Osprey Below Kentucky Dam, Cicadas Flying, Age Sets In

May262015OspreyFlyingOverheadWIthShadInTalonsI could have named this post, when passion falters, near misses, and old age beckons. My day began sitting on a bench with Steve “Fish” Pumphrey overlooking the tailwaters below Kentucky Dam. In the past an overcast morning like this would have found us in a boat drifting with the current, only a matter of time before a fish would be swinging in to the boat. The Osprey were flying, making their circuits. Heads down, eyes gaping, twisting, turning, diving, through the swirling wind, then crashing the water for a meal. A younger fishing guide was having a good mornings catch. We watched mostly keeping our unspoken thoughts to ourselves. Perhaps it was those moments of silence unfilled with a joke we had heard before from Hope (recently passed) that triggered reverence with in me. Or was it trepidation? That apprehension, fear, disquiet feeling, mingled with a tad of self-doubt that creeps in with age?

Realizing that being idle and sedentary might be creating the mood overcoming me I headed for rivers edge. Hesitant as departing a friend has begun to leave me with sentiment.

I failed in my attempts to catch that special moment of the Osprey dive talons in front of its head the instant before it enters the water. The wind causing the birds to only offer back shots. Not what I was after.

Back home I did find passion spending the afternoon with the “Little Woman”. The day had turned to heat and sunshine. With doors open that constant crush of insect noise from the cicada’s was distracting. The bugs were on the move shifting from tree to tree or chattering to the ground. Deciding to attempt to capture them flying I failed pretty miserably. My three far from quality captures below. Many times in my life passion, failure, near misses have happened. Why is it that now I connect these common occurrences with ageing?

Once again I tell my self to be content and accept. It is natural to no longer jump out of bed the excitement of catching a fish, shooting a pheasant, making camp for the weekend driving me on. Hells bells, when I think about it, there were times as a kid when watching the Phillies on TV with brother Toad, my passion was to be outdoors playing ball.

The balance I think is those empty feeling times, when what you can not do, feel, or accomplish spurn you on in the future.

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Birds And Bald Eagle After A Rainy Night

May252015RedHeadedWoodpeckerIt was a rainy Memorial Day Eve. I imagine a lot of folks woke to soggy campgrounds. At least it was warm. The calm morning was peaceful except for the drone of Cidada’s that start the raucous about an hour before sunrise.

When the rain eased up I headed for the pines where the noise is a bit quieter. I wanted to check on the hummingbirds nest and eagles. Sad to say but it appears the hummingbird has abandoned the nest. She has not been on the nest when I checked the last two days.

The female eagle was perched on the front of the nest and looked thoroughly soaked. Almost as soon as I stopped to watch her she raised up and flew over me and perched nearby. She spread her wings to dry. Watching me as I moved to a clear position a good ways away as not to disturb her. Her peaceful drying was interrupted by a pair of Eastern Kingbirds. The birds kept at it until they drove her from the perch and she returned to the nest.

Oh yeah, check out the eaglet mimicking the adults take off in the nest. You have to look close the chick had its back towards me on the left side of the take off photos below. The adult cocked her wings in preparation to fly and held them there for a bit. The eaglet did the same. As she flew off the eaglet gave a little flap and shifted in the nest. Soon enough little one your day to fly will come. In another 35 days of so another batch of eaglets will have to learn to fly………….

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Memorial Day Ramblings

May242015BaldEaglePerchedIt’s Memorial Day. For many years now there is always a trace of sadness for me on this holiday weekend. A touch of blue mood that lingers in the recesses of my being. A family tragedy that happened here on the farm. A tractor accident that took the life of my brother-in-law Tommy. The accident just weeks after returning from his active duty enlistment. Prior to returning to the farm Tommy visited the “Little Woman” and I where we lived at the time in Pennsylvania.

Loss creates change. I need to remember loss on Memorial Day weekends. To share with others how times of joy can be shattered in an instant. In hopes that the start to the summer season should include caution. Then again I think of acceptance. How each and every one of us must accept and move on. Naturally in our own individual ways. There is no reasoning for occurrences such as this I feel. For an enlightened species we fail so miserably at keeping peace and serenity in our lives. Tragic loss of life so young, war, religion, these are comprehensions that fail me.

Why is it that in my own life Tommy’s death brought opportunity? It directly led to our moving here to the farm in the weaving, twisting, path of my journey through life. Do I offer thanks? Acceptance I think is the key. When there is nothing in my power to turn back the clock, no way of prevention, what else is there? Time to proceed without trepidation.

Yesterday found me on the river bank. A fine place to be for me. I landed a 15-20 lb catfish an elderly gentleman had snagged in the side far up river. When the fish drifted to the bank I stuck my left hand in its mouth and brought it to shore. The man was delighted at his catch. I did not think of it at the time but looking at his pictures I admired the man’s dress as it fit exactly as I prefer to dress. The shirt, the well worn jeans, the free company hat with logo. Somehow those few moments shared with a fellow traveler through life was fitting. Here is hoping that your moments of reflection on this holiday leave you with tranquility……………………

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Swampy Area In Western Kentucky

May232015DragonflyFlyingI get by with a little help from my friends. Always loved that song by Joe Cocker. Heading out for a bit of fishing with the “Little Woman” yesterday a friend flagged us down. He told us about a mink making a milk run through a swampy area. The mink running out and returning with crawdads. A good possibility the mink is feeding young. I made a visit to the area the next morning. No sign of the mink, but I knew they live in this spot as one ran across the road in front of another friend and I last winter.

I enjoy swampy areas and backwaters but frequent them less as I can’t get out and walk around in em. Mid-day a call came from yet another friend. Geez, did not know I had three friends. She loves the swampy slew places. As luck would have it on our second pass through the swamp the mink started making its milk run so to speak. It was fun watching the critter run out over a log, climb down on a clump of ground. Then disapear popping back out the other end and swimming then up over another hump swimming away out of sight. Returning a short while later with crayfish. Back over a hump, swimming, disappearing, back up on the log and scampering across then out of sight. We watched the mink make three or four trips, then headed home.

This morning I am thankful for the multitude of natures species. Each day I appreciate the splendor I see. Blessed with a little help from my friends…………..

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A Start To Holiday Weekend Finds

May222015GreatBlueHeronPanningBlurI am one of those creatures of habit. Even on a holiday weekend contentment is found doing the normal. A few things of interest were found. It was very overcast early. I shot a few panning blurs as above but was feeling to stiff to get good captures. One human element of interest is the distance folks travel to bow hunt here. The craft they use varies as well. This morning an air boat who’s registration numbers show they are from Texas cruised along the far shoreline.

A visit to the eagles nesting area found both adults out of the nest. Getting crowded I spose’. The female was perched nearby being pestered by Bluejays. Movement nearby caught my eye. Cedar Waxwings were gathering nesting material. I located were they are building the nest. Another bird thing of interest to keep an eye on. The hummingbird that has been sitting eggs would fly off the nest for a short while. I could not make out in the dim light if it was feeding or gathering nesting material for its next nest. No sign of the hummer chicks above the nest yet.

A Red Bellied Woodpecker grabbed a cicada. This hatching cycle of cidada’s looks as if it is providing a food source for the birds.

There were many people outdoors early. I snapped a shot of a man going snagging headed down the steps to the river. He was followed by his dog a pup and I spose’ his wife. Back home I snapped a shot of an Indian Pink plant budding out. That’s all for today. I thought I might take a break over the holiday. We shall see…………………….

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