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The Daily Bucket is a place where we can post and exchange our observations about the natural happenings in our neighborhoods. Birds, bugs, blossoms and more - each notation is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the natural patterns that are unwinding around us.
We just got back from a walk in our neighborhood. Most of the routes looping around us are about two miles, and most of the time we end up walking by the little retention pond, as we did today.

Right now it's about 37° out but was cooler when we started. Not much breeze but on the high points of the route, and then it felt quite brisk. There is a skim of ice on half of the pond. The number of geese seems to have settled at a couple dozen. They were standing on the bank as we walked up, and then waddled away toward the water when we were closer.

A few days ago we saw a kingfisher, as we often do. It was squawking and moving around, seemingly alarmed. Today there was no sign of it.

Muskrats live in the pond, too. We watch them sliding through the water, mostly just beneath the surface. The other day one approached the side where two mallards had been resting. As it moved closer, they calmly moved away at an angle.

Today we saw the muskrat paddling toward the side of a small pool of water. Jim said, "Watch. When it sees us it will disappear with a big splash." Sure enough, moments later it did.

Cattails are about done for the year. The fuzz has exploded out of the tips. At the base of a large tree I saw a mighty pile of fuzz and went closer, wondering if it was animal fur. No, it was just a cattail some neighborhood kid had pounded into smithereens.

A blue jay scolded from a small naked tree. When we spotted it we saw it peeking into an abandoned nest, much too small to be its own.

Closer to home (in our yard,) Jim took a couple of photos. The first is our garden, where we usually grow tomatoes, basil, pole beans, and some number of other things. It is cleaned out for the year. We hope next year's weather is more favorable and we have more produce from our own yard. The other photo is a close-up of a barberry bush. They are brilliant and festive in their color right now.

What's going on in your neighborhood? Remember to tell us where you are.

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