Spring Bulbs, Waterfowl, and a Snake

After some snow last week the weather warmed up again and it is feeling like spring.

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Cheery crocuses

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Mini daffodils

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Rhubarb emerging last week.  Already the leaves are much bigger today.

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I heard reports of common loons in our area on their way north and I went to the Sagahashkee Slough to see if I could spot any.  It was a cloudy day and I did not see loons, but enjoyed watching other waterfowl.

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There were maybe 40- 50 American coots on the west end of the slough.  A fisherman was seeing what he could catch, but he told me he had not caught any fish.

IMG_7193 American coots

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I spent a while trying to get a picture of this guy, that I think is a horned grebe with breading plumage.

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Another view of the male horned grebe.

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I wondered if this could be the female or a juvenile as it seemed nearby without the yellow head plumage.  It was continually diving for food.

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By the lake I came across a rugged path along the south side of the slough that I will have to come back and explore with Dan some time.  I continue to be amazed at how many places there are still for us to explore for the first time in the Palos forest preserves.

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Unidentified seed heads by the lake.

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Mosses on tree trunk

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There was a large patch of little blue flowers by the side of the path.

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As I walked along the path I just about stepped on this little garter snake.  It was maybe 15 inches long.  I poked the tail very gently with a stick to try to get it to move out of my way.

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It curled up and showed me its red tongue, but I had more room to get by.  I like how this picture captures the design.

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I drove to Maple lake to see if there might be loons there, but it was hard to get close enough to the birds and my camera battery was dying.  I managed to get a picture of a red-breasted merganser couple.

I was going to end with a short video of a muskrat at Lake Katherine, but I am having trouble getting it to upload, so maybe another time….

2 thoughts on “Spring Bulbs, Waterfowl, and a Snake

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