Along with the arrival of the stately Canada Geese each Spring at Wachusett Meadow, I look forward to the quiet presence of the brilliantly iridescent male Mallard and the subtly colored female Mallard with her surprising blue spot. I especially enjoy the spunky Hooded Mergansers, the male flaunting his bold stripes, and both male and female sporting their punk hairdos.
Wachusett Meadow’s Wildlife Pond is home to beavers year-round, as well as an array of seasonal guests such as Wood Ducks that roost in boxes above the water. Great Blue Herons nest in the tops of dead trees, and Canada Geese cruise both the waterway and the land. Let the Summer rentals begin!
There are many early indicators of a seasonal shift from Winter to Spring at Wachusett Meadow Farm in New England — an increase in snowshoe travel, strong shadows and patterns, running streams, melting snow patches on stone walls, diminishing icicles, sheep wool thick enough for shearing and diverse creatures sunbathing and feeding.
The clouds accumulating before last week’s Winter storm felt ominous, yet were mesmerizing. In relationship to the landscape, they provided an experience of dramatic movement during a shift in atmospheric pressure.
My point-and-shoot camera enables me to see amazing details, even at a great distance. During a recent walk at Mass Audubon Wachusett Meadow, I thought I saw a nest swinging near the top of a tree. Thanks to my camera, I was delighted to discover that it was really this gorgeous Barred Owl!
The Sun was perfect for capturing “eye light” in animals and birds of different sizes. A close inspection of the squirrels’ eyes reveal barns and landscapes of the Audubon. The eyes of the titmouse and the northern cardinal are harder to decode, but they sparkle charmingly, anyway.
The “Prague Sun” is the most valuable object in the collection of the Loreto Liturgical Treasures in the Czech Republic. This breathtaking Sun shape is made of a high gilded silver from 1699 and weighs over 12 kg. It is decorated by 6222 diamonds.
On a recent walk by a familiar stream, I was dazzled not by gilded silver or diamonds, but by glistening ice in sunburst patterns around a stone.
(Prague Sun photograph courtesy of Creative Commons.)