I took the chance on Friday morning after the then-last rain that the trails wouldn’t be too muddy to walk in Riverside Lawn. I was in the throes of preparing for my participation in last Sunday’s service, and it was good to go for a walk and mull over my improvisation for the closing music in my head.
The river was looking much better than the last few weeks.
Off the paved trail I first saw a House Wren sitting quietly still.
A Northern Cardinal made a studied appearance.
I noticed a couple turtles making use of what looked like the last log above water.
A couple deer perhaps coming for a drink.
The Common Grackles were less noticeable now that there were no longer exposed rocks in which to forage.
I was on the footbridge almost across the river when I noticed something different flying directly above me. It turned out to be a Common Nighthawk and verified itself with an accompanying “peent”. I have one or two over my yard on summer evenings, but I did not expect to encounter this bird after nine o’clock in the morning.
After the surprise of the nighthawk, any bird who sat still was fair game.
Not too far into the Riverside Lawn trail, I observed a couple new obstacles to navigate around.
It’s easier to see female Red-winged Blackbirds now, and their offspring are starting to emerge as well.
Nothing cheers me up like an enthusiastic singer. This Song Sparrow was too far away for a video but relatively easy to capture with the 400mm lens. A little snippet of his song is below the photos.
There are dozens of these damselflies everywhere.
I caught a brief glimpse of a White-breasted Nuthatch.
Monarch butterflies are out and about, if not in great numbers.
When I got back to my car, I looked to see if the Great Blue Heron that hangs out near Indian Gardens was in its favorite spot and managed to find it, albeit at a great distance.
So goes summer birding. I am now busy preparing my front and back yards for the West Cook Wild Ones Garden Tour. I just received details about the actual tour date, which is on Saturday, July 22nd, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. I am grateful for all the rain we now are getting after the long dry period, but it seems like every time I cut something down or thin out an area, more plants spring up or grow taller. At some point, it will just have to be the jungle that it is.
Check out the little green worm below right of the fly on the pink coneflower. I have never seen this before. Or could it be a caterpillar? I will have to start looking more closely; not everything is busy buzzing around.
Other than that, after my coffeemaker died on Saturday, I managed to get through Sunday morning well enough on plenty of adrenalin, but Monday after gardening in the morning and swimming midday I was so tired I basically napped my way through the rest of the day and evening, only managing to play some piano and feed the indoor crowd their evening snack. Feeding myself was too much of a chore. Every time I envisioned doing anything else, I crashed. Luckily, the replacement coffeemaker arrived yesterday and I began to restore my caffeine level this morning. Now that I have an idea of what going caffeine-free cold-turkey is like, I don’t think I’ll be trying the experiment again for some time. I need all the energy I can get the next couple of weeks.