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:
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. :)