Standing among the duckweed

This spot at the Reelfoot National Wildlife Refugee is one of my favorite places to stand and listen to silence, intertwined with the occasional sweet sounds of nature.

“In mid-wood silence, thus, how sweet to be,
Where all the noises, that on peace intrude
Come from the chittering cricket, bird, and bee,
Whose songs have charms to sweeten solitude.”
~John Clare

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