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
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
The landscape along the Mississippi levee was ablaze with the beautiful, vibrant colors of a variety of wildflowers this past weekend. No matter which direction you looked, the scenery was breathtaking.
“Spring is a whimsical wanderer, blooming beauty along her path”. ~Angie Weiland-Crosby
An eagle dutifully sitting in a nest along the Mississippi levee.
“Dedication is the hours we put in when nobody’s watching.” ~Unknown
On a recent trip to the Reelfoot area, we were able to spot several eagles. The first one we saw was sitting on a log out in the lake. It was keeping an eye on a flock of ducks that was swimming nearby.
Then we drove to the Mississippi levee and saw an eagle sitting in a tree near a large nest.
Further on down the levee, we spotted two eagles sitting in the same tree. One was near the top of the tree and the other was more concealed, sitting on a lower branch.
No matter how many times you see them, it is always a joy to observe these beautiful birds.
“We live in a beautiful and wonderful world … and the more you know about it the wiser and the better you will be.” ~Louisa May Alcott
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