close to home

5.16.20 ~ eastern painted turtle at Beach Pond, Groton

Last weekend we took a long meandering early morning walk at Eastern Point Beach. No pictures because the place had been trashed, complete with broken beer bottles. We wanted to see it before it opened for the summer because we will not be going there much. Only before or after hours (8am-8pm) when it opens June 20. Still concerned about possible exposure to COVID-19. On the other hand, since people will have to purchase season passes to enter between 8am and 8pm, perhaps the individuals currently vandalizing the place will go elsewhere.

When we drove past Beach Pond Tim spied a turtle sitting on a rock in the pond. He loves turtles. ♡ So we stopped and I got the above photo!

5.16.20 ~ Calf Pasture Overlook, Groton

Then we checked out a nice mini-park with one bench and one picnic table, overlooking Baker Cove. Maybe we’ll come here for our summer outdoor suppers… (Eating in our car, of course. Just in case the virus is on the bench or picnic table.)

And then the next morning we hopped over to the Sparkle Lake Conservation Area, practically in our back yard, and enjoyed some lovely scenery and did some birdwatching.

5.17.20 ~ Sparkle Lake Conservation Area, Groton, Connecticut
5.17.20 ~ gray catbird

The catbird is a bit of a busybody. Its presence should caution you to be extra careful about what you say and to whom. Things will have a greater potential of being made public or being distorted. Its presence can hint at others being overly inquisitive about your own affairs or that you are being so about others.
~ Ted Andrews
(Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small)

5.17.20 ~ red-winged blackbird

Spring is such a lovely time of year.

22 thoughts on “close to home”

    1. Thank you, Timi! It’s funny how we’re just discovering these places after living here so long. We used to travel elsewhere or go to our beach. Too bad it took a pandemic to get us to explore our local treasures. 🙂

        1. Oh, and a funny coincidence: a friend of mine who lives just a few blocks away spotted a gray catbird for the first time at one of their feeders. Luckily she had her binoculars and a field guide with her, which enabled her to make the identification. I’ve never seen one, and assumed they don’t frequent these parts, but now I will be on the lookout! 🙂

          1. I hope you do spot one, Timi! Did your friend happen to hear the catbird’s call? To me they sound like a cranky cat complaining about something or other. But Tim doesn’t think they sound like a cat at all. 🙂 Around here we hear them in the low growth all the time, much more often than we see them, though they did come to our feeder a couple of winters ago. The one in the pictures was pretty much at eye level in the tree.

          2. I don’t know if she heard it or not. I noticed in my field guide comments that it is harder to see one than to hear one. I think I may have seen one briefly at my feeder, but I didn’t get a long enough look to make a positive ID>

          3. If you’re lucky maybe it will come back to your feeder soon and you will make a positive id! According to the range map I looked at they breed in your area.

          4. I hope it does return! My Ohio field guide notes say it sounds like a mewing cat, hence the name. The guide comes with a CD of all the species’ calls and songs, but I haven’t listened to it yet. If I recall correctly from the Audubon guided hike with Chris Lotz, eBird also can play calls and songs. Speaking of which, Bird Academy is offering a free course on eBird Essentials, which I signed up for but haven’t yet started. It also offers a class on identifying feeder birds, which I also enrolled in, but haven’t started yet. My FutureLearn.com class, “Extinctions: Past and Present,” is taking up all my online class-time for the moment. I haven’t even finished Joy of Birdwatching yet!

          5. Keep me posted! I’m still working on Joy of Birdwatching, too. Maybe when I finish I will look into eBird Essentials. 🙂 I never heard of FutureLearn.com – looks like they offer a lot.

          6. Yes, I’ve taken a number of really good classes from FutureLearn. One of the things I like about their classes is the student comment feature, where you can respond to other students, as well as getting answers to your questions from them, as well as the course instructors. I have a bit of a friendship on the Extinctions class with a man from England, and I’m being followed there by a woman who lives in Moscow and a young man in Lesotho, South Africa.

          7. Timi, I admire the way you connect with so many people and have so many varied interests that keep you busy learning new things. You’re a true Renaissance woman!

  1. Nice pics of your walk. And very nice pictures, too, capturing the beauty of it. Thinking about sitting on picnic benches and wondering now. I think I would sit on a picnic table and eat lunch, but maybe that’s because we have so few cases here. We’ll see how my feelings or the statistics change as the summer passes. Happy Memorial Day weekend!

    1. Thank you, Kathy! I hope you’re enjoying your Memorial Day weekend, too.

      Scientists don’t seem to know for sure how long the COVID-19 virus can survive on surfaces so we would rather err on the side of caution. All our playgrounds are closed for the same reason, and they are removing the picnic tables from the beach property for the summer season. Waiting to see how things go now that Connecticut is starting to open up…

  2. Sparkle Lake is a good name for a lake. When I think of lakes I think of the light glistening off the water. The turtle photo is fun. No need to hurry, eh?

    1. Turtles have all the time in the world, don’t they? Seems like we do, too, lately. I love lakes that sparkle in the sunshine, and the ocean even more. Thanks so much for stopping by, Ally!

    1. Thank you, Jeff! It’s wonderful having so much nature surrounding our little city. Hope you’re on the mend! *hugs*

  3. The cat bird! I think we’ve been getting them at our suet feeder, but we didn’t know what/who they were. I better be careful what I say around them. Your photos are fab, and the painted turtle makes my heart sing. There’s something about turtles that moves me. Is that weird? Well, I guess your guy doesn’t think so. I visited a home many years ago where the owners had “saved” a turtle they found in the wetlands and kept it/him/her in a smallish glass container. I stayed and visited with the turtle (instead of the people) and he moved over to me and stared directly in my eyes. I wanted to rescue him, but perhaps he was content. He’s in that same container now, 12 years later!

    1. Thank you, Pam! Looking at a range map it would seem gray catbirds live here on the Connecticut shoreline year-round but visit your state and Timi’s for breeding. Interesting. Yes, we should all be minding our tongues!

      I’m so happy the turtle made your heart sing! It’s not weird at all. It’s fascinating how different animals speak to us. I love the story of your turtle encounter. It reminded me of the time I fell in love with a manatee at an aquarium somewhere in Florida when I was a child. It was in a small outdoor pool and we made eye contact. My parents and sister went and toured the rest of the place and found me much later, still communing with the manatee. Amazing that the turtle you connected with is still there after 12 years! Turtles really do have time to spare…

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