But my car was in the shop for a mysterious Subaru gas tank weirdness! I fussed about that for awhile, then asked to borrow Bill's van. So the next morning he stuffed my canoe into the van and I rode into town with him, dropped him at Bird Watcher's Digest, and headed to the lake.
The red-headed woodpeckers were calling, churring and kwirking, as I got out of the car at the boat launch. Two, teed up on a snag where I parked. Three more whirling around on the lake. A couple of newly fledged youngun's begging. It was cool and sunny with puffy white summer clouds. I was so glad to be there.
Not only that, they have some fabulous James Brown hair when they're excited.
This is the bird my Iowa-born father called a shitepoke. If you don't know the derivation of that word, you may benefit by my having wondered about it for 50 years, and finally having figured it out. Read "How Do You Spell Shitepoke?"
Well, that was a bit of hyperbole. I probably started wondering about it when I was six. But still. I was delighted to see these young green herons stepping carefully through the shallows of North Bend. It seemed to me a change for the better. This little heron isn't doing so well throughout its range, and it was a balm to see them enjoying some breeding success at my happy place. More green herons in a subsequent post!
I always enjoy stalking deer from the water, and today was Bucks in Velvet day. Everybody got a free bobblehead buck in velvet.
They are curious about a person in a small silent watercraft, but they aren't alarmed, and we spend a great deal of time just looking at each other.
For someone who's going to get so bold and raunchy when the rut comes around in about two months, it amuses me to see him acting like a shy first-grader with his tender just-forking antlers.
We play hide-and-seek, me paddling hard a few times, then drifting silently closer; he playing fan dancer in the trunks and leaves.
If canoeing North Bend with me sounds like something you'd like to do, there are still some spaces left in the Bird Watcher's Digest Reader Rendezvous coming up August 22-24, 2014.
Check it out here: Birding Valhalla With Julie Zickefoose