Flood Control

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Levees are not that common in Connecticut and it looks like it has been quite awhile since any water has climbed the sides of this one in Windham. Mansfield Hollow Lake is formed, or enlarged, behind the levee and the water empties through a dam into the Willimantic Reservoir.

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Water is flowing out of the Lake at the far side of the dam.

Walk a little over a mile on the levee to come to the “end of the road” where a gate and sheer walls turn the walkers and joggers back the way they came. It’s hard to imagine the circumstances when water would overflow this structure.

Lovely water reflections made up for not seeing any birds on this December afternoon.

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Tropical December 24 in Connecticut

The temperature rose to nearly 70 degrees in central Connecticut today, which is most unusual for December 24th. Late this afternoon I walked around our back yard and was surprised to find a Black-Eyed Susan and a Purple Violet in bloom. Both flowers looked like they had been chewed on, likely by some bug that also shouldn’t be out at this time of year.

The Downy Woodpeckers kept to their routine as the afternoon light waned.

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Ponds

Northeastern Connecticut is dotted with small ponds, lakes and reservoirs. Now that we are fully into “brown” season we explored a few last week and were rewarded with smooth water and reflections. The evergreens in the photo above were the most colorful thing around. We didn’t see much for wildlife this December day, either.

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This is either an inactive beaver lodge or the residents have tucked in for the winter.

 

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One squirrel surveyed the grounds at James L. Goodwin State Forest at the edge of Pine Acres Lake.

Hampton Reservoir and the pond at Brown Hill Marsh were as smooth as a mirror, with puffy cloud reflections. (Click to enlarge photo or view as slide show.)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is aptly described by Cornell Lab’s All About Birds as being “overflowing with energy!” As a small flock of them darted in and out of this small fruit tree I tried to work out their flight pattern. Almost like a helicopter they changed direction midair and proved elusive to photograph. They flew quite close to me without seeming to care about my presence, and flitted off just as fast. Chickadees came and went at a more leisurely pace.

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