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 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

White pelicans

White pelicans, migrating from their breeding grounds in the north, sometimes take a southern route along the Mississippi River.  A number of these birds arrived at Reelfoot Lake in October in search of food and a place to rest.

On our first encounter with them, we spotted a large number flying silently overhead.

Later, we saw several sitting on logs out in the lake, preening their beautiful white feathers.

Below, the second pelican from the right eventually grew tired of sitting and preening, and opted instead to go for a swim.

Whether in the air or on the lake, it is always a welcome surprise to come across these magnificent birds.

“Nature’s prime favourites were the Pelicans; High-fed, long-lived, and sociable and free.”  ~James Montgomery

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

Dining coots

On our last visit to Reelfoot Lake, we spotted a number of coots swimming close to the water’s edge, foraging for food.  On that day, they were pulling aquatic plants and small fish from the shallow waters.

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”  ~Luciano Pavarotti

Great Blue Herons

We spotted these blue herons standing in the floodwaters of Reelfoot Lake.  Due to excessive rain during the past two months, the lake, which is usually out beyond the tree line, has spilled over its shores.

“Don’t pray for the rain to stop; pray for good luck fishing when the river floods.”  ~Wendell Berry