Day one of trying out the new protocols for maximizing energy. Turned off all screens at ten last night, and was asleep before eleven.
This morning, I dressed quickly and headed out the door by 7:30. The sun was already up and birds were flitting all about. Ice on the windshield meant I had to wait for the car to defrost. Couldn’t help but wonder if this was folly.
Cardinals, goldfinches, and red-winged blackbirds sang and flitted amongst the trees, just now getting their spring buds. We’ve returned home in time to welcome in this glorious season.
I drove a few blocks to the central attraction of our village – the Little Falls. Just beyond the falls is a park, and I slowly drove the circular path, stopping at a few points by the river to watch the birds.
A Canada Goose was loudly proclaiming her presence. Not sure if she was just cold, or telling off her mate who was grooming on the shore.
Further upstream, two ducks were gliding along. Without a breeze the river formed a mirror for the trees and houses lining its banks.
I parked near the falls and got out to take a few pictures. The falls, usually teeming with birds, were quiet this morning. Across the way, I noted a woodpecker, and heard the distinct song of the cardinal. A robin pecked at the ground.
Standing on the walkway, overlooking the intersection where our two rivers connect, I felt a sense of renewal.
It was nice to get away for the winter, and it is also nice to be home. I am excited to see what the season will present.
“Have you been to Tule Marsh yet?” our new neighbours ask the moment we tell them we like birds. “The Whistling Ducks are there.”
I’ve been wanting to see the Whistling Ducks!
The Tule Marsh spans both sides of Highway 35 in Rockport, although apart from some small signs, it is hard to spot, which explains how we’ve missed it up until now.
A semi-circle drive is the parking area and then a walkway leads into an area thick with tall bushes and on the other side a boardwalk extends out and across the marsh. In the middle is a large pond teeming with Whistling Ducks.
They really are spectacular with their neon orange beaks and multi-coloured plumage.
A white ibis is also wading in the pond and the sound of songbirds fills the air, although catching a glimpse of the little ones is difficult as the trees here are quite lush already.
I do manage to capture an image of this catbird (a first for me), and I also spot a little yellow bird with a dark hood-like head, but he ducks out of sight faster than I can focus.
Across the road is another parking area with further boardwalks also spanning a pond, as well as a hiking/ biking trail through a wooded area. I get a picture of a mockingbird singing joyfully. Something rustles in the bushes nearby and not sure whether to be frightened or excited, I ready my camera. A furry orange head peeks out – a tabby cat. Seems we aren’t the only ones looking for birds.
More Whistling Ducks line up along the water’s edge here. A Tricolored Heron joins the group at the top. Notice how much greener everything is looking, a sure sign that Spring is here.
My favourite shot of the day is this one. If I wasn’t so tired from our outing, I’d think of something witty to say about it:
Water, I confess, holds me in its spell –
I would follow it across the land
from the Oregon coast, and ocean swell
to the Arizona rivers, oh so grand:
Set me by a waterfall and I will swoon,
mesmerized by such awesome power,
even deafened by its thunderous boom,
I could watch the motion hour upon hour.
When travel is done, and I’ve come home to roost,
I hope that the scenery will be tranquil and calm,
for there is not a mood that water can’t boost –
undeniably, it is Nature’s medicinal balm.
(For Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: water. Featured image is Oregon coast; Arizona shot is Salt River at Coon’s Bluff; the waterfall is Englishman’s River, Vancouver Island; and the tranquil scene was taken recently at the Watson Mill along the Rideau river, Manotick, Ontario. All photos are my personal collection.)
It rained for days on end, the April we spent on Vancouver Island, so when the sun came out, we headed for the water. Nanaimo Harbour is a hive of activity, with walking paths, a children’s playground, ferry docks, and seaplane tours.
There is something about planes landing on water that fascinates.