The Bell of the Ball
Some days you just get lucky and today was such a day for me. I headed out this morning with no expectations other than to find some dragonflies. Which I did. However, the dragon part of the day quickly took a dim second place when I came across the most extraordinary thing - a mating ball of Northern Water Snakes. I've never observed anything like this before and from what I have read it is pretty rare to get to see this. One large female was being wooed by up to 4 males with yours truly recording every slithery second (from a safe and respectful distance of 20 or so feet).
The whole thing was surprisingly tender with the males gently rubbing their throats over the female's back and head. At no point was there anything even remotely aggressive which kind of surprised me. One male eventually left, leaving the three you see here in attendance. The head to the farthest left is the female who is also noticeably larger than the males. The whole thing was just absolutely amazing to watch. (With apologies to those who don't care for snakes).
I've posted 5 shots on Flickr kind of showing the sequence of events. Worth a look - start HERE
Kind of hard to top that, so I didn't really try. I spent another hour or so snapping shots of this and that before returning home. The bluebirds are busy feeding the squishy little babies - summer-like temperatures providing lots of tasty arthropods to feed hungry babies. We won't see a repeat of the Chickadee tragedy here.
No news for me today. Although I did watch the NJ Governor's briefing in which he said that the protests and demonstrations in NJ have been largely peaceful with no arrests made last night. The Governor gave his full support to those who are marching peacefully, adding that he wanted them all wearing masks to protect each other.
Stay safe. Be kind. Be loving.