Green Tree Frog

This Green Tree Frog found a cozy leaf on which to snuggle up and blend in among surrounding lake vegetation.

“When I’m home, I like a cozy, comfortable, calming space.” ~Stacy Keibler

Dragonfly Perches

Dragonflies use a variety of perches on which to land, and then utilize their large eyes to keep a lookout for both prey and predators.  By choosing a good perch, they have the advantage of resting while being on the hunt. They are also able to use several techniques to regulate their body temperature from this resting position.

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest.  Use both and overlook neither.”  ~Alan Cohen

Changed

It’s hard to think about Reelfoot Lake without thinking about the beautiful Cypress trees which line the banks and stand proudly out in the water. 

So, seeing many of the trees torn to shreds by a tornado which passed through the area on December 10 is sobering.

It makes me think even more about the beauty that the trees add to the landscape of the lake, and sad that it has been so badly marred.

Continued prayers for those who lost loved ones and homes in this terrible storm.

“Life changes so quickly that in a second so many things can happen. It is in these flickering moments that we suffer, we endure, we rejoice, and we mourn. It is these moments that will make memories that last a lifetime.” ~Unknown

Snakes about the Lake

During the summer, it is common to see snakes at various places around the lake. Some are poisonous and some are not. Though these creatures have a certain charm and intrigue about them, my favorite way to observe them is definitely from a distance.

Distance lends enchantment to the view.” ~Mark Twain

A Common Goal

While hiking a wooded trail that runs beside the lake, we found a view through the tree tops of a group of White Pelicans flying high overhead. 

Continuing on, we suddenly heard a loud noise, and were surprised to see a flock of White Pelicans mixed with Double-crested Cormorants plummeting onto the lake near where we were hiking. Two birds that you wouldn’t expect to see together, but united in a common purpose.

After the commotion of the landing, the fishing party proceeded quietly along the shore for a short distance and then headed out across the lake toward the opposite shore.

“Teamwork is a powerful advantage when you share a common goal.”  ~Phil Geldart

Cormorants

Other than a gentle whir of wings, there is nothing to indicate that a flock of Double-crested Cormorants are quietly flying overhead.  Shortly before sundown, they can be seen moving swiftly through the sky, perhaps heading for a nearby roosting sight.

While Double-crested Cormorants are interesting birds to watch,

their growing presence at Reelfoot Lake is having damaging and irreversible effects on the local habitat, including the Cypress trees, many of which have been around for hundreds of years. 

These birds strip the bark off of the trees and, over time, their acidic droppings kill the trees and surrounding vegetation.

“A nuisance may be merely a right thing in the wrong place — like a pig in the parlor instead of the barnyard.” ~George Sutherland

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

White Pelicans

We first knew that the pelicans had returned to our area in September when we saw a large flock of them flying high over the Mississippi River.

   

In early November, we were able to see them more closely and enjoy their beauty at Reelfoot Lake.

“Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.”  ~Louis Schwartzberg