Friday, August 31, 2012

Bright Flowers and Fungi, and a Big Rodent

This morning I made a quick visit to Southford Falls State Park to fulfill my woods-walking urge. I was hoping to see lots of birds (fall migration: it's happening!), but there weren't a ton of feathered creatures around. While the tree-tops were relatively quiet, though, I did get to see some cool things, including this Ovenbird who took time out of skulking in the dark forest floor to give me a good looking-over -- I think these birds are really pretty, and it's always nice to meet one in the woods:
 

In the shaded, damp paths, interesting fungi were springing up. I don't know what these small orange/red fungi are, but they looked like bright lights scattered among the green moss:
 

And this yellow coral fungi happened to be growing in a patch of early-morning sun, making it stand out even more against the dark ground:
 

On the shores of the park's pond, Broadleaf Arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia) was holding shining white blooms above the water:
 

I didn't stay too long, and on my drive home, I decided to stop by a place on Paul's running route where he has told me he often sees a Muskrat. When I got out and looked around, sure enough, there was a big furry rodent (smaller than a Groundhog) with a long tail, munching its way through the grass:
 

This creature must be pretty used to people walking by its home, because it looked up at me a few times and just kept on eating:
 

Hello, Muskrat! You're pretty cute!
 

I don't know that I've ever had the chance to actually watch one of these creatures before, so that was a very cool end to my adventure for the day. (And by complete coincidence, I heard the song "Muskrat Love" for the first time yesterday. Oh dear.)

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