“Late to Flush Mallards”

This morning (Wednesday, Oct. 19) provided for an unanticipated closeup as migrating mallards, after holding tight through freezing rain and the season’s first trace of snow, burst into flight at the west end of the marsh . In deeper water, 100 yards to the east a pair of redheads and a raft of lesser scaups, more backsides visible than heads, were tipping and resurfacing like “drinking bird toys”, as they foraged below.

A reluctant yet serendipitous decision to hike through freezing rain provided rare color as poplars, maple and wild cherry were already brilliant. White and red oaks are in early stages of rust and the sedge, rush and reeds range from red to light green at this moment. For a few days only, it is the latter, the light green grasses, that give the landscape another dimension.