Red squirrel on compost bin
This red had been burrowing into the compost heap, but when I came along, he scrambled onto the sides and looked guilty, or so I thought! Both reds and grey squirrels were very visible, gathering food or fattening up by gorging on crabapples, walnuts, grapes, Manitoba maple keys, etc.
It was cold enough overnight, and all day, to see the pond freeze. Hard to believe that only a week or so ago, I saw a painted turtle basking here. The water is very low on both sides of the pond now, and I am hoping that the turtles and frogs in here will be OK. During the last two winters when we had a beaver in the pond, the water was much deeper, which is good.
Mourning dove at BYG pond
This is one of about 6 mourning doves I saw at the FWG today. It was in the Backyard Garden, trying repeatedly to get some water from the pond. It is tough for wildlife to get moisture in winter.
European starlings eating grapes
The wild grape vine across the arbour in front of the Interpretive Centre, was a magnet for starlings, robins, and a few cardinals.
The seeds of the blue iris are very intriguing and pretty. Each pod has many seeds and they form an interesting pattern.
American robin in red cedar tree
This red cedar tree was full of robins and starlings eating the abundant fruit.
Several chipmunks were scampering around the garden, one in the BYG, and this one near the Butterfly Meadow. It was still mild with temperatures at +12. I expect they'll retreat to their winter burrows once it gets colder.
Although it is mid-November, this phlox was in bloom and as you can see, there are many buds waiting to open. The unusually warm weather is fooling lots of things into thinking it is spring, I think!
Reds are intelligent little creatures. Several at the FWG have made their homes in, near or under walnut trees. Thus, they have all the comforts of home and food right at hand. This one was staring at my dog Tasha, not in fear it seemed, so much as in disgust!
This dove was sitting on some old newspaper being used as mulch to cover over and smother some invasive plants. This was underneath a sumac and was a fairly quiet sheltered spot. THere didn't appear to be many birds around, at least in the short time I was there. A flock of robins (approx, 20) and several other individuals, chickadees, a few house finches, crows, and a couple of black ducks in the pond.
Painted turtle (Chelydra serpentina)
This medium-sized painted turtle was basking for some time on the exposed mud. I am sure the unusually warm weather (+18C.) brought this guy out to soak up some sun. Not a common sight in November.
This large stinkbug was flying around near the Butterfly Meadow today. I also saw a sulphur species in the Old Field, and a couple of Polistes dominulus.