Walking the trails and road in the wildlife refuge during the summer can be challenging due to heat, high humidity and a large number of mosquitoes which live there. It’s always nice when the weather cools down and the mosquitoes hibernate or die. Then, it is possible to walk at a slower pace and take the time to enjoy the sights.
“So you see, imagination needs moodling – long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.” ~Brenda Ueland
While hiking a trail in the Reelfoot Wildlife Refuge, this Hermit Thrush caught my attention when it landed on the branch of a nearby tree. A winter visitor to our state, it spends a lot of its time foraging for insects under fallen leaves or searching for wild berries among the forest’s undergrowth.
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” ~Leo Tolstoy
It is common to see the great egret feeding along the edge of Reelfoot Lake, or in nearby seasonally flooded land, between March and October. Their beauty and stately manner continue to fascinate me. These photos were taken at various times over the past year.
“If you are always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in? ~Zig Ziglar
Taking advantage of the cooler fall temperatures and the delightful sunshine, we spent a peaceful afternoon on the lake at Reelfoot Wildlife Refuge. It was fun to hear the sounds of the crows and herons arguing, the screech of the eagles soaring overhead and the gentle sound of the wind blowing across the water.
“Be mindful of the peace and quiet. It is only when you keep silent that you allow the sounds of the forest to enter.” ~Unknown
The dragonflies seemed to know that the warm, sunny days are numbered and will soon be coming to an end. They were out enjoying the sunshine, patrolling their territory and, undoubtedly, taking advantage of the abundance of mosquitoes in the area. Occasionally they would rest on floating leaves or vegetation near the lake’s edge.
“Why are our days numbered and not, say, lettered?” ~Woody Allen
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
Shortly before dusk, a muskrat came swimming across the lake toward the boardwalk at the refuge. As it swam about in the shallow water, foraging on aquatic plants, it joined in a chorus of high-pitched squeals with a couple of other muskrats that were swimming nearby.
“Talking to your best friend is sometimes all the therapy that you need.” ~Unknown