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Sunsets, snow and sunshine set the scene for photos in May Watts Park


At the end of a cloudy New Year’s Day, a sketchy sunset cast light on rolling fog throughout May Watts Park. During a brisk walk along the .89-mile trail, we observed that ducks seemed joyfully boisterous, ice continued to melt on the frozen pond after a subzero week in December and the temperature was 41 degrees.

January 1, 2023 / According to times of sunrise and sunset on January 1, 2023, the length of the day was 9 hours and 57 minutes.

To our surprise, the evening of Jan. 1, 2023, was the last sign of any sun in Naperville in the New Year until mid-afternoon on Jan. 6.

January 2, 2023 / Mallard ducks huddled on the ice at May Watts Park.

Unlike other Januarys in our memory, gray skies have shrouded the City. Yet, regular morning walks have provided many views of the changing season and the natural habitat at May Watts Park. Except for a raft of Mallard ducks feeding naturally in the icy pond, most wildlife has remained hidden so far this month.

January 3, 2023 / When it snows a couple inches, May Watts Sled Hill comes alive with joyful noises and outdoor activity from local youngsters, especially during winter break.
January 4, 2023 / Upon reflection, the footbridge that crosses the pond in May Watts Park is known to be slippery when damp, wet or icy.
January 5, 2023 / Light snow dusts May Watts Park.
January 5, 2023 / Sled Hill in May Watts Park received a dusting of snow throughout the day, but not enough snow to attract play. Signs placed by the Naperville Park District are reminders that no matter what the season, kindly pick up after your dog along the trails and sidewalks.

Early Jan. 6, 2023, little change in the landscape was present as another overcast day greeted early morning walks. Then, mid-afternoon sunlight suddenly brightened the sky.

January 6, 2023 / About 2:30PM, blue skies appeared in West Wind. I grabbed my camera, headed to top of the sled hill. faced east, and took a shot overlooking the trail and pond in May Watts Park.
January 6, 2023 / A 10-minute trek down sled hill and around the pond on May Watts trail presented blue skies high above the clouds looking west.

The forecast for Saturday predicted clouds until noon with sunshine arriving in the afternoon. Still greeted by gray skies, we waited until midafternoon to venture to May Watts Park to finish off the first seven days of 2023 with photos of the neighborhood park that’s surrounded by West Wind and Countryside subdivisions.

January 7, 2023 / Day seven again was overcast with clouds as far as we could see against the backdrop of sepia tones and quacking Mallards.
January 7, 2023 / Though the sun didn’t arrive as predicted in the afternoon, at 2:30PM a great blue heron did touch down on the other side of May Watts Pond near the Mallard ducks. No fan of cameras, the heron flew from the northeast side of pond, over the bridge, to the westside. We hadn’t seen a heron along the shore in a couple months.

Tomorrow is another day.

And sometimes on a warm sunny day in February, anglers find good winter fishing along the shoreline at May Watts Pond.

Here’s hoping for a peaceful year with plenty of what comes naturally.

RELATED POSTS ABOUT MAY WATTS PARK, a natural park setting named to honor May Theilgaard Watts, a naturalist, writer, poet, illustrator, and educator who worked at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle and lived in Naperville. The author of Reading the Landscape of America also is credited with proposing in 1963 what has become a national rails-to-trails program. May Watts Park is located at 1320 Sequoia Road with trail entrances also from Oakton and Whispering Hills.

Post Last Updated, Jan. 7, 2023

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