Life on a family farm
in the wilds of
Upstate New York
Sunday, March 20, 2016
The NYC crew is only home for a few hours this weekend, but the best will be made of the interlude. Last night, after supper, Alan and I took the "new" Durango on its baptismal birding run. We went first to the pond up by Lykers Road and then to the Rural Grove State Forest, where there are both another small pond and a number of vernal pools.
At Lykers we saw a low-swooping Red-tailed Hawk, which barely missed dragging his talons through the water, so low did he fly.
A pair of Canada Geese, not much concerned about our arrival, plus a pair of Hooded Mergansers sailing among the cattails. I was watching the latter when the male spread his glowing crest, just so the light of the setting sun shone right through it. Wow. You can't make that stuff up.
As we drove to Rural Grove the sun continued a long, slow, decline from the day, turning the still-naked horizons amazing shades of peach and clear, crystal, orange. There was little moisture in the cold, sharp air, and the views were stunning.
Even more stunning were the things we found, just as we entered the state lands. Someone had evidently been butchering and there were three of these things sticking up from the ground like macabre sentinels guarding the gates.
Undaunted, we proceeded anyhow, and found Mallards, the remains of someone's wild bonfire night, and peepers singing the siren song of spring. They were all around us but not a single wood frog chuckled from the wooded puddles. Might have been too cold as temperatures dropped into the teens very rapidly. Anyhow, it was a fine interval between work and worry, and I thank Alan for thinking of it and for taking me out there. Now the new car knows the way to at least a couple of our birdy hotspots......