Knowing the Jewelweed is blooming was enough to get me up early on Sunday to visit the Chicago Portage. In years past, I have been there and seen perhaps a hundred Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds, all feasting on the Jewelweed.
Outside of hummingbirds, I had no expectations for this time of year. There could have been a shorebird or two. Perhaps the Green Herons had not yet left. I had no idea what I might find, but it’s so easy for me to go to the Portage just for the sake of its familiarity and it takes so little time to get there, all the associations of past visits guide me through the trails as I compare the experience to the last time I was there.
I was certainly surprised to see this Red-Tailed Hawk out in the open, observing her domain from the branches of a tree that extend over the creek. I took these pictures from the bridge where I stood in awe of her presence. She flew farther away at first, but eventually came back to pose for the picture at the beginning of this post.
Then I saw and heard a Baltimore Oriole, and the next thing I knew, he was facing off with yet another male. A snippet of his song is below.
A moment later I did see a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, but it was the only one.
And the Green Herons were both still present, though pretty far away.
Later as I was walking back I heard what sounded like an almost-cardinal, and sure enough it was just that. The scruffy little creature below is a Northern Cardinal-To-Be.
This bee was one of many enjoying themselves.
And perhaps only a Cabbage White could love another invasive species, the flowering Burdock it was on.
Mr. and Mrs. Wood Duck were present, but their offspring were either well hidden or well on their way to new digs.
Click on any picture for a larger view.
I’ll be getting up early again this weekend, and maybe next time the hummers will have caught up to the Jewelweed Feast. The path always awaits.