Time Flies On By

YoungWoodDuckStretches2017sepTime flies on always, and life at Nahant Marsh has flowed on by as it always does. The summer has long passed, and the winter solstice is just days away. All the wood duck babies—those that survived anyway—have grown and gone on their way. The fall migration has mostly flown through, and so another  year is nearly gone.


Turtles&WoodDucksAtTheBeaverPond2017sepThe summer full of baby wood ducks gave way to a rich, warm and golden autumn full of many birds and wetland creatures. As ever, Nahant Marsh provided food and home for many, and the surprising variety of life changed against a colorfully changing backdrop of natural beauty. The marsh always changes, and is always beautiful. It is a close-to-home paradise on earth.

OldeUteTrail2jul2017But, although I watched the seasons ease by and the critters grow up, I never took the time to post the photos I took this season ’round. I wandered off a few times over this remarkable year, to visit other, different outdoor paradises. Walking the Old Ute trail across the Rocky Mountains at 12,000 feet was a long way and a completely different environment from the marsh.

Totality2017I also took time to position myself within the path of totality for the Great American eclipse. When the sun switched off, becoming a ring of brilliant silver fire, it was truly a completely different experience than anything I’ve ever done. I didn’t waste my 2 minutes 30 seconds in the shadow taking photos. A good eclipse photo is notoriously hard to make. I painted what it looked like instead.

Trumpeter swan at Nahant MarshBut, that is part of what keeps it surprising. I will keep going to my close-to-home outdoor paradise, beautiful and ever changing, Eden right outside the door. I’ll post the best of the photos to share  what was seen therewith anyone curious. All of them are of exactly what was in front of me in that moment. From time to time, though, I am likely to wander off. It seems pretty clear that Eden can be found all over this good planet if you go outdoors and take a close look around.

Mallards and green-winged teals at Nahant Marsh

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Summer of Wood Ducks

WoodDuck&Babies2jul2017Nahant Marsh has been full of many wood ducks this season. All through the late spring and on into the summer, moms and their ducklings have been everywhere at the marsh. Although  wood ducks are born every year  here, this summer they’ve been especially abundant.

WoodDuck&Babies3jul2017Each time I’ve visited I’ve noticed multiple wood duck moms out with their broods. Some are small and downy, others, longer out of the shell, are larger. All know just what to do, and busily pick morsels of food from the surface of the water as they paddle about.

WoodDuck&Babies3jun2017Sometimes Mom follows watchfully along with them, other times she leads the way. Occasionally a dawdling duckling will run across the water to catch up when the distance gets a little too great for comfort. They are fun to watch, and it is a treat to have seen so many this summer.

WoodDuck&Babies7jun2017Always the little ones grow with surprising speed, eating voraciously and becoming near adult sized in short order. This usually means the window of opportunity to see them while still small is short. But, this summer, additional groups of new hatchlings keep gliding into view.

HoodedMerganser&Babies2may2017The green and growing time is not only full of wood ducks. Hooded merganser moms are also out on the water, enjoying the abundance of summer with their little ones—and trying to avoid having the hatchlings eaten before they have a chance to grow.

The babies that have survived the bountiful and perilous time of high summer are no doubt quite large by now. I have been out wandering away from the marsh for a time. I don’t expect any more little ones to cross my path. It has been, and still is, a remarkable, beautiful summer at Nahant Marsh, and you never know what might wander into view.


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