around the pond, through the swamp

5.5.22 ~ Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center

Six days after we saw the goslings, we returned to the nature center to find the whole family missing. I cannot bear to think about what might have happened to them. Feeling very disappointed, we took a walk around the pond and then followed the boardwalk through the swamp.

sleeping mallard
this turtle got himself into a predicament
bullfrog #1 (by the pond)
bullfrog #1 on his mossy peninsula
eastern painted turtle ~ what are those specks on its shell?
another eastern painted turtle
moss sporophytes
marsh marigold

We couldn’t believe how many dozens of bullfrogs were in the swamp!

bullfrog #2
bullfrog #3
the back of bullfrog #4
bullfrog #5
lunaria (thanks to Eliza for the id)

Before leaving we went up to the outdoor rehab enclosures to see how the raptors were doing. I managed to get this portrait of a hawk through the wires.

broad-winged hawk

Connecticut’s positivity rate is up to 11%. The CDC has now listed all 8 counties in the state at medium or high levels of transmission. We never stopped wearing a mask indoors in public, but it’s now recommended again. Sigh…

21 thoughts on “around the pond, through the swamp”

  1. Yes, I think we’ll always be wearing masks, alas. We’re looser about it outside, but still keep our distance.
    Nice wildlife shots….it’s good to see so many frogs! Sorry about the goose family… let’s hope perhaps they were relocated due to parental aggression as opposed to a predator.
    I think the dots on the turtle’s shell might be pond snails hanging on for dear life and hoping the turtle returns to the water soon! 😀 The pink flower is non-native Lunaria annua (Money Plant or Honesty). It is a biennial whose seed heads are used in dried arrangements.

    1. Thank you for the Lunaria identification, Eliza. 🙂 I see it is a naturalized species (as opposed to invasive), like beach roses. Maybe I’ll get to see their disc-shaped seedpods soon. That is so interesting about the pond snails. I imagine they were in the middle of giving the shell a good cleaning when the turtle came out of the water! I do hope the Canada goose family found a different place to live, perhaps they sought out another family group to create a creche for the little ones. But I read the goslings can’t fly until they are 10 weeks old…

  2. I loved the bullfrog pictures and that Mallard was gorgeous. Such a lovely place to visit.. The hawk, turtles and wild flowers were all great too. Heard covid was going up. We always wear our masks in indoor crowded places and we got our second booster shot. Really do not like going through another up surge of covid.

    1. Thank you, Peggy. I was surprised to see the mallard sleeping so soundly during the daytime. I wondered if it is the buddy of the missing papa goose. We got our second boosters, too, and keep wearing our masks indoors in public places, although we hardly go anywhere besides the grocery store and the pharmacy. Now that it’s getting warmer we might try an outdoor restaurant but we’re in no rush.

  3. I don’t really know what is hitchhiking on Bullfrog’s back. My first thought perhaps a pack marsh fleas! I wonder if Bullfrog can feel these critters on its back?

    I noticed the rapid increase of the coronavirus. Wonder if this increase is a reflection of increase in travel, increase in outdoor weather activities, increase in mask removals. Or if the increase is just another one of the mysteries of this virus that humans will adapt to live within.

    You may be in springtime, Barbara. Calendar wise we are considered spring. Weather wise we consider this summer. June 1st is considered hurricane season. Five seasons. Tourism is the majority of our tax revenues to keep building outrageous venues for outsiders to come here. Tons of high volume people gatherings are part of this Mexican culture and entertainment for visitors. Tourism never stops, but increases. I wear my mask always with the exception of inside my home when I have no repair person visiting.

    I’m planning to get third virus protection (Moderna) booster along with my second shingles vaccine to complete that four year lower risk at the same time in about two weeks. I keep away from people even though I feel lonely at times and isolated at other times; coping with those feelings are better than the alternative. As I hear the sirens now dashing by to the hospital behind my home.

    I’m not a mother. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are difficult for me. Some people cherish the activities. And lots of outdoor activities are in full swing here. (If you celebrate, I wish you a very peaceful and joyful Mother’s Day, Barbara).

    I like to think positive on our Goose family. So I have faith that Uncle Mallard and Papa Goose took the family to better raising grounds which the two found on their sneak-a-way. 😃

    1. Oh my goodness, I looked up marsh fleas and was led to all kinds of information on sand fleas, marsh scuds and fairy shrimp. Not bugs, but tiny crustaceans. Hmmm…

      I think all those things you mentioned are contributing to the covid numbers rising. I think we will keep testing the kids before they come visit us, wear our masks in public, and hope for the best. Keep signing up for boosters when they come along. I have to start thinking about getting a shingles vaccine, too. I hear the new one is much better and causes fewer side effects.

      I hope you enjoy your summery weather down there! I’m not fond of the heat and humidity and am gratefully soaking up as much of this mild spring weather as I can before summer gets here. We get a lot of tourists, too, and we tend to avoid certain roads and areas when they’re here, especially on the weekends. On the other hand, when family and friends come to visit there are a lot of interesting things to see and do around here to entertain them. 🙂

      Thank you for your Mothers Day wishes, TD. The holiday often makes me sad because I think of my aunt, who lost both of her adult sons. (One died at age 29 and the other at age 48.) I used to get her a card and flowers anyway, even though she protested, saying “I’m not a mother.” But I think she did appreciate being remembered. It can be a difficult holiday for many of us, especially those of us who lost our mothers at an early age.

