As nice as my last trip to Hartley to monitor the frogs was, even nicer is going on a similar hike with a friend who is smarter and more observant than me, because that way I see things like a spotted sandpiper on the rocks by the big pond and an osprey fishing overhead (okay, I probably would have noticed the osprey on my own). She was also able to identify that the flutey hooting noise that I heard last time and that we heard again tonight as a snipe, plus she ID'ed by song several warblers in the woods earlier in the evening (yellow, yellowthroat, ovenbird and redstart) and later, outside the park in a rich people neighborhood, a barred owl.
Being a writer is kind of a curious occupation, because readers sometimes assume that you are an expert in whatever has been published with your name attached to it. For instance, I've had some people read the content dreck that I've written for quick cash and assume that I know a lot more about gardening or nutrition than I actually do, and the same goes for naturey stuff (which I do take more seriously than content dreck). But really, I am a rank amateur naturalist, I am a nerd with field guides, and almost everything I know I learned from books or from my friend C.
Starflower, trilliums and bunchberries all flowering now, and the wild apple trees are strewing petals in the trail. Right at dusk, we saw two bats snatching bugs overhead--the first bats either of us have seen in along time. And, once again, the frogs did not disappoint. Upon entering the marsh, we spoke in hushed tones, walked slowly and stopped often, listening to the peepers and tree frogs, but once we were in the thick of it we had to raise our voices just to be heard and we had to keep moving because the frog decibels were literally painful (I am not exaggerating when I say that my ears were actually ringing slightly when we got back into the woods). And all the while the frogs kept on singing and singing and singing, seemingly oblivious to the lumbering mammals shuffling over the boardwalks.
Merlin: a simple app to identify birds
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