The Wonderful Month of June

StreamYWC2June18#4577E5c4x6

A favorite freestone stream in the mountains, alive with aquatic insects and foraging trout

WhitePine4ftdbh2June18#4552E3c8x10

A massive White Pine with centuries of stories locked within

TigerSwallowtails2June18#4433E2c5x7

Tiger Swallowtails “mud-puddling” to ingest nutrients and improve reproductive success

Wren11June18#5111E2c8x10

A chatty House Wren, rewarding me for the nest box I hung on a garden post

Eagles16June18#5272E5c8x10

Taking a grooming timeout while guarding the nearby nest and solitary eaglet.

Eagles15June18#5216E2c5x7

Hummer8June18#4868E5c8x10

Ruby-throated Hummingbird incubating 1-3 eggs; they’ll hatch in about 2 weeks

Snapper19June18#5327E2c5x7

An egg-laying Snapper; she dug her nest in roadside gravel near her swampy habitat 

Fawns19June14#148E2c8x10

A month-old whitetail fawn learning about mobility

FarmMustard21June18#5440E7c4x6

Wild mustard colonizing a fallow field on a dairy farm

Photos by NB Hunter (June, 2018). © All rights reserved.

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May 2018: Colorful Memories

After an agonizingly slow start, Spring in Central New York did not disappoint! The month of May has been a delightful mix of activity in living color, plants and animals alike. I’m posting selected highlights, in chronological order.

Bloodroot4May18#3022E5c5x7

Bloodroot (4May2018)

MarshMarigold7May18#3208E2c8x10

Marsh Marigold (7May2018)

TroutLily8May18#3289E2c8x10

Trout Lily (8May2018)

Amelanchier12May18#3407E2c8x10

Serviceberry (12May2018)

SandCherry15May18#3593E2c8x10

Sand Cherry (15May2018)

RedTrillium16May18#3758E3c5x7

Red Trillium (16May2018)

Goldfinch18May18#3934E5c8x10

Goldfinch on Sand Cherry (18May2018)

 

WildApple20May18#4074E11c5x7

Wild apple flower buds (20May2018)

WildApple20May18#4097E2c5x7

Wild apple blossoms (20May2018)

BaltimoreOriole26May18#4339E5c8x10

Baltimore Oriole on its breeding territory (26May2018)

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

 

Happy Earth Day

Celebrating Earth Day with images from April, 2018.

Starlings4Mar18#9985E2c5x7

Starlings searching for spilled grain on an active farm

Mallard20Apr18#2710E2c8x10

Mallard at rest on a wintry spring day

Gull12Apr18#2322E2c5x7

Ring-billed Gull foraging in a flooded field

Deer19Apr18#2569E2c5x7

Mature whitetail after a long, cold rain

Vulture19Apr18#2615E2c8x10

Turkey Vulture cleaning up a road-kill

WTSparrow19Apr18#2666E3c8x10

White-throated Sparrow with a kernel of corn

WoodFrog22Apr18#2752E2c5x7

Breeding Wood Frog in a vernal pool – today – a month behind schedule

TurksGobbler21Apr18#2735E5c8x10

Wild turkey (a young gobbler or “jake”)

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

Melting Ice and Snow

Early Spring means melting snow and exposed fields, melting ice and open water. Wild animals, many struggling to survive, seize the opportunity to feed and recover. Others continue their journey northward as habitats and food sources become available. Photographers are also recovering and more mobile. After months of donning multiple layers, feeding the wood stove and hunkering down in storms, seeing winter in the rear-view mirror is a joyous occasion!

WaterfallsCrowHill9Apr19#2220E3c4x6

Melt water enhancing a small stream and waterfalls in the hills

Gull12Apr18#2319E3c5x7

Gull foraging in puddled melt water in a harvested corn field

WoodDucks9Apr18#2205E2c5x7

A pair of Wood Ducks at rest in a temporary pond (same as above)

Goose13Apr18#2375E2c5x7

Canada Goose  heading for its nesting territory in a cattail marsh

Geese21Mar18#1210E2c8x10

Canada geese at rest

GBHeron13Apr18#2411E2c8x10

Great Blue Heron silhouette, one of two flying northward

Osprey14Apr18#2462E2c4x6

Open water in lakes and ponds means Osprey can go fishing!

Deer12Apr18#2367E2c4x6

Large numbers of hungry deer are foraging in cultivated fields; these were alarmed by a barking dog but won’t go far.

Photos by NB Hunter (March – April, 2018). © All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

Robins and the Endless Winter

Robin5Apr18#1981E2c8x10

I’m seeing flocks of migrating robins in thickets and sheltered creek drainages. They’re back, but food is scarce in our snowy, semi-frozen landscape. The persistent fruit of staghorn sumac is a staple this time of year, for many species of birds. It is an emergency ration that helps keep them alive when winter refuses to let go.

Robin5Apr18#1985E3c8x10

Robin5Apr18#1989E3c5x7

Robin5Apr18#2016E2c5x7

Robin5Apr18#2021E2c5x7

Photos by NB Hunter (4/5/2018). © All Rights Reserved.

 

Diving Ducks

Faced with nasty weather, I took a short road trip in search of wildlife that might be out and about in freezing rain: perhaps an insulated, waterproof species, at home in the icy water. To my surprise, that turned out to be dozens of ring-necked ducks on a local reservoir. They were feeding, sometimes diving in unison. These little ducks are always a treat, but especially so in a cold and dreary landscape.

RNDucks3Apr18#1875E2c3x5

RNDuck3Apr18#1910E2c4x6

RNDuck3Apr18#1905E2c5x7

Photos by NB Hunter (3April2018).