    2. PS ~ I like the way you called the duck Uncle Mallard! 🙂 I’m going to have faith that the buddies found a safe creche for the little ones to grow up with other goslings and aunts and uncles. 🙂

      1. I have no idea why I typed Bullfrog instead of Turtle! My own dementia stages are uncontrollable, yet completely understandable to me. I’m aware of this complexity!

        Shindrix is the Shingles vaccine that I was given in December along with coronavirus third booster. CVS (our local pharmacy store) administering both. Shindrix is the newest vaccine for Shingles prevention, but it is a two part taken two to four months apart, thereafter every four years. Medicare does not pay coverage for the cost which is $170 each time.

        I did have side effects that gave me two very very tiny places of the shingles outbreak. So I do know that I am a subject to its major outbreak in my body. That tiny sampling what Shingles would give me was enough knowledge to know that I must keep up with my Shindrix vaccine!! One out of three who had chicken pox will have shingles. I’m not pushing anyone towards vaccine as I believe that health/medical is all a very personal decision for each person to make on their own particular unique set of circumstances.

        Mother’s Day is awkward. Perhaps we cope. It will hit me again before the clock strikes midnight. At the moment, I’m at peace. I just read friend’s blog, Linda, on Mother’s Day about the goslings in her life.

        1. My sister had a very bad reaction to a shingles vaccine which makes me hesitate to get it. On the other hand, my husband had a bad case of shingles on his face. The pain was so intense they prescribed him a narcotic. So I am torn…. I think I will wind up getting the vaccine, though. Will have to look into the cost, another factor to weigh…

          I’m happy to hear you read Linda’s gosling post!

  4. Great captures, Barbara! Love your first photo of the sleeping Mallard, so at peace. Those bullfrog eyes are amazing! I was recently at a swamp, had a bullfrog croak right alongside me, scare the bejeebers out of me! 😉

    1. Thank you, Donna! Oh yes, that croak startled me a few times, too. And sometimes they jump and plop into deeper water when least expected. 🙂 I think I would rather have been photographing goslings but the bullfrogs and turtles and sleepy mallard were fun to capture, too.

  5. I’m hanging onto hope that the Goose family is safe — perhaps they’re in hiding until the wee ones are stronger?? I’m upset by the COVID stats, too. Telling us that basically anything goes (no more masks, no distancing, etc.) feels just plain wrong. That virus is mutating and spreading, and I fear we’ll be back to Square One — despite some of us masking and getting vaccinated — before long. And now, with the war in Ukraine and the economy in tatters, COVID is taking a backseat in the news. Sigh, so many problems. That hawk looks like he’s daring you to come closer!

    1. I do wonder what the hawk is thinking about in his rehab enclosure and what he makes of people coming so close to observe him. I’m glad he safe until he can recover and be released. They never mention it on the news but I wonder if covid is still spreading through war-torn Ukraine, adding to their misery. Now reports are saying the vaccines are becoming less effective against the latest variants. I agree, I think people are letting their guards down way too soon and in the near future we will all be paying the piper.

  6. I’m four days behind in Reader and now, at this late hour, I came upon this post about your missing family and feel as sad as you do, but perhaps and most likely, they were hiding like mine were. I know how you feel; I worried between seeing the nest missing and seeing them clustered around their Mama on the following visit. Please keep me/all of us posted on what you learn Barbara.

    What a day you had for picture-taking, especially all the bullfrogs. For years I have heard the bullfrogs on my morning walks at the Park, but never see them – I saw one very green frog at another venue last year – that was it, but here you saw them every turn you took. The little dots on the turtle’s back are puzzling to me. I see turtles up close when walking and have some photos collected to make a fun post, but never saw those dots … do you think they are some type of pond barnacle?

    Our COVID stats are up as well – I have a dentist appointment June 9th and I think I’ll make my annual eye doc appointment before Fall when we no doubt will surge even more. I may never get my hair professionally cut again – I’ve been trimming it myself with no professional cut since October or November of 2019. That’s not a big worry … in cold weather, my hair is stuffed into a hat and in the warm weather, a high ponytail or messy bun.

    1. I don’t know about those specks on that turtle’s shell. Other readers have suggested pond snails and marsh fleas and now I will add pond barnacles to the list of possibilities. Nature is full of surprises!

      I got my hair cut professionally in May 2021 after I became fully vaccinated. It’s been growing since then and I’m just going to keep letting it grow. Will see how long the ponytail gets before I feel safe enough to get another cut. Glad you’re staying safe, my friend!

      1. Interesting about the possibilities – pond snails sounds very plausible to me.

        I had thought of being brave and getting mine cut, but now we are one of the counties back to indoor masking again, I’m not ready to make that move. I’ve never given up the mask. I’ve got a dental cleaning on June 9th to have angst about. You stay safe too Barbara. Who knew we would be in our third Summer of being grateful for nature nooks as a calm getaway and escape from the crowds?

        1. If nothing else, this pandemic is teaching us just how little control we have over the natural world. The coronavirus will keep on doing its thing in spite of our efforts to “manage” it. It strikes me how ironic it is that nature is most often a solace for us and yet, it is nature that has given this awful virus.

          1. Yes – we have learned much these past two years. Our mask mandates for indoors are already causing some rebellion. I think health experts are hoping Memorial Day get togethers are able to be held outdoors – we always manage to have at least one day over the long holiday where it pours raining. Yes, that is ironic indeed.

          2. Maybe we’ve entered our own ‘dark ages’ period of history. It’s getting harder and harder to remain optimistic in the face of it all.

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