Between Wells Drive and US Highway 40 there is a tall mound, just north and west of the Park and Forestry Division yard where they keep their trucks, tractors, mowers and other equipment The sky has been calling me today, an overarching field of cyan wandered by herds of clouds, like so many celestial sheep. I scramble to the top to get some big sky photos and see him on the fence around the horse paddock, glinting golden in the afternoon sun. My first gold finch photo of the year! An eastern kingbird also perches on the fence just a few yards away.
From there I descend to Carr Lane Drive and walk along the west side of the successional forest. Situated between the meadows but the east side of the zoo and the Jewel Box, the successional forest is relatively young forest, allowed to go wild in just the past 30 or so years. Prior to that time it was, according to Forest Park Forever, “maintained as formal parkland with mostly mowed turf and planted landscape trees.” Now you can find a great many wild things living there (I think I love them).
As I approach Wells Drive from the north I see two hawks drop suddenly to the ground from nearby trees. One of them has its prey in its talons and, once on the ground, starts to tear at it. I creep slowly closer, taking pictures as I go, but as I get about 100 feet away, he gets nervous and flies off to finish his task in a tall tree.