Rain is falling, the sky is overcast and the temperature is at 58º, it’s actually just a bit more than a drizzle. It’s not falling hard or steady but it’s gradually gaining, by morning it’s suppose to be a steady hard rain; the jury is still out. More snow will fall in the mountains, the rain will help add water to the struggling reservoirs now nearly devoid of aqua. The wildfires are out.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take numerous pictures of the Great White Egrets on the slough. This three photo series was interesting to watch as the Egret made it’s way to the far levee. I had taken a shot of a Heron earlier catching a small animal, I was expecting the same from the Egret. That was not to transpire and it started me to wonder what the success ratio is for the big birds.
I see them catching small fish regularly but I’ve yet to see an Egret catch anything of size. I’m sure they do but it’s been a fleeting experience for me. Just watching them motionless for such long periods of time captures my imagination.
In this picture it’s nearing the landing spot, I was unable to take a shot when it landed because the tules are on this side of it. most of the action they are involved in happen during landings and takeoffs. They are territorial but rarely showing it, I suspect the few times I have witnessed it was due to another bird infringing on their territory. They have little toleration for the Snowy Egrets on one occasion then the next they ignore them. We’ll not understand them until we are able to get into their brains and search from the inside, in other words we’ll never know.
They are common on the slough which makes them easy to ignore but to not pay attention risks missing some good images. The picture above was taken several days before the three previous and is an early morning shot as are those following. The sunrise was a classic Golden Sunrise, from the spot I’m located the reflections are perfect covering the landscape in the classic color.
Later that day I captured a sequence of an Egret approaching a landing spot. It’s flying against the wind making it easy for me to track, focus and click the shutter. The wind slows them down to 1/2 of their normal when flying against it, but when they decide to make a get-a-way turning their tail to the wind then spreading those large wings it zooms away at a high rate of speed.
This is one of the reasons I don’t like using the word instinct for all of the activities animals partake of. When I hear it the thought of a non-thinking robot is what comes to my mind. Dealing with the wind, positioning itself for the approach then actually landing is different every time they perform it. At some time they have to pick a spot and do a bit of planning, if there is a challenge to contend with during the flight they have to figure out how to deal with it; each encounter is different. The world is not organized well enough for any animal to foresee the preys next move, I’m not sure if instinct plays into this in any way.
I give them credit for solving their own complications much as we humans do and we don’t rely solely on instinct. We call it secondary nature some reactions are subconscienc while others must be thought about. A common hypothesis among scientists is part of the difference e between humans and animals is our existence is based on Logic and Reason. While animals are driven by hunger and mating to continue their DNA; another issue we will never understand.
Tomorrow we will wake up to steady rain, I will be inside most of the day. My photo session in the morning will be under the patio cover sheltered from the weather. Whether or not the critters will be out is anyones guess but one thing is for sure the air will be clean, a slight breeze will be up and the coffee will be hot.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance
I don’t know what’s going on with WordPress but it’s not allowing me to fix typos unless I schedule the post then leave the site, return to it and go into an edit mode on this blog; it’s insane.