A recent afternoon brought a trip to the wetlands just down the road from us with the Artistic One, she who motivates me to get out of the house, grab camera and go see.
The wetlands are nearer home than the Day Use area that Kat and I visited earlier this summer. You do remember that walk, don’t you, where the dogs frolicked in the water and we enjoyed the views? The wetlands are downriver, where the river joins the lake. I think. I should check the map before I say that with authority.
We have noticed when we head to the big(ger) town down the road, the white pelicans lined up in a neat row in the lake. Sometimes they gather in haphazard groups, but often they form the row. Quite intriguing. We are seeing them grouped together more now, and suspect they might be getting ready to migrate south for the winter.
The white pelicans are huge birds weighing up to 30 pounds with wingspans up to 9 feet. They do not dive for their food, as the brown pelicans do, but scoop it up as they swim. Huge, proud birds. I cannot imagine carrying that weight the many miles south to their winter destinations.
Lifestyles. They differ from species to species, from human to human. I have just finished reading a book, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen, which I have seen referred to as a memoir, but seems to me to be a book of essays about life and living and the way we choose to live and to age. She talks about how we change as we age, how our views and our manner of dealing with life changes. She talks about the trials that life can bring, and living with or through those trials.
“And then sometimes we become one of those people and are amazed, not by our own strength but by that indomitable ability to slog through adversity, which looks like strength from the outside and just feels like everyday when it’s happening to you.”
Perhaps for these pelicans, and all the other feathered creatures that travel miles and miles twice a year,every year, it is like that too. To them, it just feels like everyday.
I first found Anna Quindlen when she had a column in Newsweek and I have since read her novels. I see her as a very down to earth person, one whose ego has not become over-inflated with a sense of self-importance, a successful woman who is also a wife and mother.
Anna quotes her friend, Robin Morgan who was approaching 70, saying “Parts of me I never even knew I had sometimes ache – but parts of me I never knew I had in my brain sing” This resonated with me, because it is an apt description of how I feel so much of the time!
I believe this is a juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron, but I cannot offer an explanation as to why it’s out looking as if it’s searching for dinner during the day. These trips to places inhabited by wild birds have resulted in much searching by me – and ultimately resulted in my purchasing a much larger app for birds – going from iBirds Yard to iBirds Plus, and adding the Peterson birding app as well.
We were so sure this bird was a Sandpiper, until my searches led me to discover Sandpipers do not live in our area. Those searches led me to believe that this is a Wilson’s Phalarope, which is a Sandpiper-like bird.
This ends part one of our trip to the wetlands. You know me, can’t just be happy with a few photos and a few words – I must stretch it out as much as possible.
In the meantime, check out Anna Quindlen. Perhaps you will enjoy her writing as much as I do.