Friday, January 11, 2013
Ah .. 2013 .. after only a few weeks .. it just rolls off the tongue. As if time had always been 2013. No thinking about the trepidation of a new year. This is the new year .. a time for new things .. new starts .. new hobbies .. interests .. everything!
And this would include .. new skies .. of course! How wonderful Thursdays skies were .. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of them!
Quite a lovely early morning walk .. and I was surprised (and happy) to see this little garden gnome guy … looks like he’d just stepped outside to enjoy the sun … he didn’t appear to notice me .. quite a happy kind of gnome he seems to be .. a good neighbour, wouldn’t you say?
Noticed some colourful looking mushrooms growing merrily on a tree branch. Wonder if the gnome has relatives living in similar places?
Farther along .. I reached the main walkway over Swan Lake .. and stopped for a while. Very quiet this time of day. No one rushing along. Noticed this Cormorant and Mallard Drake companionably resting on the railing. Quite a relaxed little scene. The Drake is settling down for a snooze. The Cormorant is drying off his wings … he’d been for a swim and took some time to shake the excess water out of his feathers.
I moved a little bit closer as my camera has limited range and I really wanted to take some photos closer. The Cormorant noticed me and kept a wary eye out!
Well .. umm … his body language seemed to convey that I was a little too close .. or perhaps it was time to somewhere .. for he swiftly dove into the air and flew over me .. a wide circle …. way up high (I didn’t try to get a photo .. it would only be a dot in the sky). And then he just settled in the water, maybe 100 yards or so away … calmly paddling away. Totally oblivious to what was happening in the skies above him.
And he was being watched. The two resident eagles were keeping a close watch on him. Then … omg .. one of them swooped down from their viewing tree and in mere seconds, he’d (she’d?) zoomed over to the lake and was flying towards the Cormorant!!!
Closer .. and closer .. oh (expletive) I said, involuntarily … no … don’t go after the Cormorant. I’d just spent ages watching him (her?) meticulously grooming all the feathers and relaxing in the quiet of the morning … Please .. please .. don’t … the eagle has very strong wings and can fly so fast and cover so much territory quickly …did the Cormorant have a chance?
I know this is nature and that eagles don’t have shopping stores and must fetch their meals to live .. however .. I just don’t like this part of the food chain. I watched as the Cormorant made his way to the thick marshes on the other side of the lake. The eagle swooped and dove and finally .. oh, thank goodness! Flew away empty. The Cormorant lives for another day. For as beautiful as these nature sanctuaries are and as lovely and magical the birds are, that we see .. theirs is a savage world. Survival is the key word.
I hoisted my binoculars to my eyes and saw that the two eagles were once again perched in their viewing tree. Ready to zoom down and collect their 11 am lunch. They do look very regal, wild and strong sitting way up there.
So I continued on my merry way … relishing the sheer beauty up above …
The recent rains had been very heavy .. lots of signage warning everyone not to take certain trails.
And I soon found that one of the warning signs was particularly true! This is the far end of the long walkway over the Lake (away from the Nature House) and this explains why there was no one there when I visited this area.
Just loved the look of the trees forming a sort of framed area of the pathway … lovely contrast of tree bark, leafless branches forming a lovely arch for all of us to walk beneath.
Someone cared enough for the birds, wanted them to have food during the heavy rain .. sweet.
Nelthorpe .. this is the area where we are directed when the rains are too heavy. Lots of lovely plans for butterflies .. etc.
See the roped off areas .. this is for the wildlife, butterflies etc. Lovely.
Wonderful .. felt so happy to be outside, walking beneath such beautiful skies ..
Blue skies ….
Thursday .. a lovely day … sigh .