Well, that's it for the mammals! They were a lot of fun and certainly easy to identity. It's now time for me to settle into a bit of botanical confusion... :-)
I am fairly sure that this is bud and bark of an ash tree. (Not many trees have opposite branching, which does help here.) Once the flowers extend I may have a more conclusive ID. If that doesn't get me there, leaves will soon to follow. This seems not to be a common tree around the lake.
In general, it is this stage of development that might not be well documented. Of course, I do remember early frustration as I scratched my head over dried up pods and flowers, that is until I found a few good resources.
I'm excited over the next couple of posts--in the first we'll look at one species' leftovers from last year; in the next we'll catch some glimpses of an early starter.