Dusk is a great time for wildlife viewing. I haven't been working late recently, since my wife Denise goes to work in the evenings when I come in from outdoors to look after Owen. But now Owen is getting old enough, and the weather nice enough, for him to help with after-work projects on the preserve.
Last night we were digging fence post holes (more on that in a later blog entry) up the road behind the other barn, with Owen making noises appropriate to his efforts with the digging bar (one-handed, with dad holding above). We witnessed a pair of Canada geese landing heavily on our very small pond. That kicked up a pair of disgruntled mallards. And shortly thereafter a great blue heron came in to land on the water, only to find the geese who made a ruckus causing the heron to move on. The preserve's pond is small enough—and we've let the vegetation grow up around it enough—that it doesn't normally support geese, which sometimes overstay their welcome in other landscapes.
The evening was topped off by hearing the buzzy "Pzeet" of a woodcock in the thicket below us. I've always known they are here but have rarely heard them. You have to be outdoors at the right time and right place to observe them.
I know our signs say the preserve is open only dawn to dusk. If you would like to stay a little late to observe some of this wonder, that's fine. Just let me know in advance or leave a note on the dashboard of your car.