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Thank you for the Super Sweet Blogger Award nomination

Petrel41 of dearkitty1 graciously and surprisingly nominated my blog for the Super Sweet Blogger award. Thanks for this warm honor, petrel41. Although we don’t know each other, I have been reading your blog for some time now. This post of yours from earlier this spring about the Cornell Great Blue Heron cam in particular, caught my attention.  To the readers here, visit petrel41’s site for an eclectic mix of offerings, especially the nature photographs. And also check out the Cornell heron cam when you have a few minutes, although I’ve found it difficult to stay for only “a few minutes,” myself.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Super Sweet Blogging Award

When nominated for the Super Sweet Blogger Award the nominees have to 1. thank the super sweet blogger that nominated them. 2. nominate a baker’s dozen of other bloggers (see below; with links to their blogs), and 3. answer 5 super sweet questions. [and probably: 4. add the Super Sweet Blogging Award image to your blog post and 5. notify your nominees at their blogs].

1.Cookies or Cake?

Cookies

2. Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate (In case of emergency, administer chocolate)

3. What is your favorite sweet treat?

Chocolate mousse cake

4. When do you crave sweet things the most?

After long walks in the snow

5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?

Sweet Pea (this actually was a nickname years ago)

My baker’s dozen nominees for the Super Sweet Blogging Award are, in no particular order of preference:

Women in Planetary Science   (because women + science)

The Dragonfly Woman  (because dragonflies)

Jerry Katz on Nonduality (because Jerry is the rock star of Nonduality)

Wind Against Current  (because kayaking)

Sheila Hurst (because wonderful dog romping in vacation post)

Living in Gratitude  (because hummingbirds)

A Wild One Within  (because authenticity)

Twng32  (because earnest practice of photography)

HERON (because saving herons)

Diamond Mike Watson (because fellow adoptee)

This Time This Space (because community focus)

This Would Make A Great Story… (because argyle sox!!)

Thanks again for recognizing my blog with this warm award nomination, petrel41!

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Saturday Poker Game

You’re going to have some explaining to do, Mister! Another long poker session with the boys? You’re a father now!

Heading out first thing that Saturday morning, I was apprehensive that the herons’ nest might have been abandoned, as it had been a few years ago. Our Independence Day holiday was three days earlier. It had been a magical day on the water on the 4th of July, but that night back at home, I cringed in bed listening to hours and hours of fireworks going off from the general direction of the lake. My home is only a block or so away from the southern-most end of the lake, and from the relentless percussion of the booms, it was clear that some private homes were setting fireworks off over the water.

If it sounded that loud to me, what must it have sounded like to the herons? Adult herons frightened by loud noises have been known to abandon nests, and the chicks – how would that sort of boom and blast affect the hearing of chicks that are less than two weeks out of the egg?

So, it was with deep gratitude that, as I rounded the point and the island came into view, I saw the adult female standing guard patiently above the nest. Through the binocs, I could see the two chicks present and accounted for, and sparring with each other – butting bills together in the heron equivalent of lion cubs tussling and rolling each other over. So, three of four herons remained at the nest, the adult and two chicks.

Great blue heron on final approach to the nest.

Great blue heron on final approach to the nest.

And the adult male? Usually, he arrives at the nest around 11am, to relieve the female, but he was late, and getting later.

By 1pm, the female had climbed off the nest, and up a tall branch. She stood at full height for a long, long time, looking in the direction from which her mate usually arrives. The male stayed out on his fishing trip much longer than usual, and finally showed up for the changing of the parental guard around 2:30 pm. 

I’m not sure what goes through a mother heron’s mind, but while she was staring off so expectantly for her long-overdue mate, at one point her body language seemed to say, “You’re going to have some explaining to do, Mister! Another long poker session with the boys? You’re a father now!”
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 (This took place July, 2012)

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Brown Bag Lunch in the Cove

There were many dragonflies – tasty and I love how their wings tickle on my tongue…

 © Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)   Great blue heron eye-to-eye with dragonfly.

Great blue heron eye-to-eye with dragonfly.

The eastern-most  end of the cove is the feeding ground and roostng spot for one of the older herons. He is very wary and gorgeous, and it’s always a thrill to see him here, wading, foraging for fish or sunning himself on the overturned willow that came down the year before.

Yesterday, I visited a couple hours earlier than prime feeding time, and so he wasn’t about. That made an opportunity to paddle in closer.

Right stroke… left stroke… right blade planted shallowly… now a broad arc around the white blossoms… left stroke… gliding straight now, past the lily pads… Gliding… Gliding… Gliding up to the fallen willow where he often preens.

Look! A big blue-grey flight feather floating there, a downy belly feather tuft, too. And beyond the willow, paddling deeper to where it stops being cove and starts being brook. What’s the name of that blue flower? Must look it up. This is where the yellow daisies bloomed last fall, it must be.

The water level is much higher than ever. How deeply I can paddle without bottoming out, or getting stuck, like last summer. That was a long slow slog back out.

Mustn’t tarry too long here, but what a beautiful place. Serene, still, and so many wild flowers, lush ferns. He may be back soon…

Right paddle planted deep, hard stroke left, bring the boat around sharply. Yes, like that. Stroke… Glide… Stroke… Glide… Glide… Stroke, stroke, stroke.

There! Back in neutral territory, away from his space. Can rest now, and cruise along on the breeze. Floating… Floating… 

I’m hungry. Where’s a good picnic spot? Ah, right here: not too close to the trees, a little shade, still waters, a good place for a floating lunch. Paddle leashed and propped ‘cross the cockpit. Lunch bag open. Hot tea, warm oatmeal – maple syrup and brown sugar.

Mmmm. That was very good. Satisfying in the fresh air. Well, time to head in. Close the tea mug, stow the lunch containers, don the gloves, paddle ready.

Wait, what’s that on the island shore? Hunkered down? Watching me…

Watching me…

Watching me?

Later that evening, just after dusk, back at home.

“How was your outing, dear?”

“Oh, so lovely. There were many dragonflies – tasty and I love how their wings tickle on my tongue…

“And so many sunfish – the smallish ones, not so many bones. Did you ever notice how irridescent they are? If you hover your wings just so over the water so the sun gets that glowy filtering while you stir the bottom just right with your left foot, they’re much easier to see… and to catch.

“But the most unusual thing happened. I was out at the cove, wading along the small island shore when I saw it, right before my eyes. A human…

“I watched in silence for the longest time.

“It is not so rare to see a human in the cove, and there’s one who sometimes watches me when I’m down at the end, where its more brook than cove. You know the place. She thinks I’m not aware of her presence, but I am. I just let her think that.

“I sometimes put on a show for her, preening, stretching my neck far back to get at that itchy spot right over my left shoulder. Or extending my wings half open, down low. 

“And I love to show her how to fish. How to be patiently still, toeing the water beneath the surface imperceptably, watching for the telltale glint of a fin, swish of a tail…

“Whoosh, thrust, submerge, a clean strike. The trout is mine!

“And I surface, wriggling trout speared. A beauty.

“Usually I just wolf it down, but sometimes –  sometimes – I want to show her. And so gradually I step and turn and stand there so she can see what a beauty I have caught. What a beauty I am.

“She loves to watch me feeding from a distance.

“And today?

“Today I watched a human in my cove…

“A human… feeding.

“They have curious feeding rituals, humans do.”

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 (This took place August 23, 2008)

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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