Saturday, April 01, 2017

Walking Home

On my way home I stopped at the pond to see what was happening. It had frozen overnight, but thawed again during the day. I figured I'd see a few more water boatmen.

water boatmen

To my surprise, there were thousands of them! It was hard to get a photo showing the numbers, but this gives you an idea. It's amazing that they can be active swimming around with the ice and slush.

water boatmen

water boatmen

I wonder where they all came from? There has only been open water for a few days, which doesn't seem long enough to hatch from eggs. They could have over-wintered at the bottom of the pond, but I didn't see this many in the fall. Maybe they hatch and grow at the bottom while the pond is still frozen over. They have quite large forward facing eyes like predators, but I'm not sure what they'd find at this time. I didn't spot anything else in the water.

I had to be careful taking the closeups because the ZS100 focuses at only a few centimeters and a couple of times I came close to dunking the end of the lens into the water.

I finally left the water boatmen and a few minutes later spotted one of the rabbits (technically hare's).


When I tried to slowly approach it disappeared through the hedge. I followed to the adjacent parking lot where I found two of them. See, they do multiply!


Again, I slowly approached, and this time they let me get closer, although still gradually moving away. I assume they are a pair. Mostly they ignored each other, but a few times they got close and chased each other away. They are still transitioning from their winter white. One of them was browner than the other.


Seen from the side, their eyes are huge. I guess if you're at the bottom of the food chain, and you're often out at dawn and dusk, then it helps to have good eyes. They must have almost 360 degree peripheral vision for spotting predators.


Eventually another person  came along, the rabbits ran away, and I continued on my way home.

I stopped to check on the progress of the swelling buds on one of the trees that tends to flower first.

swelling buds

And then stopped to watch a pair of ducks on some temporary water.


Of course, I couldn't resist the reflections.


I did eventually did make it home. Shelley was out with Search and Rescue so I didn't have to worry about being late.

See all 22 photos

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