28: The meadow

I know that heron doesn’t look much like a meadow.  That’s because he’s not a meadow.  He’s a great blue heron.  He wasn’t in the meadow, either.  He was here at the pond when I took my walk today.  In fact, he’s been hanging around the pond gobbling up fish and frogs every day since I started my outdoor commitment.  I’m glad someone is fishing the pond.  It seems we have too many fish in our pond and need to be fishing it more or it will get too crowded, a condition that is not good for the fish.

He doesn’t look as dignified when he’s swooping in for lunch.  I’m not sure what he caught but here he is getting ready to gulp it down:

I think he got a mouthful of leaves to go with his frog or fish.  Perhaps it’s similar to sushi.  Raw fish wrapped in leaves, without the rice of course.

(Ruffled feathers.)

I’m not sure why but the Ruffled Feathers photo reminds me of Kel’s Wanna Play? challenge.  Perhaps it is the somewhat mad look in his eye.  I am so glad I didn’t miss it.  (You’ll have to visit the link to get that reference.)

What is remarkable (and amazing!) to me is how close I was able to get to this guy.  (I’m assuming it’s a male given his size but if I’m wrong, please feel free to correct me.  I can’t tell them apart.)  I spotted him from across the pond and slowly made my way closer.  He grumped at me a little (at least that’s what his call sounded like — you can listen to it here) and would take a slow-motion step or two away from me for every three or four steps I took towards him, but he didn’t fly away.  When he went back to hunting and feeding, I figured he decided I was okay.  Why else let me see him in such undignified positions?

Today’s walk was partially about getting a little work done outside, including cleaning the bird bath and refilling it.  I was also on the hunt for a wooly bear, but I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow.  I meandered around the pond and the meadows rather than go back to the woods as I’m craving open areas and sunlight.  My body probably wants to manufacture vitamin D while it can.  Cloudiness and shorter days will be arriving soon.

It’s clear and gusty here today.  That’s what ruffled the heron’s feathers — the wind.  There was some sort of perfume in the air (unless I’m having olfactory hallucinations which is entirely possible).  I couldn’t figure it out.  It was a woodsy, masculine scent.  Whatever it was, it sure smelled good.

The Meadow

This is part three of Sunday’s hike wherein we leave the darkness of the woods and emerge into the light of the meadow.  Granted, the woods were not all darkness, but it sounds more dramatic that way.  (Here is Part One and Part Two if you missed them and desire to go back and look.  Or just scroll down if you’re on the main page.)

The meadow is a large, oval shape, mostly surrounded by trees.  I took a great many photos.  Being fairly certain that no one wants to see fifty of so pictures of a meadow, I’ve narrowed it down to a dozen few.

The clouds were moving along at a pretty brisk pace that afternoon and would cause sunlight and shadow to move across the meadow, highlighting some of the trees at the edges.

(Nature’s special effects.)

(The big gnarly tree.)

(A wide view.)

We stopped for a picnic on a small hill where it was flat and dry.  There was a gully running through parts of the meadow, keeping the ground wet in spots.  Near the place where we sat for our picnic lunch there was a small pond.  We didn’t realize it was there until we got closer.  It was difficult to see it with all the growth (catttails, shrubs, grasses) surrounding it.  Photos of the pond will have to wait until tomorrow since I concentrated on the meadow shots today.

(Curling cloud.)

I like the way the cloud has a little curl to it in the above picture.  The next one has been processed in Photoshop to soften it up and give it a more painting-like feel.

See you tomorrow!

(And don’t forget to stop by on Friday for the surprise.)