Sunday, May 8, 2011
Mother's Day Wildlife Walk
Happy Ms Day to them as celebrate and to them as are as good as Ms to relatives and neighbors. That's all of us, I think!
I made a trip to the Rogers Wildlife Refuge, in Princeton, braving the potholes and mudflats of the approach road, left unfixed, probably to deter people from speeding down and scaring the wildlife. About two miles an hour is top speed.
After a mile or so of this, you see a bird watching platform, built out onto the marsh, and a little place to park. Years since I was last here, and to my amazement the platform has been completely rebuilt, with all the steps in place and handrails and altogether sturdy construction. Very unlike the flimsy rickety thing that used to be there, which made me wonder if one day I would be pitched into the water among the snapping turtles.
Today there was sun and wind, the leaves just starting to open on the trees, and the wildflowers still in bloom. Once the leaves open, and the canopy shades them out, they vanish again till next year. So for a few good days, we have spring beauties
and for a bit longer, wild phlox.
And, always the phragmites grass, native but still invasive
And the powerful scent of honeysuckle everywhere
and the sound of bullfrogs tuning up, and great blue herons
and being nagged at by redwing blackbirds
and tree swallows swiping the bluebird houses for their own. The bluebird houses are put up in pairs a few feet apart, since the tree swallows tend to pick one, and the bluebirds don't mind having the other.
And so many birdsongs, most of the birds invisible, but now and then a black and white warbler flashed across, and a wren, not a Carolina, the other kind, and catbirds and many I couldn't identify from their songs. This is a refuge that Roger Tory Peterson, the famous bird book man, visited years and years ago, and one of my friends, being along with him, well connected, you know, said, gads, he'd identified about twenty five birdsongs before they'd all got out of the car. In birding terms, it was like trying to jam along with Mozart.
So I thought I'd share this trip with you, dear blogistas.