An abundance of snakes

While walking around the boardwalk at Reelfoot Lake, we came upon a large number of water snakes that were swirling ferverishly in the water.  We were not sure at the time what we were witnessing, but have since found out that it was a breeding or mating ball.  In the spring, female snakes put off a pheromone scent which attracts males.  The male snakes then track the female, and a breeding ball occurs when there are many males competing over the same female.  In these photos, the female is the largest snake.

And since pictures don’t do the situation justice, here is a short video clip that gives a better idea of what a breeding ball looks like.

“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.”  ~Alfred Hitchcock

Going fishin’

We spotted this Great Blue Heron along the Reelfoot Lake spillway.  Its mind was singly focused on one thing — catching lunch — which it promptly did, and swallowed whole.

“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.”  ~LL Cool J

Surrounded by snow and ice

After a wintry cold spell, we once again visited Reelfoot Lake this past weekend and were amazed by the beautiful ice and snow formations surrounding the cypress trees.

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently?  And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.'”  ~Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

Autumn Reflections

A few weeks ago, my husband had a heart attack.  It was the last thing that we had expected.  He was only slightly overweight and at his last yearly checkup, all his tests had come back perfect.  Thankfully, he is doing well now and we are learning to adapt to a few life-style changes.  Times of crisis tend to cause you to reflect upon and appreciate the good things in your life and the people who are there for you during those times.

“If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.”  ~Mitchell Burgess

A chosen spot

When I first arrived at the boardwalk, I could see this heron at a distance out past the trees.  I thought that my presence might spook him and cause him to fly away.  Instead, to my amazement, I saw him take flight, settling in a spot closer to where I was standing.  As I watched, he casually snatched a couple of tiny fish out of the water.  Then he remained in his chosen spot, watching me as I walked up and down the board walk.

“Happiness is the settling of the soul into its most appropriate spot.”  ~Aristotle

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