Venturing out

His presence given away by the clear, loud notes of his song, at first this little prothonotary warbler tried to stay hidden, moving about in the shadows of the low foliage at the edge of the lake.  Eventually, his desire to forage brought him out into the open, as he actively hopped from branch to branch in search of insects.

Here, he ventured out to sun and preen himself on the boardwalk.

“Keep not standing fixed and rooted.  Briskly venture, briskly roam.”  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Swallows and water lilies

We drove to Reelfoot Lake to see the water lilies and got the added bonus of watching a swallow family that was hanging out around the water’s edge.

“In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.”  ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

On their journey

Every spring, a flock of cedar waxwings stop by to feast on holly berries in our neighborhood.  They are sociable birds, feeding cooperatively and often seen sitting together, lined up on tree branches early in the morning or late in the afternoon.  After a few days, when the berries have been plucked from the bushes, the waxwings continue their nomadic journey in search of other food.

“Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.”  ~ Izaak Walton

Winged things

A few of the “winged things” that I have taken photos of during the summer.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”  ~Leonardo da Vinci

Getting away

It was nice to get away recently and spend a few days relaxing with family at Chickasaw State Park.   The park is a rustic place, not too far from home, where one can be out in nature enjoying walking trails, picnics, camp fires, and a variety of lake activities.

“A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.”  ~Earl Wilson

Common grackles

The common grackle is one of those birds that both irritates and fascinates.  A flock showed up in our yard in early spring, bringing with them noisy chatter and rowdy behavior at the feeders.  A pair or two stuck around, and during the past couple of months they have been through courtship, nesting, and are now raising a brood which clamor loudly for attention and food.  The juveniles are dull brown with dark eyes. The adults, with their beautiful iridescent colors and stern-looking golden eyes, seem to be devoted to the fledglings, looking out for them and eager to meet their needs.  If the past is any indication, they will all soon move on to places unknown, and the yard will once again be quiet and peaceable.

“It’s amazing how lovely common things become, if one only knows how to look at them.”  ~Louisa May Alcott

Red-winged blackbirds

Flying among the tall grass along the levee were the red-winged blackbirds.  Stopping to perch atop tall stems, the male, with his bright shoulder patches, would occasionally puff up his wings and belt out a loud song.

The female, the less showy of the two with her streaked brown feathers, was quieter and more likely to be overlooked.

“Blackbirds are the cellos of the deep farms.”  ~Anne Stevenson