A Year on Clear Lake-Jun 7, 2013

The Great Blue Heron–June 7, 2013

Last night’s storm ushered in a pleasant  “cool front.” Not really cool, but dry. Any June day with low humidity is a cool day.

This great blue heron was fishing under the NASA 1 bridge by the boat ramps. In looking up information about the great blue, I discovered a wonderful wildlife blog called, Naturally Curious. The author is Mary Holland, a Vermont naturalist. The link I provided connects to a brief collection of her blogs about herons, including several about the great blue. Be prepared to be blown away by the awesome photography. In my dreams…

A black crowned joined the others at the marina today, and one of the yellow-crowned herons scored a huge crab. The heron flew up out of the marsh area to dry land with quite a bit of commotion. Experience must have taught him that it is easier to catch a fleeing crab on land, than in the water. He wrestled it a bit, before finally getting the upper hand. It is amazing how quickly a heron can consume a crab. Shell and all goes down the hatch.

With no teeth birds are not able to chew their food. Instead they have two stomachs. The first, called a proventriculus, does the job of what chewing does for us. Strong, acidic juices begin the digestive process, softening up the food while it’s in this first chamber.  Once softened, the food is then passed to the second stomach, the gizzard, where the grinding process ensues. Amazing nature – thinks of everything.

Young mockingbirds are in the area. They add a nice touch to the surroundings.

Green Thought: Nature is too thin a screen; the glory of the omnipresent God bursts through everywhere. Ralph Waldo Emerson