Three Water Birds at Centennial Park

Last week my husband wanted to try out some new camera gear and decided to do it at Centennial Park. I tagged along to do some photography myself.  The lake is settling into winter.

2018 12 IMG_0565.jpg

I saw three birds on the water.

Canada geese were the most numerous although still a smaller number than I often see. The water was high in the lake and   the stone jetty near the boat launch (closed for the winter) was partially submerged. A goose stood on one – like a game of ‘king of the hill’ with the other geese.

2018 12 IMG_0572.jpg

There was a female bufflehead was periodically visible. Buffleheads are diving ducks that are very hard to photograph while they are feeding.

2018 12 IMG_0583.jpg

I managed to capture a sequence of the bird just after it surfaced…and then it dove again!

The third bird I saw on the water was a female common merganser. This bird was not feeding but quickly swam further away than I could follow with my zoomed lens.

2018 12 IMG_0588.jpg

That was it – less that a dozen Canada geese and then two lone ducks!

Walking back toward the car, I photographed some old birds nest fungus. There were still some ‘eggs’ in some of them…but probably thoroughly dried out by now.

There was also a very robust lichen on a dogwood tree. With all the extra rain we have recently the lichens and mosses are bigger and brighter than usual.

2018 12 IMG_0633.jpg

Spider Webs at Centennial Lake

Spider webs stand out when they have water droplets on the silk – either from dew or fog (or water sprayed by a photographer keen to photograph them). Last week at Centennial Park the water droplets were from fog. I was surprised at how many spider webs I saw along the path…. realizing that there are a lot more spiders around than we usually notice.

Some of the webs had probably caught something since they had gaping holes.

Others were more intact or maybe partially repaired.

As I was getting ready to leave the park I notice a large funnel web near the trunk of a pine. It too was more visible because of the fog. I didn’t see the spider, but it was probably there somewhere. I was so focused on the webs in the trees that I wasn’t looking for the funnels on the ground!

f 2018 10 IMG_4681.jpg

Mushrooms at Centennial Park

On the foggy morning I spent at Centennial Park last week, I found some tiny mushrooms in the raised bed across the pathway from the boat rentals. They were growing in the mulch and were ‘fruiting’ because of the very wet conditions we’ve had recently. Some were very hard to spot because their color’s were not that different form the mulch – and they were small. I stood far enough back so that I could use the zoom to photograph them without climbing into the mulch.

2018 10 IMG_4606.jpg

There were some birds nest fungi that were mostly empty nests although a  few of the ‘eggs’ were still nearby.

2018 10 IMG_4608.jpg

My favorites were brightly colored like these very small red mushrooms (note there is a centipede just to the left of the mushrooms).

2018 10 IMG_4595.jpg

My favorites were some tiny orange mushrooms with yellow stalks and edges. They seemed to be glowing – standing out in their drab surroundings.

I walked over to some pine trees near the parking lot while I waited for my husband to finish his brisk walk around the lake. There were some larger mushrooms coming up through the pine needles.

Foggy Morning at Centennial Park

Earlier this week, I enjoyed doing some photography at Centennial Park on a foggy morning. The lake was a little high from the recent rains and the fog muted the colors of the trees (still mostly green).

I stopped at a dogwood tree to capture the buds for next season and the seeds from this year.

There were some colorful leaves that showed up better at close range.

2018 10 IMG_4612.jpg

There were some fall flowers at the edge of the lake – somewhat protected from the water run off by a large rock.

2018 10 IMG_4622.jpg

There were not very many birds around:  a few Canadian geese on the lake

2018 10 IMG_4618.jpg

And a mockingbird. Note the small spider web in the picture with the mockingbird.

2018 10 IMG_4651.jpg

The spider webs and small mushroom growing on rotting mulch were the photographic high points of the walk. I post more about them next week.