Monday, February 20, 2017

Tidying Up the Nest

Yesterday was overcast until late in the day when I finally headed out to the Heron Rookery on Old Hickory Lake about a half mile from home to check in on the Herons. It had been several weeks since my last visit. Quite a few Great Blue Herons were busy tidying up their nests. Other Herons were flying in and out and others were just sitting on their nest, some alone, and others in pairs.

I counted thirty Herons of those I could see. There had to be at least fifty nests although many were empty. I am fairly certain the number of nests has doubled since last year. This year I noticed Cormorants, as opposed to Black Crowned Night Herons, which leaves me wondering where the Black Crowned Night Herons are nesting this year. Perhaps they will show up later in Spring. After all it is still very early in Spring and there are still states where snow is falling in the United States. Here in Tennessee, however, Spring is in gearing up. I am certain we'll have a cold spell or two before Mother Nature heralds Winter out completely, but for now I'm enjoying mild temperatures.

It is an amazing experience to stand for minutes at a time in one spot and watch the Herons as they fly from one nest to the next, one tree to the next, and in and out of the rookery flying out across Old Hickory Lake. I witnessed a few fights among the Herons with the losers flying off in disgust. Herons make a weirdd croaking sound especially when they are quarreling.

I hope your week is off to a good start and you'll stop by again soon. I appreciate your comments. ENJOY!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Oh Winter, Oh Spring!

With virtually no Winter here in Tennessee this year and not sure if Winter's grip has given up its hold, I witnessed two beautiful Japanese Magnolia trees in full bloom in Nashville this week. Has Spring arrived? I wanted to feature this pale pink Japanese Magnolia hybrid photo I captured several years ago at Bernheim. The faintest pink hue I had ever seen. The lavender buds were as beautiful as its pale pink bloom. God works in wondrous ways. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. ENJOY!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Let's Sit And Ponder This Weather

As I ponder this weather in Tennessee, with 69 one day and 30 the next, and back to 60 following that day, I ask myself, where is Spring. I know some of you are getting a major snow storm and many of you have had snow for some time. But this weather here in Tennessee has been so mild with nary a really cold day or even week to speak of. It almost seems like Spring has been here since Fall dropped its leaves. I even saw Daffodils in bloom on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Facebook page this week. I kid you not. I hope you enjoy this image taken very very early one Spring in Bernheim's Arboretum as this beautiful tree was in full bloom. Wherever you are, be safe, be warm, and if you want better weather, I guess come to Nashville. ENJOY!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sandhill Crane Watch

It has been several years since I have been able to photograph the beautiful Sandhill Cranes that use Kentucky as a flyway on their way South to Hiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, in southeast Tennessee, and points further South. Today was one of those days. I was on my way home after a brief visit to Louisville to take care of some business with my condo there. Earlier in the week I had read on the website that over ten thousand Cranes had stopped over south of Elizabethtown in Cecilia for a rest.

I have photographed the Cranes in Cecilia several years ago. It's not easy getting decent images as the Cranes are normally far off in plowed corn fields feeding. But just as I was leaving, I noticed a group of Cranes near a pond in a yard off the highway. I managed to capture these images getting as close as I could without disturbing the Cranes.

I can't help it, Sandhill Cranes, to me, are so beautiful. Hiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is almost two hours from my home in northeast Nashville. Some day I shall pay a visit. I also read on the same website this week that there are thousands and thousands of Cranes overwintering at the refuge. It won't be long before they will fly north to their nesting grounds in Canada. I would love to see a nest one day and the smaller chicks. What fun that would be. I trust you are having a wonderful weekend. It's been very cold here, but there's a warm up on the way this week. ENJOY!

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Day at the Heron Rookery

It was a beautiful day with bright sunshine, blue skies and fluffly white clouds. There was, however, a crisp wind cutting through you as you stood outdoors. Nevertheless, it was a perfect day for viewing the Great Blue Herons perched on their nests at the Heron Rookery on Old Hickory Lake. I ate lunch in the car and finally got out to snap a few images of the Herons flying around the Rookery. Then it was back to work.

There must have been twenty Great Blue Herons hanging out in their roosts while others flew in and out. One can only get so close and then you must stop so as not to disturb them.

I stood away from the Rookery capturing images as the birds flew in and out of their nests. There was no evidence really of nest building. I suppose it's still a tad early for that. I'm almost certain there are a lot more nests than what I recall seeing at this time last year.

