A rash of red-breasted American Robins mark the arrival of spring at the beaver pond.

At this time of year, waterfowl are migrating to breeding grounds farther north. Many find the beaver pond an inviting place to stop for food and rest.


Peering through underbrush, I spot a newly arrived American Coot feeding on taquatic vegetation.




What sounds like a traffic jam overhead turns out to be a flock of honking Canada Geese. They check out the pond but keep on flying.




One pair of geese has decided to stay awhile.




The geese head over to a cattail marsh on the pond’s west bank to snorkel for dinner.





A Tufted Titmouse looks on from a nearby tree. Its black, shoe-button eyes appear surprised by the sudden influx of visitors.




In another tree, a squirrel munches on swelling leaf buds.




It may be the first day of spring, but Fort Frederick State Park’s landscape is still straw-colored and brown . . .




. . . except for an occasional spot of green amongst dry leaves and sweet gum seed balls.



Before long, wildflowers will carpet the forest floor. For now, the only bright colors visible are those of  bobbers snatched from fishermen by covetous tree branches.