It’s a bit difficult to focus on any subject other than politics lately, alas the birds have saved the day, indeed the week. The young Blue Heron swooped toward the Egret on the far side of the slough, it was surprising to say the least. It’s hard telling why it happened, I certainly am at a lose for words; the only reason may be due to the Herons young age. He is a beautiful bird however, one that will only gain in stature as it inherits a part of the river.
They are big animals as well as graceful slow flyers. They add a calming tone when they are present but don’t be fooled they are apex predators, few small animals of any species are safe while they are on the hunt.
The same is true of the Snowy Egret, ever present hunting untiring from early morning until late at night. They hunt until the sun is so low they are difficult to photograph. They are also graceful flyers slowly beating their wings to a beat only they dance to.
As graceful as they are while flying it is matched while hunting, until the Egret decides to dive for a meal. The photo above depicts the Egret moments prior to being completely drenched after falling (?) in attempting to grab a minnow. Animals share some traits with humans, or a least we think they do when in reality some reactions are universal. This large bird mounted the tules after its upset then looked around as if to find out if anyone saw that. Our way of thinking about their reactions really tell us more about ourselves than the animals, we have this 800 pound Elephant in the room his name is “Ego”. We do that with all animals especially domestic pets, much like I did yesterday when the mouse rested on the toe of my shoe in the shop. The fact is they most likely have very few thoughts about the reactions we have, realistically they have one thought “food”.
The Western Reef Heron in the picture above is not a resident of this slough, it drops by once in a blue moon. Claiming the coveted Pylon he did not yield until well after dark deciding to return to it’s favorite roost for the night. Skunkpuppy did not bother this one, it’s difficult to know why. There again I try to attach human traits and thinking to my partner. If that was the Blue Heron or heaven forbid her Nemesis the Snowy Egret she would have not tolerated that for a second.
Rain is on the way, hopefully, weather is so unpredictable that even the weather forecasters once in a while predict weather it unexpectedly changes. Taking everything into account they do an excellent job, it helps even if the forecast is wrong. Not much is wrong with predicting nasty weather urging us to become prepared for it, then surprisingly enough it does not materialize. The only downside is we end up with extra water and other supplies stocked for every day use or an unexpected blackout, none the less our blackout box is almost fully stocked. One item is missing however, the peculator is in it, the can opener is in there also, but we either need to include a coffee grinder. A manual or 12 volt will work, or better yet ground coffee in a can (they’re all plastic now) and Swiss Miss chocolate after all an old guy should have to put up with only so much.
I look across the slough at the high fire risk area, again, last month we were included and a blackout was experienced by us. This week one was scheduled but when the winds did not come up they were cancelled, we were not included in that forecast.
When the weather changes, Tuesday is the forecast, more animals will show up on the river. I will attempt to capture photos and videos of them, it’s an exciting time of year on Taylor Slough.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance