Summer Saturday in Morningside Park

Morningside Park is lush and full of animal and human activity these days.

A goose family swims past the little island in Morningside Park.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A turtle bobbed persistently for an elusive bite of apple.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Scores of turtles swam and basked near the pond’s mallard ducks.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

IMG_2751

Soon a group of ducks swam over, hoping for a hand-out.

IMG_2753

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.

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.

Just a few of many resting pigeons.

Nap time for pigeons. These are just a few of a very large flock, almost all recumbent.

Nearby the turtle-watchers played catch.

IMG_2761

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.

IMG_2764

“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.

IMG_2767

Just another summer Saturday in one of my favorite New York parks.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2013, Birds, In the City, Morningside Park, NYC Parks, Seasons, Summer, Wildlife/Natural History

Tags: , , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

3 Comments on “Summer Saturday in Morningside Park”

  1. Tricia Says:

    I love the comparison of the soda girl on the rock with the turtle. A few days ago I posted a link to your fox blog on my Facebook. I’m an avid Oregon reader. Keep up the good work.

  2. p hoey Says:

    A tender, lovely post about smaller creatures going about their
    daily doings–and some larger ones, too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: