Downing Park, Newburgh – A Duck and her ducklings

Waterfowl abounds on the “Polly” pond. This duck and her ducklings were just too cute to resist.

As I was preparing this post I realized that although I knew that a group of geese was a called a “gaggle” I didn’t know what a group of ducks was called. So I looked it up and apparently it depends.

A group of ducks in flight is usually called a “flock”. However, when on the water such a group is most often referred to a “raft”, a “team” or a “paddling”. I like the word “paddling” so in future I will refer to more than one duck on the water as a “paddling”.

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

Bee on a flower

I waited patiently for a long time hoping that an insect would appear. How I wish that was true, but unfortunately I fear that I lack that kind of patience. What actually happened was that I was trying to take a picture of this Coreopsis when all of a sudden, right before my very eyes, this bee decided to alight on the very flower I was taking a picture of. Talk about lucky…

Taken with a Sony Alpha 77II and Minolta AF 50mm Macro f2.8.

Careful geese crossing

I was walking the dog along Lake Shore Road today when I spotted some movement ahead. I see these geese all the time. They come up off the lake (to the left in the picture) into the garden of the house opposite where I imagine they make quite a mess. The owner has put a solar powered owl down by the lake, presumably to deter them, but it doesn’t seem to make any difference! I can’t say I’m surprised. I believe these owl statues are designed to discourage small birds. Owls eat small animals like mice and shrews. I can’t imagine that they are much of a threat to something as large as a goose. When someone approaches along the road the geese take off at high speed for the lake and safety. Then a while later they return. I find it interesting that they seem to prefer walking/running to the lake rather than flying, which they only do if you are so close that they have no alternative.

Taken with a Canon EOS 5D and EF 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 USM.

A brightly colored caterpillar

My wife came across this brightly colored caterpillar on our patio the other day. She’s usually quite ruthless towards caterpillars because they eat her roses and she mercilessly squashes them immediately. For some strange reason she was quite protective to this one – merely relocating it rather than consigning it to the usual caterpillar fate.

I didn’t know what it was, but after a bit of online research I’ve concluded that it’s probably the larval stage of the Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes).

Taken with a Sony A77II and Tamron A18 AF 18-250mm f3.5-6.3.