Flitting In the Treetops

Walking along the boardwalk, you could hear the lively chirping of birds as they fluttered among the branches high up in the tops of the bald cypress trees.

One of the most visible was the Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler which weaved in and out of the branches, flashing its bright yellow rump and sides as it searched for insects.

An energetic female Red-winged Blackbird clung to branches and did acrobatics as she used her beak to pick treats from among the greenery.

The most flashy of the birds was the Prothonotary Warbler with its bright yellow feathers. Migrating here in early spring, it spends the breeding season nesting and hunting for its favorite diet of insects and snails.

What a delight to be able to hear and observe these busy little birds.

“Spring would not be spring without bird songs.” ~Francis M. Chapman

Recent Sightings

Reelfoot Lake and the land along the Mississippi levee are favorite places to go for bird-watching. While some birds live there year-round, others migrate in and out at various times of the year, so you never know what you’re going to see. Here are some which were spotted between January and April.

Expect nothing.  Live frugally on surprise.”  ~Alice Walker

Frosty Knees & Decorated Trees

Last time we were at Reelfoot Lake, ice formations made by windblown spray decorated the cypress knees and bases of the trees.  For the most part, our winter has been mild, with temperatures going from freezing at night to above freezing in the daytime, so though the ice wasn’t as thick as it has been in the past, it was still an impressive and beautiful sight.

The winter tree is a snowflake dressed in grace and bones, a simple miracle to behold on winter’s lonely road.”  ~Angie Weiland-Crosby

White Pelicans

A flock of white pelicans has arrived at Reelfoot Lake on their annual fall migration. We try not to miss a chance to see these beautiful, impressive birds.

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” ~Helen Keller

Contented

There almost looks like a smile on this turtle’s face as he sits contently, basking in the sunshine at the base of a large cypress tree out in the lake.

“A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home.”  ~Unknown

Turtles

Turtles seem to be plentiful this year. Here are a few seen in May and June.

“Wisely, and slow.  They stumble that run fast.”  ~William Shakespeare

Frosty Feet

During the recent arctic blast, Reelfoot Lake froze over and ice formed around the base or foot of the Cypress trees which stand out in the water. This usually happens once or twice each winter, and is a beautiful gift of nature that shouldn’t be missed.

“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”  ~Aristotle

“[W]hat a severe yet master artist old Winter is … No longer the canvas and the pigments, but the marble and the chisel.” ~John Burroughs

… Winter is the king of showmen
Turning tree stumps into snowmen …

… And spreading sugar over lakes.
Smooth and clean and frosty white,

The world looks good enough to bite …
~Ogden Nash

“Winter giveth the fields, and the trees so old, their beards of icicles and snow.”  ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“If you listen carefully, the silence is beautiful.”  ~Unknown

Turtle watching

As a small child, one of my favorite parts of going to Reelfoot Lake was seeing the turtles lined up on the logs along the roadside and out in the lake.  Nothing has changed.  This is still one of the highlights of my visits.

“There is absolutely no reason for being rushed along with the rush.  Everybody should be free to go slow.”  ~Robert Frost

Reflections

A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.  ~Henry David Thoreau