On my way from the laundromat to the grocery store this morning, I traveled by way of the Dykeman Walking Trail. It's been very humid lately, with an afternoon/evening thundershower every day, and often fog in the early morning. So everything is fairly damp, including the air, so that us poor humans walking about get pretty damp pretty quick ourselves.
The result of all that dampness is an increased bug population, and in the Dykeman Springs wetlands area more bugs mean lots more Swallows zooming around scooping them up. We have a combination of Tree Swallows and Northern Rough-winged Swallows, with the occasional Barn Swallow flying along to provide extra color. This morning as I was walking past the fence around Ripple Field I noticed a bunch of Rough-winged Swallows lined up on it. Most of them flew off when I got near, but one juvenile stayed put, and even started doing the "feed me" dance - rapidly fluttering the wings with beak agape, begging for food. I'm still wondering id the little bugger actually thought I was Papa!
The little'un stayed there with me just maybe 10 feet away, and then Mama swooped up and tried to get him/her/it to move off. This was definitely a "FLEE THE EVIL HUMAN, YOU DIMWIT!" move. It didn't work, and the little bugger was still there on the fence when I moved on. I guess parents are right - their kids really don't listen to them.
Along the trail at the duck pond the Swallows were doing their zooming tricks over the water, scooping up all those delicious mosquitoes and gnats and dragonflies, etc. But what really caught my attention was the sight of a flock of Cedar Waxwings joining in the hunt. But unlike the Swallows the Waxwings paused to rest on overhanging branches from time to time, allowing me to get this shot:
On one of the bridges over the creek I found this Orb Weaver spider's web still beaded from the morning fog, which had burned off by then. I wonder if Mama Spider used that big drop as her own personal reservoir?
On the way back to the street I managed to get a better shot of a Common Wood Nymph butterfly than I was able to get last Sunday. Last week I had to use the zoom, but this week this butterfly actually allowed me to get close enough to use the macro setting, hence the superior clarity. I love getting this close to nature!
And that's today's walk. Enjoy!
© 2013 by A. Roy Hilbinger