Sunday, March 27, 2016

An Easter Morning Walk

Yesterday I was only passing through the Dykeman Spring Nature Park on the way to the grocery store. Today was a nice, leisurely stroll. The light was softer today, being overcast rather than yesterday's hard, bright sunshine, so the lushness of the new green is more apparent today. So let's amble through the park on a soft Spring morning.

The forsythias at McLean House are in full bloom
The Dykeman Walking Trail is starting to get fairly lush
A male Red-winged Blackbird fussing at me from across the wetland
An American Robin keeping a wary eye on the trail from an overhanging branch
The view across the wetland
The northeast corner of the north duck pond in proper seasonal attire
And of course, on my way back home I had to pause to get a shot of the bridges across the creek as it runs between the ball fields
© 2016 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Saturday, March 26, 2016


The Vernal Equinox was last Sunday and Easter is tomorrow, and things are blooming and greening at a lively pace now. In town and in the woods, Spring is popping!

The Weeping Cherry in the little gazebo park across the street is blooming
Daffodils and Jonquils line the walk to the gazebo
The Pussy Willows along the Dykeman Walking Trail are popping
The undergrowth in the woods along the Dykeman Walking Trail is greening up nicely
More shrubbery in the Dykeman Spring wetland is turning green
The banks of the creek in the Dykeman Spring wetland are greening as well
© 2016 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Vernal Equinox 2016

Yesterday was the Vernal Equinox, but I had to work, so I'm doing my annual Welcome Spring post today. This morning I walked through the Dykeman Spring Nature Park to find Daffodils and Mallards. And when I got home I watched the birds visiting my feeder station in the back yard. I recently switched to a new seed mixture which has no cracked corn or millet and voila! No more House Sparrows! But the Finches seem to love the new food, and I'm hoping that the absence of Sparrows will attract other birds as well. 

It's still chilly here but it's supposed to start warming up for good tomorrow. So Spring is moving along; get ready for more flowers!

Daffodils growing by the Dykeman Walking Trail
Mr. & Mrs. Mallard promenading by the north duck pond
A male House Finch at the sunflower seed feeder
A male Goldfinch in mid-molt at the seed feeder
© 2016 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

This Morning's Walk

This morning I walked down Martin Ave., one of Shippensburg's back streets, to the Brookside Ave. wetland. I had intended to do a survey of Burd Run at both the wetland and at the streambed restoration area on Britton Rd., but I got a late start, and once I got to the wetland and walked around a bit it was time to get home for lunch. I was looking for signs of Spring again. I didn't see any blooms or leaves, but I saw and heard lots of Red-winged Blackbirds in the wetland, and noticed that the Canada Geese were pairing up for the mating season. Heh, heh! The geese were certainly making it known - VERY LOUDLY! - that my presence was not at all welcome. Anyhow, here are some shots from the walk.

An old, ivy-covered barn/garage on Martin St. I've passed this building many times, and I've even taken a least a dozen pictures of it, but this is the first time I got a shot I liked.
A juvenile Turkey Vulture, probably one of last year's hatchlings by the look
A Tree Swallow nesting box in the Brookside Ave. wetland. There were plenty of Tree Swallows darting around in the air, but the boxes are still empty; it's not quite nesting time yet.
A view of the collection pond in the Brookside Ave. wetland
© 2016 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

First Signs of Spring

The view around here is still dominated by shades of brown and gray, but after a week of warmer than usual temperatures some signs of Spring have begun to appear. On a walk through the Dykeman Spring Nature Park yesterday morning I approached some of those signs with the macro function on my camera turned on; some of these were pretty small!

Tiny Chickweed flowers are much better seen very close up
The Daffodils along the Dykeman Walking Trail are still at least a week away from blooming
This unknown flowering shrub has some very potent flowers; I smelled them from several yards away
© 2016 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Late Winter Landscapes

We're into March now, but even though March 1 officially marks the beginning of meteorological Spring, the Vernal Equinox is still 3 weeks off and the temperatures are still just barely above the freezing mark. Nothing blooms as yet; the landscape is still predominantly gray and brown and yellow, and this has its own austere beauty. A walk through the Dykeman Spring Nature Park reveals just such beauty.

A view across the Dykeman Spring wetland
Another view of the wetland with Purple Martin house
A view of the north duck pond
Looking east on the upland meadow
A Wyeth-esque scene on the upland meadow
A tangled copse on the upland meadow
A last look west across the upland meadow before leaving the park
© 2016 by A. Roy Hilbinger