Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • September 30

Poison Ivy Berries. Poison Ivy berries are a very important food source for the winter resident birds.

Red Squirrel eating a Black Walnut. There is no lack of walnuts and acorns on the forest floor these days. In fact, it's hard not to step on dozens of them in the course of a hike!

Oatka Creek Park • September 28

Eastern Cottontail. Rabbits seem to be more cooperative photographic topics of late.

Great Blue Heron. This bird is becoming quite tolerant of humans, as long as said humans behave themselves!

Maple Hill. The daily color watch.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. My first sapsucker of the season! It seems I usually have to wait until later in the year to spot one of these passing woodpeckers. This bird was mixed in with a flock of 50+ White-throated Sparrows at the base of Maple Hill.

Oatka Creek Park • September 27

White-throated Sparrow. The park is now filled with arriving White-throated Sparrows! These birds will be common winter residents in the park.

Great Blue Heron. My daily sighting.

Maple Hill. Watching the change of colors.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • September 24

Hairy Woodpecker. Soon the leaves will be down and it will much easier to see the woodpeckers.

Great Blue Heron. No, this isn't a one-legged bird. The other is tucked up again the body underneath the feathers to keep it nice and warm.

Northern Flicker. These are the numerous "white butt" birds usually seen flying away with the very obvious white rear feathers.

Turkey Vultures. Large kettles (flocks) of Turkey Vultures are now massing over the creek in preparation of their migratory exodus.

Turkey Vultures. Zooming in ...

Turkey Vulture. Zooming in even more!

Mendon Ponds Park • September 23

Devil's Bathtub. My hike with my niece began with a check on the colors in Devil's Bathtub. Just the merest hints of color were evident.

There were a number of beautiful landscapes along the ponds in the park this day!

Closed Gentian. This was the most interesting find of the day: Closed Gentians blooming along the banks of Deep Pond. These are a protected species in New York State. Believe it or not, these flowers are in full bloom: they never open! Bees are strong enough to muscle open the petals to get inside and back out again. No other insect is as capable in this regard.

Close Gentian. There were only half a dozen plants in the gentian colony. We never found any others outside of this one group.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • September 23

Pileated Woodpecker. There are still too many leaves on the trees to make it easy to see these large birds.

Great Blue Heron. These birds have been fixtures along the creek of late.

Great Blue Heron (and Reflection)

Great Blue Heron

White-breasted Nuthatch. These birds are becoming increasingly vocal.

Pale Jewelweed. This was a pleasant find as these flowers have been scarce in the park this year.

Pale Jewelweed

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • September 22

Green Heron. The first hike in Oatka after returning from the Adirondacks brought this nice heron to the creek.

Green Heron. This has certainly been a banner last summer/early fall for Green Herons along Oatka Creek.

Green Heron

Asters. Asters of all types are currently flourishing throughout the park!

Aster. This is one of the individual flowers from the previous picture.

Eastern Cottontail. Overwhelming cuteness!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Uncas Trail • September 21

Uncas Trail Trailhead. On the drive home from the Adirondacks we stopped for one more pond hike. This was to, as the sign says, Bug Lake via Uncas Trail.

Seventh Lake. We passed over the northern most tip of Seventh Lake where it joins with Eighth Lake.

This was a fun sign along the way!

Bug Lake. Bug Lake was beautiful and free of bugs this day!

American Toad. This was the reddest toad we had ever seen!

Common Loon. On Bug Lake a family of four loons fished, preened, and interacted.

Common Loons. There were two adults, like the bird on the right, and two juveniles, like the bird on the left.

Common Loon. At one point this juvenile started swimming/flying while remaining in the water for quite some distance.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Baldface Mountain • September 20

Blue Mountain. This is the early morning view at lake level. Later on we would see the mountain from an entirely different perspective.

Baldface Mountain Trailhead. After an adventurous canoe ride across Indian Lake, we reached the trailhead to Baldface Mountain. The trailhead can only be reached by water.

Normans Cove. This is view from where we landed our canoe looking back at the marina on the far lake shore.

Near the top of a gentle climb is this imposing rock face. The picture does not do it justice. The inspiration for the name "Baldface"? 

Atop Baldface Mountain. That's Normans Cove in the center. With binoculars I was able to see our canoe.

Atop Baldface Mountain. The mountain in the middle with the large square top and gray patch on the left side is Blue Mountain.

Atop Baldface Mountain. The square topped mountain left of center is Snowy Mountain.

Atop Baldface Mountain. There was a large amount of nice, flat area on top to sit, have a picnic lunch, and enjoy the scenery.