Pelican and friends

This white pelican looked very comfortable sitting quietly with his two turtle friends on a log along the levee.

“The best kind of friend is the kind you sit with, never say a word and walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you ever had.”  ~Steven Wright

Muskrats

Shortly before dusk, a muskrat came swimming across the lake toward the boardwalk at the refuge.  As it swam about in the shallow water, foraging on aquatic plants, it joined in a chorus of high-pitched squeals with a couple of other muskrats that were swimming nearby.

“Talking to your best friend is sometimes all the therapy that you need.”  ~Unknown

A Leaf Nest

I’ve been watching this nest for some time, pretty sure that it belonged to one of the Eastern gray squirrel families that frequent our yard.  It’s carefully positioned in a fork between a stout pine limb and the main trunk and was constructed out of sticks, pine needles, leaves and other natural materials.  It is in a perfect place for a nest because of its proximity to a bird feeder and an endless supply of pine cones.

This afternoon, I spied a squirrel exiting the nest.  It positioned itself on a forked branch below the nest which afforded it a wide view of our yard.  Seeing that the coast was clear,  it eased down the side of the tree and over to the feeder for a snack of sunflower seeds before heading to the birdbath for a quick drink.

Shortly after the first squirrel left the tree, a second one also came out of the nest, sitting a while on a nearby branch before heading to the forked overlook for a careful survey of the yard.  Feeling safe, it too carefully climbed down the side of the tree and headed to a feeder — ever mindful of the watch dog who faithfully guards the yard.

“But when it comes to living there is no place like home.”  ~Henry van Dyke

Around the levee

At this time of year, a drive around the flooded fields and woods surrounding the Mississippi levee never disappoints.  It offers an opportunity to observe a variety of  waterfowl and small birds.

“Birds are the most popular group in the animal kingdom. We feed them and tame them and think we know them. And yet they inhabit a world which is really rather mysterious.”  ~David Attenborough

Golden sunset

This is one of my favorite places to watch the sun set at Reelfoot Lake.  On this day, as I watched the lake reflect the golden color of the sky, two eagles which had previously gone undetected suddenly took flight.  It was all quite a lovely sight and a free gift for the taking.

One midnight, deep in starlight still,
I dreamed that I received this bill:
… Five thousand breathless dawns all new;
Five thousand flowers fresh in dew;
Five thousand sunsets wrapped in gold;
One-million snow-flakes served ice-cold;
Five quiet friends; one baby’s love;
One white-mad sea with clouds above;
One hundred music-haunted dreams
Of moon-drenched roads and hurrying streams;
Of prophesying winds, and trees;
Of silent stars and browsing bees;
One June night in a fragrant wood;
One heart that loved and understood.
I wondered when I waked at day,
How—how in God’s name—I could pay!”
~ Cortlandt W. Sayres