I went for a great Easter hike yesterday, in the drizzle. There were many great finds including a cocoon of some sort. I debated leaving it on the tree branch, even taking pictures of it on the branch, but decided I needed to know what kind of creature would emerge from it. My thinking is that it's a cecropia moth, like the one I found last June after having just emerged from it's own cocoon, wings still limp. It's safely ensconced in my bug cage on the dining room table and I'm looking forward to this one coming out.
I also came across a couple of birds' nests, each only about 4 feet off the ground and very close to the start of the trail I was walking. I was surprised to find it so close to the start of the trail as it's very close to a major highway as well. It's not too often that you can get an up close look at a birds' nest though so I took advantage of it.
At one point on the trail I came across a small seasonal marsh with a whole lot of old cattails. When I was younger I would take apart the cattail and watch the fluff from inside spread in the wind. I haven't done that for years and this time I broke one in half and felt the fluff with my nose. Sometimes my fingers aren't as sensitive as I would like them to be and I really wanted to feel the fluff. Despite the rain we had for a day and a half and that morning, the inside fluff was bone dry. The picture is a little fuzzy, but I did that on purpose. Look at it really closely for a minute and then close your eyes and imagine bringing it to your nose to feel the softness.
I think the best shot of the day was at the very start of the hike. I rarely see pussy willow trees any more, but came across tons of them in bloom. I was like a kid on Christmas morning, but because it was so drizzly, touching them to feel their softness only got me wet. So I stood back to get the bigger picture, so to speak.
A neighbour on my floor put up an Easter decoration on her door. It's an Easter bag with a bouquet of flowers in it (they're in a vase). On my way back to the car I broke off a small branch of the pussy willow and when I got home I put it in the vase with the flowers. I didn't see her until today and she told me that her brother (long since passed away) used to send her a bunch of pussy willows from home every spring. She was quite overcome yesterday when she saw them.
Funny how things work out, eh?
Be sure to click on the pictures to enlarge them and really make out the drops on the pussy willow. And come back tomorrow for today's hike and pics of a surprise waterfall.