Wonder Close To Home

We do a fair amount of exploring of natural areas farther afield. Recently an unexpected development brought us back to Ohio from warm and sunny Florida a month ahead of schedule. Burr!!! Our trip south each winter is a real treat as we spend almost all of our time outdoors, hiking, canoeing, and photographing critters we see.

Tricolored Heron, Myakka River SP, Florida

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A couple of days after our arrival back in Ohio realizing that the frozen reservoir near our home might mean that waterfowl would be concentrated in the unfrozen river below the dam, we decided to check it out.

A male Wood Duck shares a log with a female Hooded Merganser
A Pied-billed Grebe blends in with female Hooded Mergansers
There were a fair number of Ring-necked and even a few Redhead Ducks, (Donna)
Male and female Goldeneye Ducks, (Donna)
Takeoff! (Donna)
A male Hooded Merganser isn’t interested in sharing.
Female and male Hooded Mergansers
Fishing success!
Perhaps the real surprise of our spur of the moment outing was seeing this male American Wigeon.

Seeing waterfowl so close to home that spend much of the year in locations further north and because of that are usually not seen in our “backyard” was a real treat. Our spirits were elevated after the disappointment of Florida. Setting aside our love of sunshine and warm temperatures, we were reminded that “other places” aren’t the only place to witness the wonder of nature and that there is magic right under our nose. Our local Ohio haunts once again made more precious.

Thanks for stopping by.

Two Small Herons

Over the years watching birds has become a meditation. Something that draws us out of ourselves into the embrace of a larger sacred world and a heightened awareness of the importance of, and kinship with, all life.

A canoe is a useful tool for birding in Florida.

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Two birds that have enchanted us, ever since we started our yearly winter pilgrimage from central Ohio to Florida, are the Tricolored and Little Blue Heron. These similarly sized birds are considerably smaller than their larger cousin the more majestic Great Blue Heron. The Tricolored, with it’s running, hopping, and crouching behavior, is the more active and comical of the two and it can be found foraging anywhere the water depth permits. Generally the Little Blue, with it’s slower movements, is a quiet stalker as it works it’s way along shoreline grasses and overhanging branches looking above and below the water’s surface for edible items.

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Tricolored Heron:

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Little Blue Heron:

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Immature Little Blue Heron with a Tricolored.

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Not long after this picture was taken, high in a tree near waters edge, an anole became a midmorning snack.

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The Tricolored and Little Blue Heron can be found throughout Florida and fortunately for bird lovers are not hard to find. During our recent travels in that state we were blessed with numerous opportunities to observe and enjoy these birds.

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Thanks for stopping by.

 

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