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.

Quiet Afternoon

It has been a quiet day.  I made a very short walk today, impeded somewhat by my dog sitting.  I have a young male chihuahua staying with me and I go feed his four relatives twice a day.  The little ones stays with me because the others beat the dickens out of him.  So he is my new "buddy".

I walked around the RV park and that was about it, but the day was not a total nature washout.

LOP-skyAround 5 PM, I was sitting out in my "yard" overlooking the lake when I started noticing a lot of bird activity.  Of course, my mockingbirds were there.  I expect them to land on my chair at any time - they are rather bold.  But in the sycamore tree just thirty or so feet away, there was a lots to see.  The chickadees were flying back and forth as were the Titmice.  Then I noticed a bird I don't see all that often, a Nuthatch.  He explored the tree trunk for a few minutes.  Then came a pair of blue jays who only stayed for a few seconds.  Next was a male cardinal who flew past.  Up in the sky was a pair of turkey vultures floating with the cross currents.  A couple of crows flew by as well.  Out at the edge of the lake, the great blue heron was perched on his usual post and I could see several great egrets in sight.  This was all in the space of maybe ten minutes.  

I started noticing a very small bird flitting from branch to branch, rarely in plain site.  With the binoculars I got a better glimpse of him but it was only a glimpse for he was rarely still.  He apparently feeding on insects.  It was a small bird, smaller in girth but about the same length.  He had a very streamlined look.  It was pale grey on top, with faint eye rings.  When the wings were against the body, you could see dark and white feathers.  The belly appeared to be white.  The tail stood at about a 45 degree angle when he perched on a branch which was not often for he was usually in the midst of leaves.  The tail had white edges, dark center expect when flying then the tail showed broad dark and light stripes.  To me its shape looked somewhat like a vireo but not like any that I recognized.  It was extremely active.  Still don't know what it may have been, but tomorrow I will be out at the same time with my camera ready.

It is fun to live somewhere that I can step out of my door and sit for such a show. 

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Monday, 19 November 2018
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