Michael's Rediscovery of Nature

Ramblings and observations of a former biologist and a lifelong naturalist, who has recently returned to his roots in east Texas. After a many years of working from coast to coast in an industry far removed from biology, it has been a pleasant change of geography, activity, and attitude. No stressful job decked out in a three piece suit. No city living. Instead there is a rediscovery of the woods, of something scurrying through the leaves, of the clear notes of a bird call, and of reliving the joy that I had when nature was a playground and a classroom.

If I Move - Will the Birds Follow Me?

I recently moved my RV from a fairly good nature spot on Lake O' the Pines. I was near the northwest end of the lake and was on the edge of a remote wooded area. In addition, across the highway was another large wooded area. On my lot, I had a pretty good bird turnout year-round. Much of that due to my 9 feeders and lots of other food items that I put out for birds.

Surprisingly enough, it was not that great for waterbirds. Well, not for ducks anyway. There were Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, an occasional Green Heron, White Pelicans during the winter, Cormorants, and Common Coots. Rarely did I see ducks of any kind, other than the Coots. Common Loons which are very common on other parts of Lake O' the Pines were never seen in this more shallow and weedy end, nor were any of the other shore birds that show up on the south end of the lake.

Belted Kingfisher 12 18 16 3In the late summer, I moved just eight miles away to Lone Star Lake (Ellison Creek Reservoir). This RV park is in a more populated area. There are no woods aound this lake. The park is surrounded by houses, as is almost all of the lake. There is a little bit of a more primitive area at the north end of the lake but it is fairly small.

After all the success I had attracting and photographing birds at the other RV site, I was a bit concerned about the urban nature of this park.

I was looking forward to the sunsets and they have been incredible. There were good sunrises at the other park but nothing to compare with these sunsets. One photo of a sunset, taken my second night here, is one of the best pictures I have ever taken. In fact, it won two awards in the only photo contest I entered it in this fall. It is surprising how wonderful the sunsets are here. That was unexpected.

Now, after nearly four months, I have been pleasantly surprised in some ways. While I have not seen the large number of birds, I have had a fair number of species. I also have not been able to get as close to the birds here. My feeders are further away, about 40 feet compared to 10 feet before.

Despite all that, I certainly cannot complain for I have gotten some decent photos and I feel that more are coming.

Here are some of the photos taken since my move.

Red breastedMerganser11 27 16 2Red-breasted Merganser

AmericanCoot111116 2Common Coots

ChippingSparrowPair122616 1Chipping Sparrows

EasternBluebird11 2916 3Eastern Bluebird, female

PiedBilledGrebe103116 3Pied-Billed Grebes

PineWarbler11 28 16 2Pine Warbler

RingBilledGull120216 1Ring-billed Gull

WhiteBreastedNuthatch11 2916 1White Breasted Nuthatch



You know. I think it is going to be all right. 


 

 

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