Another day in the woods

May 19, 2010

I had never seen a Canada Goose molt, but I was able to on my last outing.

On Tuesday, I checked out Huntley Meadows Park and found an abundance of geese. According to the Humane Society, Canada Geese molt each summer and can’t fly for about a month while they replace their flight feathers. That might explain why some birds on Tuesday seemed to have such trouble taking off. One goose that I observed struggled so much that it aborted its takeoff and swam back to where it started.

Although I initially couldn’t find any mammals, I did see the Merganser gang making its rounds. Fortunately, they haven’t lost any more of the young this week.

After a scan of the boardwalk, I made my way down the informal trail. There I found a pair of geese honking like a broken record.

I watched them for a while, but even with my high patience level I can only take hearing so much of geese vocalizing.

On this trip I also had a secondary goal of making plaster casts of tracks. Not finding any quality prints to experiment with, I set off even farther down the informal trail.

Over the next half hour as I walked through dense woods, I saw very little. The most peculiar find wasn’t an animal at all, but what was left of one.

An egg, possibly from a goose, was broken and sitting on a log. At that point, the trail was some distance from the water, making me wonder what creature brought it down the path.

Eventually I made my way to the water again and noticed a buck in the distance. Not wanting to spook it, I crouched and watched it without being observed.

After an unsuccessful attempt to close the distance, the deer saw me and took off. With the light fading and a lack of usable tracks, I headed back the way I came.

At the end of the day I finally found a tiny track worth casting and spent the rest of my time playing with plaster. On that note, tune in tomorrow for my short intro to making casts.

One Response to “Another day in the woods”

  1. Hey Evan! I just wanted to mention that I checked out your Blurb book, and it’s really awesome. You have some great wildlife photos. I just made a blurb book too, actually, in my experimenting with “fashion” photography. It’s here:

    you can preview the whole thing. I’m pretty proud of it! haha. But anyway, just wanted to mention that I checked it out, and it’s beautiful! Congrats!

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