For many years I’ve been coming to this suburban park not far from where I live.
I love to walk, watch birds, observe the the changing seasons and the creek that abuts the park.
During the pandemic I was even more grateful for this local treasure!
One morning, this amber jewel was dangling from a branch at the entrance to the J. B. Lookout.
It sparkled in the autumn sunlight waiting for its rightful owner to come back and retrieve it.
The Lookout is usually quiet since most people just rush past or only glance at the creek.
For those who stop in for more then just a moment, the trees and creek come alive.
And when the berries ripened here in the fall the birds came out …
… shy hermit thrushes …
… cute squirrels …
… American Robins …
… and white-throated sparrows, all indulging in the plentiful fruit growing on the vines.
Some days I see this red-breasted sapsucker at work,
drilling holes into the tree and lapping up the sap.
Rarely do I see hooded mergansers there, but on a lucky day I might see them …
… hanging out with some …
… incredibly beautiful wood ducks.
I had heard that wood ducks live here,
but a lifelong local stated that I’d be lucky to see any at all.
Well, I’ve seen them several times now.
Patience always pays off!
And yes, fancy ducks are perhaps more exciting than a pair of regular mallards,
but aren’t they beautiful too in their simple familiar appearance?
Much of the year both sides of the creek are lush with many varieties of native plants.
Whenever I visit here I just quietly listen to the creek and wonder
what kind of creature will make an appearance that day …
… because there’s always is something to see!
One morning last fall I heard an incredibly loud swooshing sound coming from the creek.
The surface of the water started to ripple and move like I’d never seen there before.
Then I spotted a brownish, good-sized critter weaving through the water …
… and pop up directly in front of me.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I realized that I was looking at a river otter!!
And just as quickly as this fellow appeared, he or she disappeared.
Lucky for me I got a couple of (not so very good) photos.
I’ve shared this sighting with a few regulars at the park who now stop there every time they visit.
I hope that some day they too get to see this incredible animal.
As to how this spot became the Justin Bieber Lookout
you’ll have to wait until the next post.