Monday, April 14, 2014

White Pelicans

The flock approaches turning circles in the sky. With six foot wingspans these huge birds almost disappear and then reappear with their colors that blend with the sky. They land and work the bay together, an amazing sight to enjoy. The group moves in unison and soon dip their huge bills deep searching for fish they have corralled. They work as a pair sometimes, paired up for their lifetime, and it is like a ballet when watching these unique denizens of the waterways nearby.

Must be me and two little dogs agitating the beach.

Out across the water they soar
The gulls enjoy the leftovers, and perhaps the comfort of friends made while down on the Gulf Mexico.
I will be fishing behind this group over the weekend while camping.
I like the gull head with just tail feathers showing behind a wave.

These three all landed together, part of the ballet  to be seen when the flock arrives and fishes together.

This is the fourth season this solitary fellow has come to the same stretch of river. He is not with the flock, nor ever seems to join in with anyone. His mate died on a tiny spit on the river and he stayed with her all season, her limp body laying close by. The following year he returned and sat in the same area and made me think about the intense love these creatures nurture for each other. There is a small rock nearby that he sits on a lot near this tiny point. It would be interesting to find out what is on his mind. Does he expect her to return, or is he at peace remembering what good times they shared as a couple? A continued love story that makes me think many of us don't realize what we have around us with our spouses, friends and families. I discussed this while visiting a friend the other day. Both of us are single men, but it is our extended network of friends and family we share that has made us best of friends since we were in our single digits of age. Both of our families have diminished, so we have a combined network, an extended family like a flock.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Has Sprung, I Think

A few warm days
Really spoils me
Spring has sprung
Only maybe.

A remnant of ice along the lake shore with a herd of yearling deer.
Where ski moguls stay after the ski season.
If you lost your Black Dog tube, here it is. I have my own black dog.

I saw a heart

A favorite stream to play on and look for arrowheads. I like this area since dogs can run loose and explore a variety of scents. It was dry in late fall and early winter so we  came here often and played on the many trees bridging over the stream bed. On this day we looked for antler sheds.

The van pulled up to check their feeders. A couple has maintained these feeders at their favorite campsite all winter. They stay often at this space and enjoy the birds who visit them, but the same campground friends also. I watched a bit, more interested with a recent flock of pelicans down in a bay on the lake. I was also looking over where I might want to stay when I visited again to camp.  The area looks down on the huge lake. I often stay around the corner with a huge site and lots of shade , where this area is more open. This time of year it is nice to have lots of sun to stay warm, so I may have to give it a try.

I had one campground at a state forest where I spent a great deal of time with a couple who always had a the coffee pot going and liked to fish all day as I did. We just showed up on the same days without planning it, both wanting to spend lots of time here trout fishing.The husband and I went at the break of dawn and walked back along a trout stream going from good hole to the next. His wife took her time and would find us with a thermos and cups. She was slower waking and sometimes those blankets were too soft  to get up on a cold morning. A fire was also started back at camp so we had coals to cook our catches on, but if fishing was good it had to be rekindled. For two summers we often met, but one summer I didn't see them. The wife had had some health problems and they were unable to travel. She passed away that year and I toasted our good times with a cup of coffee. I have thought of them when sitting outdoors with a hot cup of coffee, missing her smile and telling me, " I have the coffee going!" I carry my coffee maker with a small metal pot when camping, it can warm one up or conversation with many.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Warm Daze

Not seeing very many eagles, just a few at a time. They are all headed north, they seem  to enjoy the cold. I miss seeing them every day, but know they will return. It is a delight to be so close to them while here, the season seems so short. I saw a nest, but it is on private land and hard to determine who owns it. Best to not disturb this area anyway. One can watch a number of eagle cams, the Decorah site is probably the most popular. I  have fished a lot just across the road from there, catching some nice trout. This area is described as Little Switzerland with lots of tall hills, limestone cliffs and deep valleys to explore. I have regular routines while in the area and love to visit old haunts. The trout wake me up every day before dawn and the streams sing a song to put me a sleep.

I liked the green shimmer on the back of the head of this Lesser Scaup.

You just keep me hanging on

Ruddy Ducks

 Pied-billed Grebe

We're coming!