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.

 

 

 

Surprise Encounter

Just beyond the south end of the Morrisville State College campus lies the college aquaculture facility, a small stream and a short nature trail. It’s close to home and a place I visit often to walk, observe and photograph. This site rarely disappoints, but yesterday was uneventful – until I happened to catch a glimpse of two birds moving quickly across the blue sky. They were too high and far away for details, but it appeared to be a Common Crow harassing a large bird of prey. As luck would have it, the raptor circled in my direction and I was able to capture the moment before they circled up and away.

Ospreycrow23Apr13#294E

The bird in question was an Osprey. The crook in the wings during flight and black patches at the bend in the wings (“wrists”) were diagnostic. Ospreys are fish-eating birds and it’s quite possible that this bird was investigating the outdoor ponds at the fish hatchery.

OspreyCrow23Apr13#298E

 

OspreyCrow23Apr13#296E

All photos by NB Hunter