Monday, July 27, 2009

Short But Sweet Time On The Water

When you realize how perfect everything is,
you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.

Things are finally getting back on an even keel, so to speak, and the new puppy does not object too much to being penned for a short time. So I was ready to get back to the Wacissa!

It turned out to be a very short trip, though. Gray storm clouds were mixed in with white clouds on the way to the river, and when I launched, the downstream sky did not look too bright and cheery. Thunder started booming after less than an hour and so I had to turn around and paddle quickly back to the ramp.

But! That short time was fantastic (I have missed paddling) and I got several images to show you.

The tricolored herons are everywhere now, and so the first photo was of this one, which watched me float by behind it.

As always, there are lots of snowy egrets scattered here and there, and it wasn't long before I was pointing the camera at one.

As I drifted downstream, I spotted this bird and at first wasn't sure what I was seeing. It turned out to be a juvenile night heron. I think the reason it was puzzling was that I so rarely see these guys on the move--they are always just perched on a branch, statue-like. This one was fishing.

A snowy egret was using the wing-spread method of fishing in the surface growth at the opening to Cassidy Spring. I parked and watched it and got several photos.



This yellow crowned night heron was watching all this from a limb nearby.

The first rumble of thunder came up at this point. It was distant, but where there's thunder, there's lightning, so I knew I wasn't even going to make it to Blue Spring. I was going to turn around then and there, but spotted what looked like a green heron in some branches just ahead. So I paddled to it.

It sat there preening for a while.

I couldn't stay any longer; the sky was darkening and the thunder was louder. So I headed back upstream, along with the other boaters.

I could hear an air boat approaching from behind me. I find these boats to be a nuisance on this river in every sense of the word except one. While it is nuisance-y that they invariably startle the birds and disrupt their nesting and feeding environment....this behavior does offer a small benefit to the photographer. You can be completely certain that when an air boat passes a bird, the bird will fly. Since you can hear an air boat coming from a mile away (and there are always birds on the river), a photographer in a kayak has plenty of time to prepare for the photo you are certain to get. Time to adjust the exposure if you want to get that egret when it takes off, or time to set the zoom amount if you want the heron. You have time to find someplace to park so that you won't be moving when you are trying to get the photo(s). No need to sit for a long time waiting for a bird to decide to fly away. And so I was able to get a long series of this snowy egret fleeing from the cacophony of noise when it arrived.

A short trip today, and it seems the rain will be hanging around for the remainder of the week, but hope springs eternal that I'll get back out soon. Stand by.


Beverly said...

I'm so glad you got out, even if for a short time. Your photos take my breath away.

Kimberlee said...

It's great to see you back! Love that preening photo. :)

Sandra said...

As always, Spectacular Photos are the words that comes to mind. The short trip was worth it just for the fun, but add in the photos and WOW what a trip.
when do we see the new puppy? I am a DOG person and am waiting.

Peggy said...

New puppy photos are at! (I really need to learn how to format links in comments!)

Thanks for comments!

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

There's a surprise for you. Click here to get it :)

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I love that quote ... I have to read more of his teachings. Oh yeah, the photography isn't bad either .... actually, the best on the web. Great work!