Jewels Along the Canal

26 07 2015

I often visit a feeder canal that is within 5 minutes of my house. The trail is nicely maintained by the Town of Trenton. I never know what a walk along the canal will have in store as the diversity of habitat and species found along the 3+ miles always makes for an interesting outing even when I don’t leave the parking area.

There is a wooded area a short ways down the path that is filled with a beautiful variety of spring woodland wildflowers. When they emerge they look like precious jewels on the forest floor. At this time of year that same area is home to jewels of a different kind. The Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies like shallow, shaded streams and the feeder canal is prefect for them.

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Normally Ebony Jewelwings are flighty damselflies and when I approach them they fly up into the trees to bask in the sun. The other morning they were pretty calm and even allowed me to slide my finger in to be their perch.

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20150719EbonyJewelwing-4Now that is what I call bling! The rainbow of metallic colors that reflect off the body and wing edges is miraculous. It always amazes me how molecules can align themselves to create such intricate and beautiful structural colors patterns.

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The next time you are walking near a wooded stream look for the fluttering black wings and glistening blue and green bodies.

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Sweet Somethings

20 07 2015

I have noticed in several bird species that mated pairs communicate with each other in different tones than what they use for singing or calling to the rest of the world. It reminds me of “sweet nothings” that lovers are said to whispers in each others ears except these sounds aren’t nothing and should be called “sweet somethings.” They are used to keep couples in contact with each other and to strengthen pair bonds which in turn increases the likelihood of success when raising young.

A week ago my husband and I went out early one morning to watch Bald Eaglets in their nest which is on an island in Piseco Lake within the Adirondack Park. The eaglets are large and working hard to strengthen their muscles for their first flight.

Bald Eagle Nest

As we sat observing eagle antics I heard a soft chortling sound. When I looked around I was delighted to see a Common Loon really close our boat and then surprised when a second loon surfaced near the first.

Common Loon

Common Loon Pair

Each time one dove the other would softly hoot and then stop when they were both floating on the surface. At one point one loon swam a considerable distance away and the other sang out loudly to re-establish communication. You can listen to Common Loon sounds on Cornell’s All About Birds Website. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Loon/sounds

Common Loon Common Loon Common Loon Common Loon








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