A Year on Clear Lake-Oct 13, 2013

Up Close and Nearly Personal–October 13, 2013

I enjoyed getting back to the peninsula today. I’ve been away two days. I do miss it when my schedule doesn’t allow time to visit.

The photo above and right are up close shots of the Merlin, the small falcon. It’s the first time it has allowed me to get close enough for a clear, sharp photo. I’ve come to discover that the birds which stalk–the herons, egrets, falcons and hawks–are tuned in to other potential predators. Typically they are skittish, and as soon as they become aware that someone is watching them, they take flight. My theory is that they know what they do, and they see the world reflected through their eyes. So they see us as potential predators. It makes sense. We do the same thing. We think other people think the way we do, though most times we couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is either that, or they know our species well enough to be worried. That aside, I was struck by its penetrating eyes, and the yellow legs that matched the eyes. It is a small, compact bird.

I also caught a shot of this bluejay in mid-song. It’s enjoyable having a big variety of birds back – bluejays, cardinals, house sparrows. Not only is the place more colorful, it’s also more melodious–not that the mockingbirds didn’t do they part to fill the air with song.

Thanks to John Ward for again helping to identify this wildflower (left) which is in full bloom on the peninsula. The official name is agalinis heterophylla. It’s also known as prairie false foxglove. Here’s a close up of the blue wildflower (right) which I posted a few days ago. I called it Blue Daze, but it is actually Dayflower. It looks like it only has two petals, but if click on the photo it will enlarge. Look closely and you will see a third tiny petal that is white, nearly opaque. Very delicate design.

Celebrating the new guest of honor who chose to pause momentarily on the old, dilapidated purple martin birdhouse –this beautiful snowy egret. Thank you for gracing us with your presence.

Green Thought: “I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news” ― John Muir