Spring is in the air, on land and in Ell Pond

...recent activity at Ell Pond points to signs of spring.  
Part I

by Debbi Collar

Once again, at least four Melrose Mirror writers are making the rounds at Ell Pond.
Shirley, Betty, Debbi and our four footed friend Casa, keep constant watch over the
activity of our local wildlife in that area. Despite gray skies, chilly winds in autumn,
falling snowflakes in winter, drizzling rain in Spring, or the Summer heat, some of us
believe that whether you are 2 footed, 4 footed or web footed or winged, we watch each
other's behavioral characteristics and learn each other's routines and habit. Year after
year the same families return to roost, to rest or to enjoy Melrose's Ell Pond. Our aptly
named swans,"Mel," and "Rose," may be the local headliners as the city's most famous and
most photographed swans but they are not the only inhabitants of Ell Pond.

Geese return to Ell Pond, a heron watches for its next meal and ducklings enjoy a swim
with their mom.

Migration in progress and checking out some waterfront nesting properties with our
feathered friends

Even hard shelled painted turtles need a home.

and a furry friend resides in or near a pipe overlooking Ell Pond.

In totally unscientific observations, spanning several years, through my camera lens,
this pictorial essay captures the essence of the the Ell Pond's aquatic life and life of
those residing in trees or on land or in water, then (several years ago) and now as
Spring approaches.

Just hours old and you want me to what? Swim around the pond? I promise I'll just climb
back up to the nest and honestly I won't leave it."

"OK, OK, I'll go around the pond but I prefer being a hitch hiker."

Swans and their cygnets celebrate Valentine's Day any day of the year. Swans on the
right have been spotted in Lynnfield.

Walking around the pond can be quite an experience. Take time to look at all of your
surroundings. See what observations you notice with the wildlife. There are many
entertaining surprises. Enjoy your time looking at Ell Pond now in a different light.

Photo credit- Debbi Collar
***Next month - a pictorial essay on the cygnets and feathered friends flight training


*Editor's note - Once again, a reminder to all residents and visitors to Melrose or any
other pond...

Although all of the animals above are considered cute, they are also wildlife protecting
their young during the Spring and Summer months. Please enjoy them. Please do not feed
them as the bread floating in the water or on their nests may bring predators. Do not get
too close. You stand a chance of being harmed. Leave them space to teach their young how
to forage for food rather than rely on it from humans.

Should you come across any injured wildlife, please contact your local wildlife agencies
that are equipped to handle these situations. One suggestion would be to keep a list of
these agencies on your cellphone.

The Animal Control Officer in Melrose is Coral Hope 781-979-4102

New England Wildlife Center, based on the South Shore but able to locate licensed
rehabilitators on both the North and South Shore areas.781- 682- 4878 and advise
residents what to do in
these situations..

March 3, 2017

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