Posted in Air, Change, Critters, Digital Art, Earth, Mindfulness, Nature, Ohio, Photography, Pond, Quotes, Spirit, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Water

Before the snow

The sky was bright and fluffy
The sky was bright and fluffy

In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.

~ Robert Lynd

On a Saturday
On a Saturday before the ground turned white

Before the snows came, the sky was bright and fluffy with clouds, and a few visitors stopped by to do some fishing in the pond.

Is it an angel, a fairy, or an egret?
Is it an angel, a fairy, or an egret?

It’s a very rare thing, but every now and then a Great Egret comes to visit the pond.  They don’t live in our area, but pass through on their migration to elsewhere.

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Egrets don’t seem to be as shy as our Great Blue Herons.  I sat outside on the deck on Saturday and watched as this beautiful, graceful creature landed near the cattails at the back of the pond.  I stayed for about an hour as he made his way around the pond.  A Great Blue Heron probably wouldn’t have landed in the first place, and certainly would have left if he’d seen me walking around on the deck.  The egret didn’t mind me at all.

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… I keep looking for one more teacher, only to find that fish learn from the water and birds learn from the sky.

~ Mark Nepo

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Here’s are some interesting tidbits about the Great Egret from Cornell’s All About Birds website:  

  • The oldest known egret was 22 years, 10 months old.  It was banded in Ohio.
  • The Great Egret is the symbol for the National Audubon Society.  They were once hunted for their plumes, called aigrettes, which were used to decorate ladies’ hats.  Audubon was formed to protect birds from being hunted and killed for their feathers.
  • The Great Egret is a slow flyer whose cruising speed is about 25 mph, and has a wing beat of 2 per second.
Time to leave
Time to leave

The Great Egret is not the only bird fishing the pond.  There is a Great Blue Heron who stops by every day now.  He’s gorgeous.  Great Blue Herons live in this area year round although we don’t usually see them at our pond during the winter months.

On display
On display

There was a Red-Tailed Hawk in the vicinity on Sunday when our Great Blue Heron stopped by.  There were also a couple of ducks and geese floating around.  I’ve noticed in the past that when a hawk is around, the herons will make themselves look bigger.  I can’t imagine that the herons are in any danger from the hawks (herons are not listed as prey for hawks), but I suppose it doesn’t hurt to put on a little display just to show who’s bigger and who’s boss.

A turn of the head
A turn of the head

I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear.  And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen.

~ Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge:  An Unnatural History of Family and Place

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It continues to be cold here in the Bogs.   It’s been snowing all afternoon and there is more snow in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow.  I suspect it’s lake-effect snow, but I haven’t been paying enough attention to be sure.  Does it really matter where and how the snow is generated?  Snow is snow.

Fishing
Fishing

If we learn to read the birds — and their behaviors and vocalizations — through them, we can read the world at large… if we replace collision with connection, learn to read these details, feel at home, relax, and are respectful — ultimately the birds will yield to us the first rite of passage:  a close encounter with an animal otherwise wary of our presence.

~ Jon Young, What the Robin Knows:  How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World

During the snowfall
During the snowfall

Thank you for visiting today and watching the birds of the pond with me.  They are so beautiful and regal, don’t you think?

Pacing
Pacing

Have a delightful day, evening, night… wherever and whenever you are on the spectrum of time.  🙂

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

30 thoughts on “Before the snow

  1. Beautiful photos today, Robin! I loved seeing the birds that are paying visits to the Bogs. I saw my very first, live and in person, male cardinal the other day and immediately thought of you. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Dana. 🙂 How wonderful that you got to see a cardinal in person! I was reading something the other day about animal totems and the cardinal. It is said that those who attract the cardinal are naturally energetic (full of fire, I reckon) and love life. Sounds like you.

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  2. Those are beautiful pictures of egrets and herons. I particularly like picture of the “fairy” egret, but all the pictures are lovely – as is the post. You have really started wonderfully with this new blog of yours. By the way your name still links to the old blog.

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    1. Thank you, Otto. That’s my favorite of this series too. And thank you for letting me know about my name linking to my old blog. I’ve gone in and checked all the settings again, and hopefully have it fixed now. I tried clicking on my name from a comment I left at your blog and it seems to be working. *fingers crossed* 🙂

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  3. Magical photos of the egret and heron, Robin. How lucky you are to live in such a beautiful place and with a pond to attract such beautiful creatures. Thank you for sharing these photos; I love the last one of the heron especially.

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  4. Such magnificent birds, Robin, many thanks for letting me see them through your eyes… I envy you so much… (envy unlike jealousy hasn’t the green eyed sting methinks.) .. 🙂 … I took a deep breath and refreshed my lungs… then off I go, flying back to reality…The snow is slowly melting, but we’ve been told the temperatures may not improve thro’ to the middle of April… Yikes.!! xPenx
    (Can you pass the Brandy Bottle back? 😉 )

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    1. I owe you an apology, Pen. I’ve been hogging the Brandy Bottle. *passes it back* I do hope the weather over on your side of the pond has improved by now, and that you didn’t need the brandy too much.

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      1. ’tis ok Robin, I’ve got another bottle … (not that I’m a heavy drinker, of course, just always prepared 😉 ) ’tis still cold temperature wise, but the sun keeps showing it’s lovely face… happy trails… xx

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  5. I’m always amazed at how you can capture birds with your camera, Robin. We have many egrets here, too, because we are surrounded by water. I love watching the pelicans fly low in their formations over the ocean and then dive for fish. They aren’t still long enough for me to get a good picture, though.

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  6. Wonderful! How great to have that opportunity with the egret. I’ve only seen them from afar. I hope your snow is over. It has all melted here finally and I hope we’ve seen the last of it until next winter.

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    1. Thank you, Karma. 🙂 Usually I only see them from afar or in a flash (because they sometimes come and go so quickly). I was lucky to be outside when this fellow showed up.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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