Yesterday was a glorious day to be outside. I chose to wander some woodland trails along Shenantaha, or what we now refer to as Ballston Creek.
I began my outing at Ballston Creek Preserve and continued my wildflower inventory. Where a month ago was a carpet of blooming Carolina Spring Beauty, there was now no evidence to suggest that the plant was even present on this property. Those spring ephemeral wildflowers are like that. Same with Trout Lily – no evidence to indicate that they, too, are a common resident here. The lone species that I spied as a new entry on my inventory was this beautiful, albeit invasive, plant –
While standing at the edge of the marsh at the end of Pat’s Trail, I surveyed this expanse to see what other “new arrivals” were occupying the many nests in the dead trees.
Heron rookery in meadow along Ballston Creek
Every heron nest appeared to have at least one occupant awaiting its feeding.
Great Blue Heron adult with 3 nestlings
I was unable to view any such occupants of the lone Osprey nest, but both parents obliged with this photo op –
Osprey pair in nest in marsh along Ballston Creek
I then backtracked to the small parking lot at the entrance to Shenantaha Creek Park. From there, I continued my outing on the woodland trails at this park.
I found several species in bloom –
Large Blue Flag
Purple-flowering Raspberry on shale bedrock cliff face along Shenantaha
Branching Bur Reed
I also found a few new entries for my inventory at this property. All in all, a productive as well as therapeutic outing.