Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I haven't posted about Chicago for a little while now so I thought it was time I took a stroll around the pond to see what was going on. As with most of the eastern half of the country, we have been having a very odd summer. We had the coldest June on record and the third coldest July (so far) and our rainfall has been a lot higher than normal too. This has meant that a lot of things are occurring later than usual. The fruit on the Mulberry trees is ripening weeks later than it usually does.

We still have very young Wood Ducklings

and some very young Mallard Ducklings too

I hope we have a late fall and winter to go along with our late summer otherwise these little guys are going to have a really tough time at a vital stage in their development.
But at least the female Mallards will not have to worry about being harassed by the males now, they are looking very disheveled as they shed their beautiful breeding plumage

and are transformed into mere shadows of their previously glorious selves.

The females who are done with breeding are enjoying the quiet life and taking the time to relax and preen after all the hard work of raising young.

The various turtle species in the pond are having to make the most of any hours of sunlight, this pair of Red-eared Sliders have hauled themselves up onto a prime basking spot.

And the dragonflies are making the most of warm spots too

You may remember a while back I posted about the local Park Districts rather ham-fisted techniques for removing a beaver from the pond. Well it appears that the beavers of the area are not to be defeated because despite the Park Districts brutal best efforts, we have another tree feller in residence!

The flowers in the prairie are just beginning to gain colour and I was watching large numbers of bumble bees enjoy the copious supplies of nectar and pollen. One of them drew my attention because it looked different. It had longer, black wings that were moving slowly enough that I could actually see them, unlike the bumble bees. It also had a smooth black abdomen unlike the fuzzy abdomen of the bumble bees. Upon closer inspection I realised it was a large Carpenter Bee. Unfortunately I couldn't get close enough to get a good photo but you get the general idea!

A couple of hours after I took these photos, the clouds rolled back in and the rain returned! Hmm, maybe I should move 'out West!!'

Michelle over at Rambling Woods hosts Nature Notes every Thursday, check it out, it's a great meme.

Photo Credits - CJT


Carver said...

This was an interesting post. I could compare a lot of what you had going on to where we are. My mulberry trees finished up with the berries a number of weeks ago. Love your shots of the vegetation and wildlife.

MyMaracas said...

Thanks for taking us along on your walk! It felt like I was there with you the whole way.

Everything is delayed this year here in Indiana, too. I'm hoping this doesn't mean a rough, early winter.

Nicole said...

Oh thanks for this beautiful tour!
I can't believe everything is so late over there.
The mulberries are long since gone here.
(I've only seen two trees here anyway)

All small ones are almost raised and many are getting ready to fly south already.

I love how they are all suntanning.
And how the Mama duck cares for the small one. So tender!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Yay for the beavers!! That is such good news. I enjoyed reading about the goings-on in your area, the odd weather and seeing all your beautiful wildlife photos.

Have a beautiful week,

RJ Flamingo said...

Great post! My mulberries are on their second crop, surprisingly. I would take walks like that, too, if it would just cool down! ->Sigh!<-

Carletta said...

It's been a cooler summer here as well. It was only about 75 degrees today.
Love all the interesting nature shots you found on your stroll around the pond.
That beaver did some chomping didn't he! :)

Nature Notes said...

It is a strange summer and I too have wondering how this will affect various wildlife. We have had new duckling broods as late as the end of July..I will have to see. Loved the great variety in this post and I hope you and I get some real summer before next winter....Michelle

Becky said...

Sounds like a fun meme. I love those turtles... just adorable. I could sit all day and watch beavers work. We don't have them around here.

Becky said...

I have a question for you about some mourning doves. One found dead and the other traumatized or injured. I didn't see an email link for you but you could email me first or I could just leave it in the comments.

Kilauea Poetry said...

"But at least the female Mallards will not have to worry about being harassed by the males now.." I echo this sentiment..ha hah! Mulberries here are gone but I'm looking for buds now. These are pretty photos but I had to chime in for the ducks!

Louise said...

GO BEAVERS!!!!! (I really thought I had caught up more than this before now!)