Sunday, April 23, 2006

A brief break in the storm

I never thought I'd get outdoors today. The downpours slowed to a trickle then, at 4pm, the sun returned. My wife and I walked to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to check on the progress of the cherry blossoms and lilacs. Both are near peak.

On our way across Prospect Park to the garden I heard an Ovenbird and a Northern Parula singing. The Ovenbird sounds were from the ground level and the parula from the treetops. Raphael called me on my cell to tell me that the Prothonotary Warbler had resurfaced, this time in the Ravine.

As I was photographing flowers in the native flora section my wife pointed out a small dead bird. His feathers were wet and matted down so it took me a moment to identify the bird. The mostly brown bird had a distinct rusty red tail. I'm certain that it was a Hermit Thrush. Birds always seem to be much smaller when close up, especially when the wind has been removed from their plumes.

The sky began darkening at about 6pm so we hightailed it back across the park towards home.

Near the entrance to the Ravine something fell from the top of an oak tree and bounced in the underbrush to our left. I assumed that it was a hunk of rotted wood that had been loosened by the storm. It landed behind a large log lying on the hillside. We walked over to take a look and found a squirrel sitting there, stunned. I had noticed small groups of squirrels feeding on the abundant oak catkins. Some would acrobatically hang by their back feet to get to the best flower clusters. I guess the little guy just reached a little too far. He eventually stood up and scampered along the top of the log. Pretty amazing considering the distance that he fell.

Farther down the trail in the Ravine I heard one of the Red-tailed Hawks calling from the nest. I guess she need a break. Her mate was perched in a tree adjacent to the Ambergil. He answered her short, chirping whistles then flew south towards the pine tree nest.

Tulip after the rain

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Lilacs

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Flowering Dogwood

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Unfurling Ferns

(Photo credit - Rob J)

Common Chokecherry

(Photo credit - Rob J)

5 comments:

jnfr said...

Your pictures are incredible, as always.

I have to say, since the squirrels around here keep digging up my salad garden, I don't care if they fall.

Rob J. said...

I guess we have a new description for precipitation intensity...it's raining gray squirrels!

Dope on the Slope said...

Damn fine photos sir!

I'm officially jealous of your talent.

Rob J. said...

Aw shucks, taint nuthin'

Da Nator said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. It is definitely prime time for the park and BBG. They should have you do their marketing!

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