Posted tagged ‘NYC wildllife’

Urban Wildlife Mysteries

February 15, 2011

Even a quick visit to Morningside Park yields an urban mystery or two.  The little pond is completely iced over.

Ice and bare branches

Compare to last spring when two egrets regularly visited to fish near the waterfall

Gone fishin’

Today a flock of brightly colored balloons seems to be nesting on the island

(I somehow deleted the photo, so imagine, if you will, a score of balloons lying in a gaudy heap on bare ground.)

in roughly the same spot where a set of mallard ducklings hatched in the final days of May

New ducklings moving out from the nest

The carp, turtles and frogs that live in the pond should be sleeping now, down in the dead leaves and muck at the bottom of the tiny pond, waiting for winter to give up the ghost. When the water warms, they’ll rouse to life.

They’ll bask

Soaking up the summer sun

and loll

Lazy day

and swim.

But today is mid-February and there is no water, only ice.  So how to explain the presence, on the path that runs along the eastern edge of the pond, of a pair of dead fish.

As if it had leapt over the edge of the pond's retaining wall

Someone had fish head for lunch.

Oh, dear

The pond has been frozen for days. Where did the fish come from? How did they die? Why are they here?

A sign on the back of a bench offers the promise of rescue.

Good to know. But what about the fish?

The photo of the sign was taken in midsummer, when there were no ladders to be seen. Now the ladders are ready for trouble.

Beautiful red ladder ready for rescue

On the way home, we passed beneath a tree filled with dozens of sparrows, all singing at the top of their little lungs. Spring really is coming.

But what about the fish?

Hey, what about the fish?


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