Friday, August 31, 2012

Dragonflies and Herons

Within the past eight days I walked around my favorite place, the lake, three times. High school started almost two weeks ago and since Kaefer (a freshman!) has zero period this year, I can be at the lake by 7 am. It's very quiet at that time, not very many people apart from some dog walkers, joggers and, of course, bird watchers.

All the three mornings I got there were completely different. The first time was a foggy morning, so typical for this region. The second morning was sunny and bright, and today was an overcast, rather grey morning. So the atmosphere was always different - the birds, however, were not, although I suspect they prefer the grey, foggy mornings to appear. The sunny mornings bring the dragonflies.

So if you like birds and dragonflies, this post is for you.

The foggy morning

This great blue heron I can imagine in a Japanese painting, it was so quiet and peaceful. But then another great blue heron appeared and chased the "intruder" away.

A little bit later I found another great blue heron in a little bay of the lake (can you see the algae? An annual summer problem - it doesn't look too bad, but it stinks!). It was a pretty young heron, and he was determined to catch some breakfast.

He was successful and caught this crayfish. It took him some time though to swallow that big guy.

Was this black-crowned night heron admiring his beautiful appearance?

These two egrets seemed to be happy just to have each other.

Near the boat ramp seems to be a popular hang out spot for juvenile herons, both green herons and black-crowned night herons.

The sunny morning

Here is one of the younger black-crowned night herons again. Quite the pretty guy, don't you think?

The adult version - I love these birds.
You can see a flying black-crowned night heron in the top photo, on a the foggy morning.

Then I found the dragonflies.

They were zipping along over the lake and close to the edge.
Hard to photograph, I just got incredibly lucky with these shots.

I enjoyed "chasing" these fast fliers with my camera.

The grey morning

Yes, juvenile black-crowned night herons again.
They were sitting right in front of me and didn't care a bit.

The adult one again, almost in the same spot as on the sunny morning.

Another great blue heron.
 This one is older though as you can see by his plumes (you have to look closely).
Guess what this is?

 And this?
Yes, the same pair of juvenile black-crowned night herons.
Hanging out near the boat ramp.
They seemed to follow me around the lake this morning.

This one loved to play peek-a-boo.

And for your enjoyment - some duck butts.

These are the last photos for the August Break 2012. It was fun and sometimes challenging to find good images. You can see all of them on flickr if you want to.


Anonymous said...

wonderful photos.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Those dragonflies are amazing! And the duck butts made me laugh.

Sally H said...

WOW! What stunning photos! It takes some skill to get a dragonfly on the wing, and your herons are so beautiful and full of character! I almost feel like I've shared your walk around the lake

Susan said...

This is a fantastic post. What a beautiful series of photos! I've been obsessed with photographing dragonflies this summer. They have a cartoon like look about them don't they?

seabluelee said...

I love birds and water and dragonflies, so this post was a winner for me! Those last few shots of the juvenile black-crowned night herons were terrific. And I'm in awe of your captures of the dragonflies in flight.

Christine E-E said...

stunning photos! especially the dragonfly. they are gorgeous with their silvery, fluttering, propeller wings.

ZielonaMila said...

Beautiful photographs, nature is fascinating, bird in flights are a magic. I am greeting

Rosemary Aubut said...

What a great post you must create a book!

Deborah Tisch said...

Dragon flies and herons, two of my favorite creatures, and you have captured them so nicely. I really like how you followed the dragon flies with your camera! You have inspired me to give that a try.

JoZart Designs said...

Simply wonderful photographs... what an eye you have and such artistic skill.
The last one brought this childhood memory to mind....
“All along the backwater,
Through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling,
Up tails all!

Ducks' tails, drakes' tails,
Yellow feet a-quiver,
Yellow bills all out of sight
Busy in the river! ”

― Kenneth Grahame
I really enjoyed my nature trip down the river...
Jo xxx

Elephant's Child said...

'So if you like birds and dragonflies, this post is for you.'
I do like them both and this post was such a delight. Thank you so much.

patty said...

Carola, these are awesome!! What a magical place - beautiful and,like you said, changing all the time. Love that!

Darla said...

What a wonderful spot of nature you have to walk in. All the photo's are great but the grey misty ones are my favorites.


JoZart Designs said...

Woo hoo! I've just trawled through all my comments and found that Sikkhi VonFlotwell is YOU!!! This means you have won a blog candy prize so pop over to see.
I'll need your email to make arrangements about what you'd like to have as your handmade gift as well as some crafty stash!
Love jo x

Beth Stone said...

Wow! You got some amazing shots... And what a great birding spot! I love the foggy heron photos - just beautiful. And the duck butts - how funny! Nice job capturing those dragonflies! Beautiful.