A couple of months ago, I saw a mature bald eagle hunt and finally catch a mallard in the water. It was pretty cool to see, and I didn’t figure I’d get to see anything like that again soon. I was mistaken.
There have been a lot of reports of an owl irruption in Duluth lately.
For quite a while, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled, and finally, I was rewarded with this Boreal Owl that was hunting along the Lester River:
It flew right over me and was obviously listening for something:
I managed to take a lot of bad pictures (the camera can’t tell the difference between a tree branch and an owl), but at least these two came out all right.
Finally, the owl decided that whatever it was hearing had hunkered down, and it flew off.
I haven’t seen many owls, so this was a special treat.
Took a stroll through Lester Park in the morning, instead of my normal afternoon/evening. Cool to see things in different light.
Here’s a nice big white cedar down in the main playground area:
Lester Park is great, because there are some really big old trees that seem to have escaped the logging that was happening all around this area early in the 20th century. Common wisdom says that this lower section of Lester Park is old growth, although I wonder about that. I suppose it’s possible that these are actually second growth trees that are 100 – 150 years old, and that have been growing after first being logged when the Duluth area was initially settled. It’s just hard for me to imagine that so much lumber, so close to the lake would have been left. Doesn’t seem like forbearance was part of the culture of that time. On the other hand, everyone seems to agree that this is an ‘old growth’ forest, from the city of Duluth to NRRI to local historians.
Maybe my definition of ‘old growth’ is too exclusive?
White pine seed dispersion, via the foamy Lester River:
Over on the other side of the park, the Amity Creek wasn’t as foamy:
Old growth, second growth, or just good growth, I can certainly say that I am lucky to be so close to a treasure like Lester Park.
I’m guessing wolves or the coyotes got this one.
What’s interesting is how they pulled off the easiest meat, and then were done. Okay, I guess no surprise, really.
I was surprised with how soft were parts of the hooves. I was also surprised at how disinterested the dog was in this leg. I would have guessed she’d have wanted to gnaw on it for a while, but she sniffed it and moved right along. It was also interesting how, when I came back a few days later, someone had hung the leg up on a tree branch. I’ve seen a lot of deer legs on tree branches. Something in our collective psyche about that. I’ve gotta say… our collective psyche is a little weird.
Witch’s Broom is a weird growth in a tree.
They show up as a ball of branches or a mangled cluster that comes out from a single point. I’ve seen lots of witch’s brooms, but this is the first time I’ve seen one that actually looks more or less like the end of a broom:
I wonder if certain types of trees are more prone to witch’s brooms than others. This one is on a balsam fir in Lester Park.
You can see how this could be a perfectly serviceable broom. Whether a witch would want it or not, that’s a question for another day.
The atmospheric conditions were just right, and there was a very localized little band of fog right over the Lester River:
Just a couple blocks away, the scene was altogether different:
I call this one ‘Maya on the Tracks.’
Duluth is a nice place to live.