July 2, 2008, 7:45-8:30 p.m.
The walk home from work was very eventful. I stopped over at the dog beach for about ten minutes to watch some brown swallows doing their nimble acrobatic routines. I stood very still and they whirled around me. I felt like I was in a slow tornado of birds. It was thrilling. Soon I saw some strange duck on the pool. It had a very dark crown and upper face, a vaguely brownish body, an orangey bill and a white spot on its throat. Its body was very short. My only thought was that it could be a juvenile wood duck. When I got home I tried to find pictures online of juvenile wood ducks, and I am fairly certain that's what I saw.
I rounded my usual corner to cut through to the Nethermead and saw a group of people obviously looking at something. I said, "What are you looking at?" and someone replied, "A baby raccoon." I met up with Chrissy at our usual spot and we walked home together, but not before I snapped a shot of this little fellow. I love the proliferation of rabbits in Prospect Park. I see one almost every day.
On the way home, we came to a grove of trees near the Lake where hundreds of fireflies lit up the air, searching the patterns of light for their one perfect mate. Very romantic. Now we walk that way every night.
As the light faded, we made our way around the west side of the Lake. Chrissy said, "What the heck is that?" and pointed to something we had passed. I turned around to inspect the creature. It was some kind of crayfish, like a tiny lobster in the path. The Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City says there are several kinds of local crayfish and they can be found in many freshwater areas. This guy was about six inches long.
I feel absolutely blessed to have so many adventures and to be witness to the wonders and glories of nature close-up and firsthand. What a cool day!