February 22nd. A male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) up close.
Ice forms at the exit stream again.
February 24th. An afternoon walk east from Cook Hill Road in Lebanon, at 57 degrees hoping for basking Mourning Cloak butterflies. No luck, but plenty else to photograph.
Once there was a heron roost here with eight nests; abandoned after the marsh below was drained by removal of a beaver dam at the outlet stream.
Warm temps meant a thawed muddy surface.
Fruiting body of Scouring Rush (Equisetum hyemale affine) and a ring of tiny leaves at a joint below.
Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) in bloom.
A Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) singing loud (as they do). Learn more about it here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Carolina_Wren/
Next stop, Raymond Brook Marsh, hoping for basking turtles. No luck. Wonder why I took this picture?
A closer view. Notice the little circular depression at the center?
It's a whirlpool! A cavity below leads to a long abandoned culvert under the trail.
Branches above add fine details to the swirl.
February 25th. Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) at the pond east of Route 207.
Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) too.
Last year's abandoned Great Blue Heron nest still looks in good shape. Will hope it will be occupied again.