Normally, I go on nature walks on Wednesdays, but Miles Hearn’s Friday group was going to be right here in Long Branch today, at Marie Curtis Park, so even though Mother Nature planned rain, snow and maybe even freezing rain for today, I decided to tag along. It turned out all we had was rain, which gradually became worse all morning. I dressed well for the weather and it turned out to be an interesting walk. Photography was limited though, due to the rain.
I have to hand it to Miles. He hasn’t missed a nature walk due to weather in 12 years. Amazingly 10 people showed up for a walk in the rain. About half the group called it quits about halfway through.
We saw what looks like some somewhat old hipsizygus mushrooms on a Manitoba maple.
The highlight of the walk was a pair of Eastern bluebirds. I fished out my camera and tried to get a couple shots. The birds were a little far for my camera and conditions were poor, but I got one photo. I had hoped to snap the other bird as well, which was facing us, showing off its red breast, but the photo is too poor to post.
There were more birds around than I expected. Miles identified 13 species, including several cardinals and chickadees, loads of dark-eyed juncos, white-throated sparrows and American tree sparrows.
Another highlight was some Witch-hazel in bloom. These crazy shrubs start blooming at some point in October. Blooms can be sustained into December.
The colours were beautiful in the woods in the park, especially in the areas where Beech trees dominate.