crocuses, black vulture, brants, stumps

3.26.22 ~ more crocuses in my garden

As we were leaving for an intended walk at Avery Point on Saturday I was delighted to find some more crocuses opening up in the garden.


Then we drove down towards Avery Point and suddenly saw a black vulture guarding a dead racoon on the side of the road! When we slowed down to get a good look at him he started walking away, eyeing us carefully. He didn’t want to leave his prize but he also didn’t exactly want to stick around us humans.

3.26.22 ~ black vulture near Avery Pond

We finally moved on and left him in peace to tackle the task nature has assigned to him.


Distracted by seeing the vulture up close, next thing we knew we had missed our turn into Avery Point. We pulled into the Eastern Point parking lot to turn around and spotted a flock of brants swimming and feeding in the estuary. Hopped out of the car and took a few pictures. But I had my heart set on getting to Avery Point.

3.26.22 ~ brants in the Thames River estuary

On we drove to the Avery Point campus, but, there was a wedding happening and the parking lot, which is open to the public on weekends, was full. And we knew from experience that they wouldn’t allow us to walk in front of the mansion and along the seawall, spoiling the view for the guests.


We then decided to go for a walk in the muddy woods at Copp Family Park. It was a partly cloudy day, with an afternoon temperature of about 50°F (10°C). Being a weekend day we encountered quite a few people, and because there is a dog park there we also ran across a few loose dogs. (They’re supposed to be on a leash until they get into the enclosed dog park.) Sigh… Next time we’ll keep to the trails that don’t go by the dog park.

moss covered stump
a tiny princess pine with its cone-shaped flower
stump with moss and lichens
one of the trails
a tall stump at eye level
this woman was looking at her son hiding
in the space between two glacial erratics
a new stump with mushrooms

An interesting afternoon, full of surprises! Our shoes got wet but not too muddy after all.

32 thoughts on “crocuses, black vulture, brants, stumps”

  1. Your crocus are beautiful. I love these little flowers. Great capture of the vulture and brants. Well, guess one can’t mess up a wedding to explore. Nice walk in the woods withs lots of small interesting things to photograph.

    1. Thank you, Peggy. We’ll just have to try Avery Point another weekend — it’s one of my favorite walks but it’s a college campus so parking for the public is not permitted during the week.

  2. I so enjoy to use your keen eyes/sight/, Barbara. So rich, your posts. Wonderful thought – one time literally walk together with you. Not in this life i think:)

    1. Thank you, Leelah! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to take a walk with each other? 🙂 I wish my travel days weren’t behind me. I’d love to visit Norway again… 🙁

  3. It was a pure delight to join you on your walk, Barbara. I enjoyed hearing about your determination to get to Avery Pond and your day’s adventures. How exciting to see the black vulture with his raccoon prize. In the western U.S. we don’t have the black vulture, so that is a treat for me. Crocus are not often around either. Fantastic photo of the Brants geese, and lovely to see the plants, stumps, lichen and erratics as well. Thank you, Barbara.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Jet! This is only the second black vulture I’ve ever seen and was quite astonished to come across him just a few feet away from me on the ground. The last one was way high up on a water tower. On this day the brants were in the estuary and the Canada geese were in a nearby pond. I never see them in the same spot at the same time, although they frequent the same places. Happy to have you along!

  4. Aw, those crocuses are stunning! I don’t have any, but I’ve noticed some in other yards emerging as Monkey and I do our walks. I love the mossy stump (looks like velvet) and the princess pine (what a cute name!), too.

    1. Thank you, Debbie! Seeing crocuses come in after the snowdrops always makes me happy. 🙂 I wonder if you have princess pines in your state? All the range maps I see online are different. They are such a joy to find in the woods and don’t seem as plentiful as they were when I was a child.

  5. Such a delight to see your first beautiful photo of the crocus! Some fine-looking birds, I am jealous of that great shot of your Brants. 😉 Your stump covered with moss and lichen…..I instantly saw two hearts created by the moss!! 😍

    1. Thank you, Donna! That was a lucky shot for me of those brants. They kept swimming away with their backs to me. But then Tim strolled away from me so they couldn’t keep their backs to both of us at the same time. 😉 Now that you mention it, I see the hearts! 💚

  6. The photo titled “one of the trails” was really nice to see what you both, and us walk-a-longs,are about to get ourselves into! No snow, not too muddy and 50 degrees seems good to me considering your area is still dipping into the 30s. I could smell the trail (must be a memory recorded of hiking so many years myself or my oak trees that are pollenating.)

    Enjoyed the journal story line of this particular walk!!

    I imagine that you are hiding plastic colored Easter eggs filled with a surprise for your granddaughter and daughter to find around the home during their spring visit this week.

    Yorkie and I took a short walk this morning noticing a mountain laurel is blooming purple. And this past weekend we watched two sets of mourning doves pat in their nests in my oak tree and my neighbor’s tree over my fence. It’s Wednesday and I haven’t seen either leave their nest. I’ve seen their gentle partner’s bring food supply and support.

