Predator or prey?

On one of our recent drives along the Mississippi levee, we came upon what appeared at first to be a tranquil scene.  A colony of great egrets, intermixed with a few graceful geese and a great blue heron, was foraging in the shallow water of a flooded farm field.  We sat and watched the peaceful scene for some time.  Then we spotted it.  Sitting on the far shore of the water was a bald eagle, obviously hoping to intimidate and pick off a weaker bird.  After further observation, we spotted a younger eagle sitting high atop a nearby tree.  It was intently keeping a watchful eye over the adult’s progress and encouraging it on.  What had appeared to be a predator in search of small fish or frogs, also turned out to be the potential prey — a hopeful meal for some hungry eagles.  Such is the drama of nature.

“The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.”  ~Douglas Horton

A drive along the levee

A leisurely drive along the Mississippi levee at this time of the year never disappoints.  One of my favorite sightings this month was several Ruby-throated hummingbirds darting in and out among the red clover.  We sat and watched their playful activity for some time.  No photos, but clear, beautiful images in my mind.

“Memory … is the diary that we all carry around with us.”  ~Oscar Wilde

Going fishin’

We spotted this Great Blue Heron along the Reelfoot Lake spillway.  Its mind was singly focused on one thing — catching lunch — which it promptly did, and swallowed whole.

“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.”  ~LL Cool J

A chosen spot

When I first arrived at the boardwalk, I could see this heron at a distance out past the trees.  I thought that my presence might spook him and cause him to fly away.  Instead, to my amazement, I saw him take flight, settling in a spot closer to where I was standing.  As I watched, he casually snatched a couple of tiny fish out of the water.  Then he remained in his chosen spot, watching me as I walked up and down the board walk.

“Happiness is the settling of the soul into its most appropriate spot.”  ~Aristotle

Overflow

Due to heavy rains, the Mississippi River recently overflowed its banks and went beyond the tree line.  These photos were taken on the levee near Tiptonville, TN.

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Rain water also encroached on the land surrounding Reelfoot Lake.  This brought some animals in closer than they might usually come.

“Many waters cannot quench love, Nor will rivers overflow it …”  ~Song of Solomon 8:7

Wading through the cypress swamp

A Great Blue Heron wading through swampy water near Reelfoot Lake.

 

“Have you noticed how children never bypass a puddle of water, but jump, splash, and slosh right through it?  That’s because they know an important truth:  Life was meant to be lived; puddles were meant to be experienced.”  ~Richelle E. Goodrich