Brightwood Park is a unique place. I have been going to the park almost every day since 2020. No matter what time of day I visit, I always find something new. Even objects that I have previously seen are like dancers on a stage performing anew.
While the big pond was populated with a large number of Canadian geese on a recent visit, I noticed two distinct creatures swimming around in the water, a bufflehead duck and a common merganser. Although being morphologically quite different, they appeared as a couple. Cross-breeding among different duck species is not uncommon. These ducks love to dive into the water and can stay in the water up to 30 seconds each time. When they surfaced a distance away from where they dove down, they surprised not only me but also seemed to bring a pleasant surprise to each other. Both ducks are pretty. The male bufflehead duck was muscular and clothed with a stylish outfit of bright white and shiny colors. The female merganser had brown-color hair with a style that looked like flying scarfs of a lady sitting in a convertible sports car. The feathers on her body were like a windbreaker in light blue-gray color. Her eyes and face were expressive, and her bill seemed freshly rubbed by a lipstick. While walking, the appearance and posture reminded me of ladies in beauty pageants. No wonder the male was attracted to her.
The woods was turned into a concert hall by birds singing and making sounds in rhythm. The leading birds were male and female downy woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatch, and robins.
Try using some imagination, how many faces (human or animal) can you find in this ice crystal carved by nature?
Let your children or grandchildren join the game, too. 😊
Hint: starting with left, right, top, and bottom, and then .....
Wood ducks are very sensitive birds and they usually keep a distance from people. Since I see them everyday and they see me, too, they seemed to be at ease and started to relax and even do some performances for me to take pictures of, instead of rushing to swim or fly away.
The male duck here apparently inspired the female to show off her dancing skills.
It appeared to be not a typical winter. In the past couple of days, the daytime temperature was approaching 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Walking with a winter coat could make one sweat.
Although it has been raining, watching the developing fog and the water drops on tree branches in my backyard, I figured that Brightwood park must be very pretty at this time. As soon as there was a break from the rain, I ran to the park which never disappointed me.
The park was like a lady with her face covered with a beautiful veil. The red fruits with water drops hanging looked like wet eyes of old friends at their happy reunion.
I saw a blue jay whose feathers not looking as bright as they usually were. I wonder it was because the bird just got off the bed and had not dress up yet. It was also possible the bird being in a transition of getting a new outfit. When I looked at the pictures again, I was unsure where these were photographs, or paintings made by a crazy artist's‘ random strokes.
When I stood at the shore of the big pond, a pair of mallard ducks headed toward me, like old friends coming to greet. The female one with a broken wing was accompanied by her faithful male partner. I was touched by their loyalty to each other and their courage of staying in the park even in bitter coldness with a shortage of food. I also felt guilty when I forgot to bring something to treat friends like them.
Because of the newly installed air pumps, there are circle areas in the big pond that remain unfrozen. Geese and ducks, particularly a small group of wood ducks, loved to hang out in these mini-ponds. Thanks again to FOBP Committee for the effort of getting the township making improvements in the past summer.
I was also glad to see the paved trail remaining in good shape. The paving helped to melt the snow, providing safety for old people and children.
I really appreciate the members of FOBP who made a big difference in making the park a nice environment by removing a huge amount of invasive species and junks hidden in covered areas. I am sure the park will become even better in the coming months when spring comes.
Brightwood Park is on the North end of Prospect Street. Go past Franklin School and look for the entrance on the left.