Thursday, May 25, 2017

Counting Ducks

Responsibilities pulled me out of my lazy funk and forced me outside on the second of a rainy/misty/coolish day in my neck of the woods. We had to go out and count the eggs or hatched eggs in the wood duck boxes in the marsh. I say "we" in an extremely generous way because my roll is sometimes to carry a few things and other times to document with photos, and to give my lady friend company. When we head to the state park the greens are still very vital as the rains have washed all things clean.



The beavers have returned with an industrious vengeance. Park rangers have tried various methods to keep the dam lower so that the boardwalk at the edge of the swamp is not flooded.  You can see an older cut tree in the lower right hand corner.



Counting crew had to wade carefully across the lower part of the creek in the overflow of the dam.  Three of the boxes are across the marsh on the other side.




Mountain laurel were on the wane in their blossoms, but I got a few photos for remembrance. It is hard to time their bloom as it varies as much as two/three weeks sometimes.   The marsh was pulsing with life:  birds, water lilies, duck potato of the Sagittaria family, pennywort, and turtles.  Redwings were noisy and busy.


Blue flag was showing off it striking purples and blues as was the variegated iris.



It was mystical and while not quiet due to the birds and frogs celebrating spring, it was still very spiritual.  Very few humans had invaded on this early and cool morning.


Ferns carpeted shallow areas everywhere.  We followed the two major trails to investigate 18 boxes with a total of 93 eggs laid and 20 already hatched!  We considered that a good count and only frightened two sitting hens...or guess I should write that our counters were only frightened by two sitting hens.

At the end, we walked to the beach side just for the fun of it and discovered the leftovers from children looking for shark's teeth in the sand the prior weekend.


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