Professional Development

It's Called Professional DevelopmentAfter six hours in a CPR class, Sarah and I decided we NEEDED to take our summer intern around Big Pond… you know… so we could show her where the trail goes… you know… so she won’t get lost with her Day Camp kids next week.  Yeah… that’s it… It’s Professional Development!   Ooh!  And we can check the nest boxes while we’re out there… you know… in preparation for Jen’s Nest Box program on Saturday.  You gotta love a job where taking a walk around the property can be considered professional development or prep for a class.

Canada LilyWe brought binoculars with the idea of  using them on birds.  There were many great moments along the way – bird and non-bird.  For example, the Canada Lilies were in bloom.  How gorgeous their orange blossoms looked against the blue sky.  We also saw Deptford Pinks and the pale yellow of Rough-fruited Cinquefoil… so pretty.

DarnerAnd, as if the intense blue of the sky were not enough, a darner (whose species I haven’t yet determined) landed and posed quietly so I could get a photo or two.

We rounded the corner and headed out to the photo blind on the peninsula where we watched Kingfishers and Song Sparrows.  The still water reflected the blue of the sky and the green of the spatterdock Lily leaves blended perfectly.  The Phoebe who had nested above the entry to the blind was gone and the nest was empty.  We wondered if she would be back later for a second brood.

It wasn’t easy to tear ourselves away from the serenity of that view, but we were expecting a guest at the Center and we knew we had better move on.

MuskratOut on the Big Pond Dike, we saw frogs, dragonflies, crickets, and Cedar Waxwings.  We were also entertained by a Muskrat who was munching on duckweed.

Oh yeah… bird boxes.  We finally made our way through the woods where we wondered about the names of several mushrooms, and picked out good places for future games of “Camouflage”.

Kim Checks Eggs while Mamma WatchesThe Tree Swallow box had a mamma bird that didn’t seem to want to get off her eggs.  I held her while Kim counted:  five warm eggs.

After this, I sent Kim and Sarah on to meet our guest so I could check a few more boxes.  When I got to the boxes in the Arboretum, I was met by two deer.  Can you find them?


The weirdest thing of all happened as I was checking the last box… I felt something brush against my foot.  I looked down and saw this:

Ferret? Or Weasel?

I don’t know what he was doing at Audubon.  Isn’t he cute?

Ferret (or Weasel?) in Pouch

All this happened in 2 hours.  It’s amazing…  What happened on your last walk?

8 thoughts on “Professional Development

  1. Wonderful pictures. What is the cute little fur ball? There is so much to see when walking this month! On my noon walk today I saw toads, frogs, tadpoles, dragon and damselflies, 2 ribbon snakes eating little toads, a turkey vulture, a blue heron and lots of mosquitoes! There were lots of deer prints in the mud and I knew they were watching us!

  2. I don’t know what it is. It acted awfully tame, which made me think it was a ferret. But it looks just like a weasel. Would someone have a pet weasel? It let me pick it up and it loved being in the red journal pouch… I’ll let you know when I find out more about him.

  3. Looks like Audubon has a new pet but I agree that it does look like a Weasel! I wonder if it’s a younger weasel and doesn’t know any better? How exciting of a day, well except for the CPR stuff!

  4. Wow-lots of activity.-I didn’t know that mama birds we be so determined to stay on the eggs. She actually let you hold her-that’s cool!

  5. Pingback: Big Field, Audubon, Jamestown NY « Audubon Odonata Survey

  6. Hi Jennifer,
    Found your blog through Larry’s. WOW, this was a great post and a good reason for any of us to spend a couple hours out for a walk (you definitely deserved it after CPR training). Thanks for taking us along.

  7. My walk yesterday evening was down to the creek with my dog. I observed bugs skittering on the surface of the creek. The ball I tossed in the creek for the dog slowly circled around in the eddy before heading to the lake. (I threw it too deep for the dog.) Trout started to strike the bugs, the dog took off, I ran up the bank after her, while the trout giggled and said “ha, ha, you missed us again!”

  8. Pingback: The Rest of the Story… « A Passion for Nature

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