Several Great Blue Herons flew down the lake and back as I captured images.

I recall capturing images of some of the first hatchlings out of the nest in late Spring last year. I wonder if some of the Herons I saw today were those same birds as young adults. Surely.

More visits are planned in the weeks ahead as Spring approaches. In all honesty, Tennessee hasn't had Winter here at all this year. I can only assume Winter is still to come. We always get a snowfall or two and perhaps even an ice storm. I hope you enjoyed my visit to the Rookery today. ENJOY!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Swans in Winter Light

On a mild Winter's Day, mated Swans glide effortlessly on the pond on a late Winter's afternoon at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville. Points of light reflect on the water. Waves gently ripple atop the water as the Swans move about. The golden light casts its shadows across the lawn. What a serene Winter scene. ENJOY!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

In Search of the American White Pelican

Several years ago I visited Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Refuge during the Winter in search of the American White Pelican. I had read they were Wintering there on a website I frequent, I spent several hours trekking up and down the gravel and paved roads in the many wetlands that make up the refuge in search of this bird.

I photographed Trumpeter Swans roosting on a nest in the largest wetland area of Goose Pond. I also captured images of male and female Northern Shovelers, as well as American Coots and Canadian Geese. I even photographed Sandhill Cranes, and two Whooping Cranes, that had made a stop over on their way South, yet no American White Pelicans. I had decided I had failed in locating the Pelican even though I had read they had stopped over at the refuge.

Just as I was about to leave, I turned onto one last gravel road I hadn't taken yet to make my way to the far northeast side of the refuge where a large wetland was situated. As I approached the water I began to see line after line of American White Pelicans out in the middle of the wetland huddled together in groups as they often do. Other Pelicans were landing, taking off and floating on the water.

I left my car and walked quite far out along the elevated bank of the wetland getting as close as I could to the birds. They were bigger than I thought they would be and really beautiful with black tipped wings you only see when they are in flight and a large knob on their beaks. I was so glad I hadn't given up in my search.

I had found the American White Pelicans and had it been a warmer day, I would have gotten tons more images that day, but instead I only took about thirty or so in various perspectives. Still it was a treat!! I hope you enjoyed my look back at the American White Pelicans as they Wintered in Goose Pond. And least you think I have forgotten, HAPPY NEW YEAR! ENJOY!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Best of 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, I wanted to spend a few moments and look back through the year. From left to right here we go!

The Bridge at Giverny sets the stage as we meander through the Waterlily Gardens at Gibbs Gardens in northern Georgia. In late Fall at the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge in central Tennessee, I photographed a gorgeous wetland scene. Next we are on the shores of Old Hickory Lake where I captured an image of a beautiful Great Blue Heron fishing one early afternooon. Next featured is a gorgeous pond in the Japanese Gardens at Gibbs Gardens, resplendent with foliage and aviary sculptures.

Follow me to one of the many flower gardens at Gibbs Gardens where a Gulf Fritillary Butterfly basks in the hot Summer sun. Next we have a quaint thatched cottage found at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville, in late Fall. As we go back to Gibbs Gardens we meander among a plethora of Waterlilies . . . from a deep blue, a lavender and finally a dark blue duo.

Back at Cheekwood, I captured this splendid image of the Tulips display during Cheekwood in Bloom in early Spring. Let's go back once more to Gibbs to find a gorgeous white Waterlily displaying a beautiful reflection in the water in the Waterlily Gardens. For a bit more of Fall, we have an image of Radnor Lake with the woods of Radnor Lake State Park in the background in its Fall splendor. Spring found me in north central Tennessee, just outside the small town of Portland, photographing a gorgeous yellow Canola field in full bloom with a beautiful blue sky as its backdrop. Moving on we find a scene at the Japanese Gardens at Gibbs Gardens featuring a sweeping Weeping Willow Tree draped over one of the many ponds in the gardens. Finally, as I took in the variety of decorated Scarecrows on display at Cheekwood's Fall Harvest Festival, my favorite of this Farm Girl Scarecrow stood out among the rest.

I hope you enjoyed my look back over the past year. I enjoyed Spring, Summer and Fall with each season's beautiful colors. As I wander from home in the New Year, I promise to snap a few pics to share with you upon my return. I trust you are all having a safe and Happy Holiday. ENJOY!

Linking to Wednesday Around the World and Wild Bird Wednesday and Metamorphosis Monday