Which is prettier, a Wood Duck or a Bumblebee? The reddish orange of a Robin’s breast, or the orangey red of Staghorn Sumach fruit? The sunrise or the sunset?
This April there’s no need to pick answers to silly questions – there’s a different beauty around every corner.
Closest to home, at just a few meters from my office window, a Downy Woodpecker makes quick rest stops on convenient branches.
The Red-Winged Blackbird is named for two simple colours flashed by the male, but on an early-spring evening the female shows a richer palette.
Long-Tail Ducks are beginning to show some of the rich colours they will wear when they arrive in their breeding grounds far north of here.
Though only scattered hints of green are visible in the marsh, life is stirring.
A recently-arrived Killdeer checks out a muddy island in Westside Marsh.
Across the marsh a black-and-white Ring-necked Duck catches sunlight and reflects back red and brilliant green.
Mute Swans are establishing territories and building nests, but not all of them have paired off.
A pair of Red-breasted Mergansers have lingered close to the lakeshore on several recent mornings. Even in monochrome backlight they cut striking profiles …
… while in another light their colours really sing.
Still, in this area no other water bird competes with the Wood Duck in the colour olympics.
The unseasonal warmth of early April brought a few flowers into full bloom. You need to get right down to ground level to fully appreciate the beauty of Scilla.
Will any pollinators be awake to visit these early blooms? I wondered. But in the afternoon warmth a huge Bumblebee hovered near, grabbed onto a tiny blossom, rode the swing down, then quickly moved to another and another.
Bumblebee and Scilla may sparkle together again next spring.
Photo at top of page: Robin feeds on Staghorn Sumach (full-screen image here)