"In the night...the scream of the rabbit is terrible. But the scream of the owl which is not of pain and hopelessness and fear of being plucked out the world, but of the sheer rollicking glory of the death-bringer, is more terrible still. When I hear it resounding through the woods, and then the five black pellets of its song dropping like stones into the air, I know I am standing on the edge of the mystery, in which terror is naturally and abundantly part of life, part of even the most becalmed, intelligent, sunny life--as for example, my own. The world where the owl is endlessly hungry and endlessly on the hunt is the world in which I live, too. There is only one world."
Mary Oliver, Blue Pastures

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Oakwood Spring

This was a beautiful day. I got my banking and taxes done in the morning. When Lorna came back from her yoga group we had lunch and were on the deck looking at Mallards and Wood Ducks dabbling and doing their mating rituals in the open water on the edge of the lake. The lake ice is becoming mushy and gray, breaking up fast. The temperatures are supposed to be in the mid-70s the next few days so it'll soon be gone.

While we were standing on the deck, a first-year Bald Eagle was wheeling and drifting over the lake looking for any duck or goose that seemed vulnerable. It did a low pass just over our treetops and we took that as a signal to join it in looking for waterfowl. We grabbed our optics and cameras, and climbed aboard the Honda Birdmobile. We did a slow loop around Fountain Lake, a check on the Pelicans across the tracks south of East Main, then Front Street on the shore of Albert Lea Lake, before driving south a couple of miles to check out a pond on Highway 13 where Lorna had seen ducks the day before.

Red-breasted Merganser males profiling for the lady - on Fountain Lake by Dane Bay.

There probably 75 Pelicans, maybe more, on the pond behind the old Wilson plant. Eventually there will be a few hundred on isolated backwaters of Albert Lea Lake. And a half dozen drifting like sailboats on still morning waters behind 1410 Oakwood.

A small pond on Highway 13 covered with waterfowl.

Lessor Scaups, Canvasbacks, Ringnecked Ducks, Woodducks.  There were also Redheads and Shovelers.  

Back in Oakwood. Kids across the alley pumping tires. The Rites of Spring for the Rides of Spring.

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