There are a few things you can count on every Spring … the appearance of allergies, dandelions and those pesky elm and maple seeds that land in your mulch and sprout into a gazillion tiny weeds in a day or two.
Spring is also the time for babies at all the parks and woodsy areas and Council Point Park is no exception. I’ve never seen baby squirrels, but I am not alone in that regard, because, unlike the waterfowl who hatch, then head to the water within 24 hours of birth, baby squirrels stay in the nest, totally dependent on Mom for the first ten weeks of life. After they have been weaned, squirrels are off to explore the world, forage and plead for peanuts, which I wonder if that is an innate trait, or something their folks taught them to do.
So, you’ll not see any squirrel photos in this post, but no worries, I’ve got a few cute pictures tucked away for later.
The Robin nursery is busy.
Since I wrote about Mama Robin sitting on the nest and incubating those pretty turquoise eggs, a trio of baby robins has hatched.
The hatchlings are growing big and I am amused that their mouths seem to be large in proportion to their bodies. They have an almost sinister grin, though they remind me a little of Daffy Duck with that oversized beak. Most of the time, those beaks are open and pointed toward the sky as they await Mama to drop some grubs or worms in that gaping mouth.
Mama Robin continues to sit on top of the chicks when she is not feeding them and sometimes her mate watches them nearby while she is off looking for toddler tidbits.
Harry the Heron has offspring too.
My favorite nature nook has been gifted with the presence of a baby Great Blue Heron. Fellow walker Mike told me a few weeks ago that he saw a heron family on the cement landing. I was sorry I missed that sight. I had not seen Harry the Heron in ages, not that it does me any good, since he sees me and makes a horrible screeching noise and takes flight before I can take his picture. Harry is either camera-shy, or just has incredibly bad manners to bolt like that, but I do not take it personally.
So, whether or not this was Harry’s kin, I don’t know, but this small heron was standing on the cement landing and I was able to get quite close to him. He was not uncomfortable, didn’t mind my intrusion and just continued his ramrod stance, peering into the water, studying it for movement of any fish for his breakfast, just like his folks taught him to do.
Then he bent down closer, studying the water, ignoring the rumbles in his stomach, while hoping for a little fish.
He began to hunker down, ready to aim for the kill …
… but no luck so far. He did strike a beautiful pose while fishing though.
I was hoping he’d get that elusive fish, so I could get a picture of that shad that he’d gulp down whole, then it would wiggle all the way down that slender neck enroute to his stomache. I kept the camera clapped up tight against my face. But, either the fish weren’t around, or this heron must hone his hunting skills … there were no fish for his breakfast and ten minutes later I glanced at my watch and decided since it was a work day, I’d better hustle, so I said “see ya soon okay?”
There were lots of loosey-goosies.
There are now three Canada Geese families at Council Point Park and that is the same as in recent years. Two families have rather large goslings, already shedding their downy yellow fuzz for a mottled, gray-and-yellow sleeker look. Along with their advanced age, comes a whole lot of attitude as you’ll see below. In one family, those goslings are still fairly small.
I was dividing my time between the three families, trying to get some pictures where they weren’t in the shadows, or preening, or munching grass that was almost as tall as they were, especially when they laid down.
I got some random photos of each family as you will see below.
Then, I was bending down to feed a squirrel and almost missed the kerfuffle between a few Canada Geese. As you see below, one of them had his knickers in a twist about something and he started honking and hissing at Mama and Papa Goose who had their goslings gathered around them. The pictures are a little fuzzy as I was in the shadow of a tree when all the action began and I didn’t want to step away from my place in the “cheap seats” to get a better view.
Well, Papa Goose was defending his family and thus he countered with a little hissing of his own, so the bully goose flapped his wings, then went airborne just a little and Papa Goose took off after him. I had the camera handy and captured the fracas. I was back a respectable distance and they were not mindful of my presence. Look at the goslings scatter while flipping their tiny wings.
The funniest thing was that once there were no more wing-flapping shenanigans, the bully goose continued hissing and the goslings, quick learners, began hissing back at this interloper. It’s kind of like when a Chihuahua barks at a Great Dane!
And just like that (snapping fingers) the fracas was over and the family gathered together and moved on.
In the coming weeks I hope to capture more images of the babies as they grow by leaps and bounds!