Sunday, February 13, 2011

Red Bellies and Brown Creepers!

25 degrees this morning and pretty overcast.

The meadow is now surrounded by more enormous snowbanks. Top soil has accidentally been dug up and lays in mounds atop snow banks or dangling from the sides. No wonder this meadow has such a hard time growing flowers.

At any rate, had a nice walk all around the park today. Since it's February, I was hoping for some mergansers in the river, but  I soon realized, the river is pretty much frozen as far as the eye can see, so that would be impossible right now. I had to control myself from walking out on the frozen river. It's awfully tempting, but I knew I shouldn't.

There seemed to be several red-bellied woodpeckers about today. They were quite vocal, but not with their purring noises - just a lot of nasal squawking. This particular one was in the upper gardens hanging out with some nuthatches.

I caught a glimpse of a brown creeper in the woods right near the bee hives. I am so excited to have finally seen one this year! Tried to capture him digitally, but no such luck. He kept moving on, ahead of me.

This cardinal (to left) was chipping away as he surveyed the upper gardens. Isn't he beautiful? There was a mockingbird nearby and I could hear the calls of the titmice but didn't get to see any. Blue jays were there as well and I'm sure many others that I didn't get to see.

The lower gardens are pretty impassable at least from the upper gardens side.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Snowshoes, Climbing Equipment and Hazmat Wear Necessary

Panorama of Snow Banks
Today was about 37 degrees at 8:00 a.m. and sunny. Between an insane work schedule the last three weeks and the continuous snow storms, I have not been able to get over to the park and I've really missed it.
Entry to Lower Gardens
With all the snow, I wasn't surprised that they started dumping at the park, but it really was a sad sight to behold. These banks are at least 15 feet high and they are also dumping in our wildflower meadow as well. Can't imagine all the crap that is in this snow that will now be in the environment here. I feel so bad for the birds and animals. I worry about what they will be eating on the ground.
Dumping in Meadow

It was tough walking around without snowshoes. Except for a few well walked paths, it was impossible to walk all around the lower gardens or some areas in the upper because the snow came up to my knees!

I did manage to see some blue jays and robins in the lower gardens as well as a large, beautiful red tailed hawk that was definitely on the prowl.

Down by the soccer fields, I heard a nuthatch and more blue jays. It is quite apparent from the prints in the snow just how many people are using this as a dog park.