One more post from Monday's adventure. Right now, the wild hibiscus, Hibiscus palustris, is in bloom. It's also called Swamp Rose-Mallow. This is a huge plant, maybe 5-6 feet tall, and the flowers are 6-8 inches across. Like any hibiscus, it has that long style protruding from the center of the flower.
It's odd in that it will grow in brackish water... along the seashore in tidal swamps, but also in freshwater marshes, particularly in the Great Lakes Region. Here we are!
Here are the buds, which are not bad looking themselves.
Now I can give you an answer to the duck mystery. I have to confess it was a mystery so long because I misplaced my bird book. Several of you gave some good guesses. Theresa, Ratty and Auntie E all correctly searched out the answer. It is a female wood duck, with (I'm pretty sure) three juveniles. In real life it was much easier, both by relative size and behavior, to see this as a family group. In fact, this picture is almost an exact match for the one in my bird book. Male wood ducks are pretty spectacular. Maybe some day I'll get to show you a picture of one.
And a P.S. on the heron. Yes, these crazy birds are at home in trees. They build huge nests of sticks on the tops of dead trees. I already knew that. But I had always mentally pictured them sitting up there with their long legs folded under them. They probably do when sitting on the nest. But I never for a minute thought that they could balance those big bodies straight up and down! I know where there used to be a rookery (a group of nests), but I think the birds moved on. Maybe I'll try to get there and see if I can picture a nest for you.
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