Keeping cool

It’s been a hot summer, and these blue dragonflies at Reelfoot Lake were trying to keep cool.  In order to stay cool during hot weather, dragonflies raise their abdomens straight into the air to reduce their exposure to the sun.  They also use their wings to deflect the sun.

“He who keeps his cool best wins.”  ~Norman Cousins

Bird watching

Back in early May, I spotted two birds in the Reelfoot Lake area that I had never photographed before.  The first was an Eastern Kingbird.  Quite a dapper looking fellow, he was sitting in a Cypress tree out in the lake.  I watched for some time as he flew off to snatch insects out of the air and then returned to the comfort of his perch in  the tree.

The other was a Baltimore Oriole sitting in a tree at the State Park.  He and his female companion were busy with the task of nest-building.  Between all the flurry of activity, he seemed to be dutifully guarding the site.  Baltimore Orioles migrate through our area in the springtime, but generally move northward for the summer.

You never know what you’re going to see when you get out in nature, find a quiet spot and take the time to listen and observe.

“Sometimes when we just stand still the grace finds us.”  ~Mary Davis

Broadhead skink

The adult male broadhead skink is brown or olive brown with an orange head and wide jaws.  I encountered this one on a boardwalk at the lake.  He was moving along in a hurry,  but then realized that I stood between him and the place he wanted to go.  He stopped, uncertain about whether or not to proceed.  Finally, he mustered up his courage and moved forward, and I politely stepped out of his way.

“You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.”  ~Unknown

Look up!

As I was standing and looking out over the lake, I felt a little disappointed at the apparent lack of wildlife in the immediate area.  Then I heard a passing kayaker tell one of his companions to “look up”.  As I lifted my eyes, I was amazed to see a large flock of white pelicans quietly soaring right above my head.  Such a beautiful and graceful sight that I would have otherwise missed if I hadn’t overheard the suggestion to look up.

“… How often we miss God’s treasures
Just because we don’t raise our eyes.
By keeping our narrow focus
We blunder and miss the prize …”
~Joyce Johnson

Patience

“Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson