Went for a quick walk down to the stream again. Nature is so cool. Today, in addition to the usual suspects of cardinal, towhee, bunny, finch, nuthatch and grackle, there was a great crested flycatcher, the first one I’ve ever seen. (Thank god, it’s the only flycatcher in the South–they’re notoriously hard to tell from other flycatchers.) Woo! Lifelist!

There was also an immense green frog who yipped when it saw me and jumped in the water. I caught sight of it on the other side of the stream and got a good look–a bright green head, and a darker, mottled back. Looked a lot like the classic bullfrog, but I don’t know if they make that kicked-Chihuahua yip alarm call.

While I was studying Mr. Bullfrog, I heard a slithery, slippery noise, and turned to see one of Mother Terrapin’s minions come sliding down a muddy bank on his shell. “OHHH!” cried Ursula, who will not be in the running for the “quick on the uptake” awards any time soon. “That’s why they’re called ‘sliders!'” He was a much smaller specimen than the megalithic beast on my lawn–only about the size of my spread hand or so.

Finally, I saw another red-headed woodpecker, which I still get a kick outta seeing, and a mother mallard with a huge brood. And there was a belted kingfisher who went flailing by over head–I can identify them by flight now, no other bird I know does that kind of mad pinwheeling through the air, like somebody who’s lost their balance, and is running forward to keep from falling over.

All this in ten minutes. Probably I was just damn lucky, but maybe I should go in late afternoon more often.

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