Monthly Archives: April 2013

Mini creature-feature

Yup, raining proverbial cats and dogs, and Goldfinches.

Soggy light makes for slow shutter speeds.

The good news is that we’re getting the rain we need to relieve and stay out of drought, and everything is suddenly very green.

Fly like a bird – part 1

It looks like I won’t have much opportunity to get outdoors this weekend, so here’s something from my “random thoughts” file.

When humans aspire to flight prowess, they often turn to the raptors. Fighter aircraft are named after Eagles, Falcons, and so on.

I find this rather curious when you consider that the hunting success of raptors can be as low as 10%, depending on the prey. I’ve heard credible stories, and I’ve witnessed myself, cases where a raptor was completely out-flown.

The back of my house is L-shaped. One day I happened to be looking out a window near the inside corner of the L when two birds came around the far corner, going fast. They headed into the corner where I couldn’t see, but I heard a soft whump against the side of the house at the same time as a Mourning Dove shot out across the window in front of me and off into the woods. This all took place within about 1.5 seconds. I looked around and saw a rather ruffled Cooper’s Hawk sitting on a nearby tree branch. I think that dove knew exactly what she was doing by going into that corner where she could outmaneuver the hawk and escape.

So who’s the better flier?

The truth of the matter is that all birds are masters of flight, as that’s the way they get around and conduct their business of survival. An inept flier, in the wild, would not survive long.

Creature Feature 2013 #2

The weather finally decided to warm up, and it was a super day to go paddle around the lake. The water level is up, so I was able to poke around in the woods and marshy areas up at the northeast end of the lake, but there was wildlife action all up and down the lake. Spring is here, no question about it. As usual, high-res images are available by clicking on the picture below.

One sure sign of spring: lots of pollen:

A local pair of Osprey use the top of the water intake structure as a nesting platform. They’re back again this year, and I was present for the changing of the guard. You can see one of ‘em down low on the nest as the other one lands. Another sure sign of Spring.

Turtles were out sunning all over the lake. I don’t think I’ve ever see this many in one place:

Cormorants were all over the place too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many in one place:

I’ve talked before about how difficult it is to get a good picture of a Kingfisher. I caught this one with a beak-full. Dinner time!

A mystery bird. The shape makes me think of a Heron of some sort, maybe an American Bittern, but the markings don’t seem to be prominent enough. If this was a Bittern, they were probably migrating through.

This is a new one on me: a Prothonotary Warbler. All About Birds says this bird is found in southeastern wooded swamps, which is exactly where I saw this one:

Beavers have been at work, explaining all the hidden ponds up at the northeast end of the lake:

As I was leaving the northeast end of the lake, I found about a half-dozen geese between me and the main lake. I managed to talk my way out of there and avoid capture. :)

Ekom fire station

On 28-March-2013, the Ekom fire station on Neely Ferry Rd. between Hickory Tavern and Waterloo, SC, was destroyed by fire.

The Laurens County Advertiser reported that insurance would cover a lot of the loses, but there’s a lot that won’t be covered. A fund has been set up at the Provident Community Bank. Checks can be made out to the Ekom Fire Department and sent to the bank at:
206 Hillcrest Drive
Laurens, SC 29360
or call the bank at +1 864 984 2531.
Somewhere, some time later, there’s probably a line about fighting fire with fire, but right now the community needs to get fired up to help restore this station. It’s the only one for many miles around.