Here is what I recorded on August 30, a day I had a lot of fun discovering and watching unusual objects in Brightwood Park and Prospect Street in the daytime, and in Mindowaskin Park and downtown in the evening.
Around noon in Brightwood Park, a female downy woodpecker was teaching her children how to hunt for food on a tree. The mother was very talkative and noisy. The little ones were too small and in constant motion to be captured on camera.
A female wood duck had a turtle admirer following her while she was posing for a photo session. However, she was unable to impress a young male duck who kept shaking his head.
A few other amphibians were enjoying a sun bath while I was having my forest bath..
Rain drops from last night were preserved in spiderwebs by the large pond. They were glowing like stars in the night sky.
On the fence of the Demonstration Garden, a handsome spider with long legs built a tent-like web. The talented hunter was able to capture several prey and wrap them up, like making sausages.
It is the flowering season for the common mullein plant. Although flower buds were all over the stalk, few of them turned into flowers.
An orange-colored, moss-like tiny plant kept appearing at the exit of the two-bridge trail near the Fanwood entrance of the park. This year it migrated down the slope, about a foot from where it used to be.
A couple of earthworms were dancing. The scene reminded me of "the cat's away the mice will play". Indeed this is a day major predators like robins seemed to be on vacation somewhere away from the park.
The Demonstration Garden in the meadow area is not only attracting butterflies and honey bees, but also birds like goldfinches. Recently, I saw a couple of the state birds of New Jersey hanging out in the garden. Here are a few photos for you to enjoy.
It would not be an exaggeration to give the park another name such as mushroom demonstration garden. You can find many different species here, with a diversity of colors, morphologies, patterns, and sizes. The appearance of some are seasonal.
Mushrooms grow fast and can surprise daily visitors by their sudden appearance from nothing the night before. The heart shaped one here is a good example.
Hearts are my favorite shape of objects. I shared photos of heart-shaped moss before. Here it is the first time I saw a cute mushroom in this shape. This particular mushroom seemed to be stylish in the dress to wear.
Near the Prospect Street entrance, there is a flora of yellow-colored slime molds. One of the patches caught my eye and reminded me of Simba, the character in the Disney movie of "Lion King". Another patch looked like a strange bird. After a close examination, the "beak" turned out to be a slug. Slugs love to feed on mushrooms. I did not realize they also like slime molds.
Near the area where baby green herons were hatched and raised, I saw mushrooms of light green and purple colors on the ground. Nearby there were many floras of green lichens, too.
I would like to share with you what I saw in Brightwood Park this morning and hope you will share what you discover in this amazing place, too.
After the rainfall last night, light fog developed. When the sun came out, rays could be seen in multiple places, like beams were like spot lights on a stage and the trees were like dancers demonstrating their skills.
The water in the ponds was calm and quiet, presenting a unique sense of tranquility. Bugs finished their meals on a tree, and left a pattern on the leaves, like my grandma's art pieces of paper cutting .
A gentle breeze swung by and caused an "artificial rain." Along the two-bridge trail, a coyote left fresh footprints as a signature. I tried looking for the animal but was unable to spot it this time.
About the last photo in this set, I must have touched the button of my iPhone camera accidentally. However, when I saw the colorful pattern of who knows what, the more I looked, the more I liked it. If you can help to make any sense out of the pattern, I will be very interested to hear your ideas.
For weeks I have been monitoring the fruit on a spicebush tree along the trail between the junction of the two ponds and the dam and bridge. A few days ago I finally saw some turning red. Watching waterdrops hanging on the ones of red, green, and intermediate colors, I was thinking if I were a little girl, I might be inspired to make a necklace with them.
Brightwood park is a place full of wonders and surprises. Everytime I visit, I enjoy meeting old and new friends and share interesting findings and stories with them. Some of the wildlives in the park are joining our club by getting used to people being around. It is easier this year to take photos of them in close proximity. Some even pose for me, even though I try to convince myself that I live in a fantasy world.
Let me briefly share with you what I saw. First, the park is like a demonstration garden for mushrooms. The variety of shape and color is just amazing. By walking along the trails one can easily spot them. Duckweed may be annoying to some people, particularly those who come for fishing. For those who are here to take photos, the weeds provided a perfect background for funny shots of frogs and turtles,
About 6 weeks ago, a blue heron couple moved in and settled down on the central island. While the female is expecting, the male keeps hunting for fish. In the past few days, the corner area at the 90 degree turn from the junction of the two ponds to the dam became a favorite spot for the blue heron in both early morning and late afternoon. Meanwhile the young green herons are learning to catch small fish.
The spider who lives in Rob's Demonstration Garden is now laying back, after stock-piling plenty of food supply. One bug caught a few days ago is now being dried and waiting to be processed.
The flowers in the pollinator garden are doing quite well.
Once upon a time, there was a happy squirrel who bought a unit in a bird apartment building!
Because of the rainfalls and humidity, the park has not only turned into a rainforest but also has become a mini-gallery of the Creator's art exhibitions. The diversity of morphology and color is amazing. A few photos of the same set of mushrooms were taken on different days. Some grew and changed their face shapes like teenagers. A dark-colored large mushroom aged fast and seemed like a man who stopped shaving and getting haircuts.
While we are cautious about picking wild mushrooms, birds, squirrels, or insects appear to have a good knowledge of which ones are edible to them. One mushroom looked like a left over apple with half being bitten away.
I am a frequent visitor of Brightwood Park and enjoy sharing my discoveries.
Brightwood Park is on the North end of Prospect Street. Go past Franklin School and look for the entrance on the left.