Spring Goes *SPROING*

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Wasn’t it just yesterday that it was cold, dreary and my little lakes and estuaries were empty of bird life? It was the quiet time. Trees brown, grass dead, flowers non-existent.

And then yesterday, as if out of no where…

Bing!




Bang!




Boom!



I’m sure to the geese parents it was a bit more complicated than big, bang, boom (ahem….) but to me it’s like these little goslings appeared overnight.

Today, they are cute and I “awwwww” at their little wing nubs.

Tomorrow they are full grown Canada geese standing in the middle of the road as I’m trying to get to work and I curse at them.

That there’s the real circle of life. From an awwww to a blue streak in two easy steps.

Happy Spring!



One To Ponder On

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There’s a lady I work with who I like a lot, and she and I have become pretty good friends. We’ve decided, together, that we need to get more exercise during our long work days. To that end, we’ve started taking lunchtime walks along all the wonderful walking paths near our office.

During the walks, we generally kibitz or cuss about work or discuss the news of the day. I’ve learned that my new friend is a big fan of birds, I think she keeps three at home. She loves looking at all the wild birds out there in our marshland ponds, and I do too.

I’ve talked before about the proliferation of birds, and especially Canada geese, here in my vicinity.

Yesterday my friend and I were walking around the lake at a brisk pace when she suddenly stopped and gasped. “Look at that goose!” she said and pointed.

Running along one side our little lake is a very busy street. This goose was strutting out into traffic, headed for a sizable puddle of standing water. There must have been something tasty looking in that stale water, because the goose would not be denied, full speed ahead…until a car went zooming by, and the goose was blown back by the jet wash.

“Get back here!” my friend shouted to the unsteady goose, as though her maternal tone would make it mind its manners.

“Get back here you goose! You silly, silly goose! You’re a silly goose! Yes you are, why are you such a silly goose?”

Oddly, the goose must have known he was in the presence of One Who Knows Birds, because it did just as she asked. It looked at her warily, then that silly high stepping goose strutted its way back over to the curb, ungracefully waddled up, and went about its way munching at the green grass.

“That’s a good goose,” my friend said as we continued our walk.

I smiled to myself. Now, just who is the real silly goose? The one trying to find food for its existence, or the human hollering at a bird?

Hmmm?





Since today is actually Thursday, then it must be time for Theme Thursday. Today’s prompt is: Silly


The lump in my throat, feeling kind of homesick, photo of the day

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From the National Geographic Photo of the Day site:




(click photo to see larger size)


Photo by Troy Lim, taken December 2010 at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

As a school kid we went on a field trip to the Bosque del Apache and I also went a couple times with my folks. It is one of the most visceral feelings I’ve ever known to sit in among the vast amounts birds at either sunrise or sunset and hear them all calling, honking, tweeting, whatevering at each other. It is a feeling, truly, that nature is much, much greater than you.

And I miss it.

Cheers to you, my Fair New Mexico.


Warfare On The Not-Really-All-That-High Seas

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Back in August, I mentioned that I work in office buildings located right next to a public park and marshy baylands that are home to quite a few birds.

Back in August, it was all about the Canada Geese. Lots and lots of geese.

I’m endlessly fascinated by all the wildlife, so I try to find the time during my work days to take a break and use the beautiful walking trails in the area. I love to stroll by the lagoons, all teeming with wildlife.

Among others species, we have flounder, bat rays, ducks, herons and egrets. The more I sashay around the lagoon, the more I’ve come to recognize many of the animals.

For example, there is this handsome fella (at least I think it’s a fella). This is, I believe, a great white heron:

This heron is always found camped out in one corner of the lagoon. It is where the water flows into the lagoon from an underwater pipe, so the bird stands there gazing into the water and picking off small fish.

For comparison, here’s a snowy egret. They are a bit smaller than the herons.

As the weather has turned cold, I’ve noticed more and more numbers and species of birds have come to call our little baylands area their home.

Mostly, these birds all live together in harmony. There is plenty of fish to eat and lots of room to roam.

But a few weeks ago, some new thugs hit town, and they’re messing up the harmony in my lagoon.

Dun-dun-duuuuuuuun

Pelicans.

The pelicans have brought a weird vibe to the whole area.

Today, I went for a walk and took my camera along hoping for some inspiration. After a long week at work, I had little left in the tank. A photowalk seemed like a good idea.

So while taking a few snaps of my friend the heron, I noticed something odd happening.

About eight pelicans were swimming in fast, full speed ahead. I suppose you could call it ramming speed, and they were headed toward the subject of my photographs.

In other words, they were charging the heron.

Suddenly, every heron and egret in the large lagoon came flying and squawking their way over. There was dive bombing and vocalizing and tense moments.

After a few minutes, the pelicans turned and swam off.

Wild! I’d never seen anything like it! Shaking my head, I began walking again.

A while later, in the next corner of the lagoon, it happened again.

Water splashed, birds squawked. This one was a doozy. It was a well-executed, well-choreographed battle.

After a lengthy tussle, the herons and egrets prevailed again and the pelicans were chased off.

Now every heron and egret was on high alert. They were positioned strategically around the lagoon, each surveying a different direction, eyes sharp for another attack by the pelican insurgents.

Soon, in yet a new section, it all started up again. The splashing, the squawking, the fighting.

From the rear, a large battalion of little black ducks (I believe they are called American Coots) got in the game. They swam over in formation and clumped up, creating an obstacle to prevent the pelican progress.

This is a few minutes after the battle was won. Here, they rest, conserving energy to prepare for the next battle.

A heron soon made his way over to address the soldiers.

“Excellent work, troops. Today, we’ll endure this pelican insurgence. Historians shall speak of this day. Children will learn our names. Our women will weep at our graves.

Coots! Ready your snackies and eat hearty… For tonight, we dine in hell!”

Sure enough, it was only a few minutes later when this gent sailed by.

And OH IT WAS BACK ON!!

This time the herons took a different approach and lined up. They all stood guard, and as the pelicans swam by, each heron in turn would yell and flap at the pelicans until they moved on, then the next would pick up the fight. It was an amazing bit of coordinated defense.

Not sure if this photo can even capture it all, but bear in mind that while you can see about fourteen herons in this photo, there are more around the bend, waiting their turn.

By this time, I’d made my way around the loop and it was time to head back to the office. As I left the scene, I wondered how long the battle would rage on.

Crazy, mixed up, wild maritime fighting. My peaceful lagoon is now a war zone!

And the geese don’t care.

Don’t let the vicious battle happening just a few feet away get in the way of your gorging yourself there, big guy.

All photos by Karen Fayeth