Friday, April 23, 2010

Fine Fine Day

I finally added the photo to 4/20's post about the Barbie leg pine branch, if you're interested.

For today's entry:
It's a fine day in the life of a birder when at 10:30am two male scarlet tanagers, brilliant in their red, cavort in the bare limbs of a hickory tree not ten yards away, and later---after a good day's work at her computer---she sees a large heron, likely a great blue, fly slowly across the sunset parallel to the surface of the water with the aerodynamic silhouette that only a heron can make---neck folded back against body, long beak leading, wings wide and bent, straight legs stretched horizontally behind---to slice the orange backdrop of cloud and redhot ball of sun exactly in half---and neither one is the single-most significant sighting about which she chooses to write.

Such was the day this birder had yesterday---the day the bald eagle woke her up. And still she has not mentioned a mysterious episode with a domestic black cat or the luck she had with the revisions of chapter six---or even the beautiful poem a friend sent.

So today---already today---I rose @ 6:00am, made coffee, set up chair & binoculars & camera on the porch, propped open the screen door, and was rewarded by my bald eagle, within thirty seconds of sitting down, cruising low and slow over the bay. I could only hear the minimal splash in the water, because the large bush at the base of the pine tree blocked my view, but sure enough, immediately after the splash, rose the eagle to his favored perch in the pine.
Assuming the bobbing of his head was the swallowing of his catch, I was thrilled to catch it myself on camera. dkm

p.s. I finished the above entry in my morning journal at 7:30am. By 8:30 I had written this in the top margin of the page:

An osprey---my god, I think it's an osprey---just settled into topmost needles of the pinetree with a clear fluty call---from there to fly down, hover momentarily over the water, and plunge feet first into the bay with an enormous splash. As it flew away it shook itself like a dog after a bath. Roger Tory confirmed the osprey identification. Black body, whitish belly, white in wings when opened, long heavily feathered legs. Definitely not my eagle, though I thought at first it was.

And just now, before leaving for town to post this blog, a smallish bird with greenish belly swooped down to snatch a tiger swallowtail butterfly from the air in the path right in front of me. This place is a backyard spectator's paradise. I will almost be relieved to get home where I don't have so much to choose from! But no, the nestling bluebirds are waiting for me there. dkm


Anonymous said...

I love the pine tree barbie leg!

And everyone must prefer their shrimp still wriggling. hehe

What amazing hunters birds are when they can just plunge into water and grab fish with their feet.

Patricia said...

Oh Deb! How I've loved your posts from the bay! I know you will miss it and you will be missed. I'll give you a full report when I head that way mid-May. Can't wait to see some new Wayback pages.

dkm said...

Thanks for reading them! Let's definitely have lunch after I return home and before you leave. There's so much I DIDN'T write about. I'm already grieving having to leave this beautiful place. will e-mail when I return.

Patricia said...

Lunch it is! Can't wait to hear ALL! I return from Duke May 3, so maybe sometime that week?

dkm said...

Wahoo! Leaving the Whataburger now, boss.

Are you at Duke now?

Patricia said...

I go to Duke the morning of the 28th to mentor for the training. I'm very excited. So glad my website is up in time to show it off.

Have a safe journey home.