Late afternoon in the woods can be really awesome. I went to Naugatuck State Forest today, and by about 4:00 the woods were getting pretty dark, especially with all those towering conifers:
Beneath the trees, Red-breasted Nuthatches were clambering all over fallen branches and cones, reminders of our recent storms:
I've really gotten attached to these little birds, and I'm going to miss them and their funny constant squeaking when they decide to leave our woods again (hopefully not until spring):
I guess I'd better get in as much Red-breasted Nuthatch time as I can while they're still here!
As the sun sunk below the trees, a pair of Mallards drew patterns of light on the pond's surface:
And in the last moments of daylight, I looked up to see a shadowy figure watching from high in the trees:
Oh, it has been far too long since I last saw a Great Horned Owl in these woods! I took a few steps toward the creature, and then I looked up again... and it was gone. But, really, even the briefest glimpse of an owl makes for a totally awesome day.
Like I said, late afternoon in the woods can be extremely cool.