Rainy walk and belated merlin

On this rainy, gloomy Sunday I insisted we go to the arboretum to see what might be coming up out of the ground. IMG_9573And we did go, ate breakfast on the way out in hopes the rain would abate some. It never did. But I did get the briefest of walks in, while Dennis, unprepared for the rain and cold, waited in the car. Mary Isabelle was in her usual spot, and the foliage of the celandine poppies that will surround her in a few weeks was emerging in spots.

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The burned areas were all still dark, but even there you could spot the beginnings of the below-ground life pushing up through the mud and charred stems. And the male cardinals (not the kind from the Vatican) picking around the burnt prairie showed almost fluorescent red against that rich blackness.

I was very glad to find the pond has filled up with the recent rains, and water is flowing again, instead of sitting stagnant in sloughs.

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Didn’t even get as far as the glade today- Perhaps next week we can get a closer look at the wildflowers there and in the woods. I did hear the spring peepers! Loud and clear, from the turtle pond which also, thankfully, has regained its former depth of water.

The rest of this rainy day may be spent reading, writing, and shooting some pool.

And here is a sequence of photos Dennis took on February 20th of the Pigeon Hawk (aka Falco columbarius columbarius, American Merlin, Bullet Hawk, Little Blue Corporal) that has been frequenting our back yard recently. Dennis said she looked very hungry this day and went after a squirrel, which she didn’t catch. But she must be catching someone because she still passes through the yard. Our friend Hely, who knows everything there is to know about birds (and lots of other things) says that it is unusual to see a Merlin in our area. LATER- Hely saw these pics and he says this is an immature Cooper’s hawk in nuptial plumage.

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