Morningside Park is lush and full of animal and human activity these days.
A goose family swims past the little island in Morningside Park.
On Saturday, a small brigade of dedicated kids and volunteers cleaned the park and the pond.
A turtle bobbed persistently for an elusive bite of apple.
Scores of turtles swam and basked near the pond’s mallard ducks.
The mallards are molting, which is why it looks at first glance as if there are nothing but females on the pond. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll see that some green is still visible on the heads of the birds in the photos, indicating that they are, in fact, males. The bright yellow of the bills is also a good marker; the bills of females are orange and brown. After breeding season, mallards molt and become temporarily flightless. The males lose their distinctive feathers and go into “eclipse plumage,” which resembles the mottled coloring of the female. I’m not sure whether these boys are on their way in to their molt or on their way out. But in any event, within a few weeks, dull feathers will be replaced yet again with recognizable, jaunty bright colors.
This turtle reminded me of the White Rock Soda girl. What do you think?
Two young men with baseball gloves were captivated by the turtle on the rock. “I haven’t seen a turtle in, like ten years,” said one. When he realized there were turtles everywhere, swimming just beneath the surface of the water, he couldn’t tear himself away from the pond.
Soon a group of ducks swam over, hoping for a hand-out.
An interesting new sign has appeared near the pond, in addition to the “Do Not Feed the Wildlife” notices that are often displayed.
Do not touch or remove wildlife from park.
Really, my fellow citizens, what have you been up to while I’ve been away?
A large flock of pigeons lay about on the grass across the path.
Nap time for pigeons. These are just a few of a very large flock, almost all recumbent.
Nearby the turtle-watchers played catch.
As we headed up the grand stone staircase, I spotted a feral cat mostly hidden in dense vegetation. Interestingly, the dog had no idea the cat was present until I stopped to take its picture.
“In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps (or sits) tonight.”
On the grassy slope just below Morningside Drive, a girl sat in quiet meditation.
Just another summer Saturday in one of my favorite New York parks.