botany Highlight: Oriental Bittersweet

Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

Species list: red-necked grebe, mute swan, Canada goose, mallard, gadwall, American wigeon, redhead, greater scaup, bufflehead,  long-tailed duck, red-breasted merganser, northern harrier, ring-billed gull, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, blue jay, black-capped chickadee,white-breasted nuthatch,  American robin, European starling, house sparrow,  northern cardinal, American goldfinch, dark-eyed junco, fox sparrow, American tree sparrow.  (26 species)

Mallard (male)

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

House Sparrows

approx 750 Greater Scaup with a few Redheads mixed in

American Wigeons

Mute Swan

White-breasted Nuthatch

Canada Goose

Miles Hearn

                                                             FALL POETRY

Now by great marshes wrapt in mist,

Or past some river’s mouth,

Throughout the long, still autumn day

Wild birds are flying south.

–Wilfred Campbell (1861–1918)

Marie Curtis Park, November 16, 2017

5 degrees and overcast at the start

Bird Highlight: Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker (male)

Botany Highlight: Silver Maple

Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)

Species list: Canada goose, mallard, common goldeneye, bufflehead, long-tailed duck, hooded merganser, red-breasted merganser, red-tailed hawk, ring-billed gull, red-bellied woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, common raven, northern cardinal, American goldfinch.  (15 species)

Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)

Heath Aster (Symphyotrichum ericoides)

Sweetbrier hips (Rosa rubiginosa)

Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides)

Canada Goose

Missouri Willow gall (Salix eriosephala)

White Spruce (Picea glauca)

American Beech leaves (Fagus grandifolia)

Miles Hearn

                                                      FALL POETRY

Through golden noons and purple eves, and shadows cool and tender,

From scenes of tranquil happiness and dreams of deep delight,

October like a princess in her oriental splendor

Comes down the valley singing with her retinue of light.

–Katharine Brownlee Sherwood (1841–1914)