White pelicans

White pelicans, migrating from their breeding grounds in the north, sometimes take a southern route along the Mississippi River.  A number of these birds arrived at Reelfoot Lake in October in search of food and a place to rest.

On our first encounter with them, we spotted a large number flying silently overhead.

Later, we saw several sitting on logs out in the lake, preening their beautiful white feathers.

Below, the second pelican from the right eventually grew tired of sitting and preening, and opted instead to go for a swim.

Whether in the air or on the lake, it is always a welcome surprise to come across these magnificent birds.

“Nature’s prime favourites were the Pelicans; High-fed, long-lived, and sociable and free.”  ~James Montgomery

Backyard squirrels

What a quiet place our yard would be without the activity of the squirrels as they scurry among the pine trees.  At this time of the year, they are particularly busy collecting or munching on seeds and nuts.

“People look at me like I’m a little strange, when I go around talking to squirrels and rabbits and stuff.  That’s ok.  That’s just ok.”  ~Bob Ross

Chicken of the woods

These bright orange mushrooms, which were growing in clusters on a dead tree,  immediately caught my attention as we drove down a winding, wooded road.  Known as ‘Chicken of the Woods’, these edible, wild mushrooms fit in perfectly with all the other beautiful colors of autumn that we are seeing.

“As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas and colors enough to paint the beautiful things I see.”  ~Vincent Van Gogh

Bald eagle

Walking along the boardwalk at the Reelfoot Wildlife Refuge, we spotted a Bald eagle sitting near the top of a cypress tree a short distance away.  It was keeping a close eye on a number of coots which were swimming among the vegetation out in the lake.

“Food may be essential as fuel for the body, but good food is fuel for the soul.” ~Malcolm Forbes

An unexpected guest

This pine warbler made a quick stop at my feeder one day this week.  Though not one that I had seen around before, his bright color and cheery trill were most welcome.

“Always remember to set a place at the table of life for the unexpected guest.”  ~Linda Ellerbee