Well, I strolled the boardwalk for any sightings and my friend went off on another trail for a power-walk. At one point she came hurrying back to tell me that a Woodpecker was in full view and would make a good photo opportunity. I followed her but unfortunately only saw it as it flew further into the woods. I recognized it as a Pileated Woodpecker – quite the handsome bird! Well, no Owl and no Woodpecker photos for me but … just as I paused to photograph a mossy log on my way back to the boardwalk, I saw something I have never, ever seen in my life – a Salamander!!
I knew they existed and I also knew that one had to search carefully in wet areas under rocks and leaf litter to find them so I relegated that to a “probably won’t ever happen” category of life events. But this little guy was right out in the open and very nearly under my foot! Luckily I saw him in time and I think I stood for several seconds unable to believe my eyes. (I am sure you have noticed by now that these types of sightings get me very excited : -)).
So, to reiterate: no Owl, no Woodpecker but a Salamander on Saturday. By the way, this is a Blue-spotted Salamander.
Well, on Sunday I went to Mount Royal and while passing a large evergreen tree I noticed that a Crow flew around it once with a loud “caw” and then left. It made me wonder if something was in that tree. So I walked up to the tree’s trunk and looked straight up. I didn’t see anything until suddenly I noticed movement and there was a Long-eared Owl staring down at me! Yay! – an Owl – and a new species to add to my list to boot!!
A little while later I heard a “knock – knock” on a tree and there to my astonishment was a Pileated Woodpecker!
It’s almost as though the Owl and the Woodpecker were deferred to the next day so that the Salamander could have my full attention on the Saturday.
Then just to add icing to the cake, I spied this lovely and unusually marked Squirrel. Its coat was a soft blend of white and gray and he posed quite nicely against the fall foliage.
Not at all bad for a week-end in November - a time when one feels Nature is entering its dormant stage.