Happiness Is…A Whole Host Of Herons

My daughter and I spent the last two days on our semi-annual get away, this time choosing the Chattanooga area for our adventures.  We hiked and hiked (and ate and ate!) and spent some time strolling along the Tennessee River.  We also encountered a whole host of Great Blue Herons, most of which were hanging out around the base of the Chickamauga Dam in hopes of feasting on some fresh fish.

There were standing Herons…

…and landing Herons…

…and striding Herons…

…and gliding Herons.

But the one thing the Herons all had in common was their quest to snare some food with fins!

As we watched, we saw some come away with a small catch…

…another managed a medium size meal…

…while this fellow clearly bit off more than he could chew!

The above photo was taken by my daughter (Katie) who had charge of the powershot with the extra zoom.  And speaking of Katie, it’s only fitting to post her picture as well!

For such large birds, Herons are remarkably graceful,

although on occasion they do display a rather awkward pose!

Our hopes had been to find some Wood Ducks to photograph, but none blessed us with their presence at the river, so we headed over to Booker T Washington State Park to see if we could find any at Chickamauga Lake.

Although we still had no luck spotting any Wood Ducks, we did find a beautiful wharf whose smell of Creosote (a word whose spelling in no way matches the southern Maryland pronunciation I grew up with!) transported me back to childhood days spent at my grandparents house on the Saint Georges river.

Oh, and we found another Heron of course, who landed on the top beam of the wharf to spy on the nearby fishermen.

 “Happiness is a Whole Host of Herons” would be a fitting title for this trip , but a better one would be “Happiness is Adventuring with My Girlie.”  We always have such fun on our get-aways.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post where I’ll share some of the lovely Tree Swallows we also had the pleasure of encountering.  Beautiful birds!

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Doing His Best to Look Dashing

The male Bluebird that hangs about my backyard is doing his best to look dashing these days.  He is rather comical as he strikes pose…

…after pose…

…after pose…

trying to capture the attention of this lovely lady.

Whenever she drops in for some food, he perches on a nearby branch, chirping and flitting his feathers.

He is clearly keeping his eye on her!

She has yet to show any interest in his amorous pursuits, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be long before she succumbs to his charms.

I mean really, he is rather irresistible, don’t you think?

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Perky But Not Picky

Carolina Wrens are such fun and friendly birds to have around.

Garbed in coppers and creams, these little songsters are perpetually perky, but when it comes to food, not the least bit picky.

They are mealworm munchers.

And they are peanut crunchers.

You can’t help but smile when you see one since they always seem to have a pep in their step.

Not “butts” about it…

…these birds are an absolute delight!

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A Splash of Red

I remember a designer friend of mine once saying that every room needs a touch of black; well, I am of the thought that every backyard is in need of a splash of red!

This fine looking fellow stopped in the other day and helped himself to a sip…

…a splash…

…and a leisurely soak.

I think his wet feather look is always in style!

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A Glad-hearted Greeting and a Fond Farewell

Well, let’s get the farewell out of the way first, shall we?
As you may recall, a little over a month ago, we welcomed Tilly into our home – a lab mix who was in desperate need of some TLC.

It didn’t take long for us to realize that we were not going to be the right family to be her “furever” home, although we truly loved that sweet little girl.  You see, Tilly has some hunting breed woven into her mix and, in her eyes, our ancient cat seemed more of a slow moving squirrel.  Since it didn’t seem right to banish the cat to the basement for the remainder of her days, we opted to foster Tilly for the Atlanta Lab Rescue, fattening her up and lavishing love on her ’til the right folks came along – which happened to be this past weekend.  She is now living with a retired couple that lives on a lake and wants to spoil her rotten.  I was afraid that Tucker might miss her terribly, but aside from toy tugging, he seems happy to once again be the king of his castle.

As for the glad-hearted greeting…a bird that rarely blesses me with his presence stopped by yesterday for a dip in the fountain.

This Golden-crowned Kinglet skitted from rock to rock, debating whether or not he wanted to get in the water.

When he finally made up his mind, he hopped in, gave his feathers a fast flip, and then hopped back out.

If you look carefully, you can see a hint of reddish-orange concealed beneath the yellow on his head, which lets us know that this one is a guy and not a gal.

I wish I could have gotten a picture of him with his crown on full display…perhaps he will stick around and give me the opportunity.

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Macho Man

I hate to say it, but when I saw this male Red-winged Blackbird putting on a display of his dominance my mind started singing that horrible song from the seventies…

Macho, macho man…drat those Village People!

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Seeing Their First Sunrise

These daffodils that blossomed yesterday got to see their first sunrise this morning.

A happy way to start the day! 🙂

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