Saturday, June 25, 2016

Centennial after the Tornado

Above: A young yellow-crowned night heron.

As I started on a bird-watching walk around Centennial Lake yesterday afternoon, it was clear that this park was very close to or in the path of Tuesday's small tornado. Broken trees were a common sight along the path, and a couple of larger trees had been snapped in two or uprooted. Park crews had done a lot of work since Tuesday to clear up debris and move it off the path.

Here are a few scenes from my walk, with the heron pictured above being the star of that afternoon's bird-watching. I found more scenes of nature on a steamy summer day rather than nature smashed by a tornado...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sunday at Font Hill Wetland Park, Ellicott City

silver-spotted skippers on milkweed

It was my first visit to this park sandwiched between Centennial Lane and Font Hill Drive in Ellicott City. Walking is on mostly level paved paths and raised boardwalks (no railings) through marsh and woodland habitats. The park is a designated hotspot in eBird, and it apparently is a great place for butterflies and dragonflies. (I submitted reports for both eBird and the Howard County annual butterfly survey.)

Parking note: I found the cramped little pull-off area on Centennial Lane. Next time, I'll try the street parking.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Some Wild Weather and Wildlife

A burst of wind and rain lasted just a few minutes on Wednesday morning, but it made some dramatic changes in scenes at Lake Kittamaqundi....Above: An  osprey seeks shelter as the weather system approaches.

A great blue heron caught in the burst is buffeted by the wind.

I heard that tree crack while I was further down the path.

Following photos: A walk around the lake in the sun on Tuesday, making observations for eBird and Howard County's annual butterfly survey...

More black rat snakes are being seen. Non-poisonous. Harmless, unless you corner one and get stupid.

More silver-spotted skippers emerged this week.

Green heron. Another one was in the nearby trees on the bank. Will they nest at Lake Kittamaqundi or move to Wilde Lake?