Today was a good day for viewing Ballard Park in super close-up; lots of things blooming that are best viewed through the macro lens. The Lily-of-the-Valley and the Canada Mayflower are still going strong, but the flower that many of us have been anxiously awaiting is finally up - the Jack-in-the-Pulpits back by the seasonal stream are finally up! These aren't small flowers by any means, but the way they're constructed makes the close-up view the best view of all.
And even closer...
Of course, the Canada Mayflower is still blooming...
As is the Lily-of-the-Valley, although it's almost past its peak:
Insect life is picking up, and today I saw my first Orchard Orb Weaver spider (Leucauge venusta) of the season:
Birds are much more active now, especially now that the Spring migratories have arrived. There was lots of birdsong in the park, but since the foliage is pretty much fully out, it's tough to see more than just motion. I heard lots of songs: the usual Catbirds and Robins and Cardinals and Chickadees and Tufted Titmice, but also Eastern Towhees, Goldfinches, Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, Phoebes, Great Crested Flycatchers, Downy Woodpeckers, a Northern Flicker, and at least one Baltimore Oriole (and if that isn't a gorgeous sound!). But I didn't actually get to see any birds until I got out of the park and down Hazard Rd. to the Gooseneck Cove salt marsh. There were several flocks of Least Sandpipers skimming above the water and landing in the marsh grass, but only this one came close enough and actually posed for the camera:
There were lots of Yellow Warblers around, but they like to hide. This one finally stayed in one fairly naked tree and commenced to warbling. I got about 10 shots of this beauty, but this is the best one. Enjoy!
© 2010 by A. Roy Hilbinger