We rolled into the parking lot at the Seney National Wildlife Refuge just as the ranger was beginning to shut down the visitor's center. He patiently waited while we ran to the bathroom, then chatted a bit with us in the parking lot. He was a very friendly fellow with a shiny, clean-shaven head and handlebar mustache. He told us a moose and wolf had been spotted recently in the refuge, and we hoped we'd get lucky and see one. We didn't, but there were still plenty of other things to see.
One of the first critters we came across was this pretty raccoon. Yeah, we see them at home, but there's something cool about seeing them when they're not hanging from a bird feeder that makes it more special, more wild maybe.
I chased a lot of birds around by the edge of the road, finally catching this Song sparrow peeking at me from within the sweet gale.
For the most part thought I rode in the van. Lisa drove while I hung out the passenger's side window with my
camera. Lori sat in back watching the driver's side for critters. At one point Lisa slammed on the brakes, nearly sending me into the dashboard, and squeaked, "There's a Woodcock! Right there next to the road!" I tried to peer around her but couldn't see anything. "Get OUT!" she hissed, so I jumped out the door and snuck around the back of the van. I stood there and stood there but could not find the bird! I started to creep forward and it finally flushed. The darn thing had been right in front of me, perhaps on a nest, and I never saw it. That would have been my first pics of a Woodcock (or was it a Common snipe? We'll never know). Ah well....
These ducks were so far out that we couldn't identify them. After blowing this up I think they are Lesser scaups, but I'm not positive.
Now, as the blog title suggests, there were lots of babies around. This was the second week of June and the world was just bursting with life. This family of Canada geese halted our progress as they were in no hurry to leave the road. I think I had to get out of the van and start walking towards them to get them to move to the side.
Looking back at the geese I spotted this log-full of painted turtles sunning themselves in the afternoon warmth. I really wanted to join them and take a nap!