Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Pileated Pair, and Growing Things

It’s gotten cold again, but it was sunny and clear yesterday (if a bit chilly), so I decided to visit Naugatuck State Forest to see what’s changed since I was last there a week ago. While there, I saw my first really colorful warbler of the year (a Pine Warbler), tons of tiny plants springing up (but no flowers yet), and a few other cool things as well.

The best part was when a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers (one male and one female, although it’s a little hard to tell who’s who in the picture below) flew right past me and set to work hammering on a nearby tree:

It seems that I’m doomed to always take far-away blurry pictures of these glorious birds, but this one is (I think) at least a tiny bit clearer than photos I’ve posted before. And just look at those crests! I wonder if these two will be setting up a nest cavity somewhere in the area soon....

Here are some more assorted sights from my walk, in no particular order:

A tiny grasshopper (or related creature), probably about half an inch long, was hopping around on a sunny bank:

In profile, the grasshopper actually strikes me as a little on the creepy side (it's something about that mouth...):

A mass of tiny caterpillars (tent caterpillars, I’m guessing, from those webs) was clustered on a twig -- the group as a whole couldn’t have taken up more space than a penny:

And a little Green Frog was resting in a pool:

Plants are popping up everywhere now, including invasive Japanese Knotweed, which has taken over an area next to the entrance:

But there were also more pleasant plants emerging, like these wonderfully fuzzy fiddleheads of a fern species I don’t know:

Big leafed-out Skunk Cabbages:

And patches of mottled Trout Lily leaves scattered over the forest floor:

It was a good walk, overall. :)


  1. You saw some really cool stuff! What a cute little grasshopper!

  2. Makes me think of the grasshoppers in A Bugs Life :-) and how cool - pileated woodpeckers!

  3. Pileateds are always a prize to come across. We have a pair nesting in our woods. I hear them calling and drumming, but rarely see them. When I do I am just as bedazzled as the first time a saw one of these gorgeous birds.