    1. Thank you, TD! We never did get around to doing anything for an early Easter celebration while Kat was here, but we still had more than enough fun things to do while she was here. I never heard of purple mountain laurel before but I see from a quick internet search that it grows in Texas. How pretty! We have a couple of mountain laurel sanctuaries in our state and it is the Connecticut state flower. How lucky you are to see the mourning doves nesting! A couple have visited our balcony a few times but I don’t think they found it a suitable enough place to build a nest.

    1. Thank you, Lux! And welcome to my blog. It surprised me, but the vulture didn’t seem that scary up close.

    1. You’re very welcome, Kathy. I hope your spring comes out of hiding soon! It was fun seeing people on the rocks, for size perspective.

  7. I like crocus, but they don’t do well here. That vulture is something to see up close. It’s wonderful that you got to for a Spring walk in the woods and not get your shoes too muddy. Seems like a win-win.

    1. It was surprising to see vulture up so close. Not nearly as intimidating as I might have thought. That’s too bad that crocuses don’t do well at your place. I hope you have some other bulbs that welcome you to spring!

  8. Loved the stumps! I love that you notice and take pictures of things most would just walk by. I’m in NC this week enjoying the early spring blooms.

    1. Thank you, Anna! There’s something about having a camera in hand that makes me look more closely for nature’s artwork. I’ve been to NC at this time of year, it’s beautiful! I hope you enjoyed your week there!

  9. I just love seeing the scenery from your part of our lovely country; it is vastly different from mine way down here in the hot south.
    When you mention Crocus, my mind always goes to the Runaway Bunny book which was a favorite for me to read to my girls. I don’t know that I’ve seen a crocus in person, but because of the book, I know what they look like.
    The Brants are lovely water fowl aren’t they? They looks so formal with their black upper jackets on.

    1. It always amazes me how there are things so common around here that people in other parts of the country have never seen or heard of before. (I remember encountering hibiscuses for the first time in Florida.) I went online a listened to the Runaway Bunny book being read on YouTube and saw the crocuses. 🙂 Somehow I had never heard of that book before. Love the brants. First time I ever saw them up here was in 2018. Now I see them quite often.

  10. Your crocuses sure got big from the last time you showed us them! I’ve never seen a vulture – oh my and what long legs and big feet he had as he goose-stepped by. We do have turkey vultures with the red heads, but this is a first for seeing a vulture up close … hope he did not mangle his roadkill too much when you had to see it. The moss is beautiful and looks velvety soft and as if it glows in the dark. Too bad you had fits and starts in your walk and I have the same thing as my Park, which is NOT a dog park, yet people have blinders on to the sign with the ordinance #s about not having dogs in the Park. Sigh.

    1. Ah, the crocuses I showed you last time were different, all dark purple. They’re spent now. For some reason these crocuses bloom a little later in the season. We see lots of turkey vultures flying overhead, at least I think that’s what they are. But never up close like this amazing encounter. The racoon looked as if it was recently hit by a car and tossed to the side of the road, still intact. Unless the vulture dragged it there. My guess is that the vulture hadn’t started to eat it yet but really didn’t want to leave his find when we showed up. Yeah, I doubt I’ll be going to that dog area of the park again. A few bad apples spoil things for everyone else. Sigh.

      1. Well that’s nice your crocuses bloom in stages. The turkey vultures have bright red faces. You were very close up to the vulture (and unfortunately for you, the raccoon as well). It seems that is always the way Barbara – a few bad apples ruin it for everyone else.

        1. The circle of life… It always makes me remember elementary school when the whole class would get punished for something a few students had done. Negative peer pressure never seemed to bother the culprits, though.

          1. I know and it happens in the workplace too – I’m glad I work from home now and don’t deal with that because there was always someone who pushed the envelope – left early, came in late and ruined it for the rest of us. The people who took the bus (like me) were allowed to leave at 4:50 p.m. to beat the rush of other downtown commuters racing to get to the bus stop. We were expected to start work a little earlier – no problem because if you take the bus, it is good practice to take the bus before to ensure you weren’t late. So, people started coming in the regular time, leaving at 4:30, so suddenly that little nicety was stopped. It made a big difference for me as I often missed the early bus and had to hang around another 20 minutes or so and by then was in the thick of rush hour.

          2. That sounds awful! Commuting must have been such a frustration, especially when made worse by the behavior of your coworkers, and I can see why working from home would reduce your stress levels immeasurably. I guess Tim was lucky to live so close to his job for most of his working life. One reason my sister lives with us during the week is because she lives an hour away from her job, which is close to us. I never realized that rush hour in the city would make commuting by bus difficult. We don’t have any large cities near us.

    1. You’re welcome, Kay! I knew some of my readers would be disturbed by seeing the dead racoon and I was happy the vulture stepped away from it so I could get the pictures!

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