Snowy Magic at Red River Creek

It was a warm June morning and I was out early at Red River Creek.

In search of baby Black Ducks.

Passing by our familiar childhood herring run, something caught my eye.


Through the marsh reeds and trees I spotted a Snowy Egret, perched on a low branch close to the river.


I knew that Snowies roosted at night, but this was the first time I’d seen one just rolling out of its lofty bed among the treetops.

Best of all, the angle of the morning sun seemed to be in my favor, giving me a bit of time to watch undetected.


It got even better when the Snowy flew to a second perch, directly over the creek.

Oh yes, a much better spot to look for something moving in the shallow water below!


And the perfect chance for me to reposition, to get deeper into the shadows to observe.


Just then, the Snowy began to preen.


Such a methodical process it was; no doubt a morning ritual.

And through my lens I could see tiny white feathers, freshly pulled, being released from the Snowy’s bill….


Lifted by a whisper of a sea breeze…


And then floated away without a sound, out over the marsh and out of sight.


Another breeze came up and had some more fun, setting the Snowy’s crown feathers all aglow as he peered intently into the watery shadows of a nearby creek.


What a sight he was, this stunningly beautiful bird.

Doing what Snowies probably do every morning – taking a bath, getting ready for some breakfast.

Yet this morning, this Snowy gave me such a gift.

One I’ll never forget.


Years ago I made the decision as a milliner to design silk organza “feathers” to trim my hats with, in place of the real ones.

Leaving those soft, glorious feathers right where they belong.


On the breeze.

And with the birds.   ❤

Related post, Hats and Horses blog, “For the Birds”

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Snowy Egret Silhouette

One of my favorite captures, to date.


Snowy Egret at Red River Creek – July 2018

The Snowies Are Here!

I was driving to the marsh last evening, certain that the light was fading much too fast and the air too chill for anything to be out and about.

And then – out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of white!

A seagull? No, too tall for a gull.

Or could it BE? A Snowy? This early?

I pulled the car over and hopped out, my heart racing and my camera ready.

And there he was, a Snowy! And those glorious white feathers such a contrast to the matted brown marsh grass that framed him. He looked a bit tousled and dazed, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if the Red River creek was his very first stop.

How I have been longing for the these elegant, whimsical harbingers of spring to return. They are for sure one of my very favorite summer marsh companions and I have missed them since their fall departures.

And this clever one spotted me right away, I had but a moment to steady my trembling hands for a shot.

One click, then two, and up, up, and away he flew!

Sailing away with those skinny black and yellow legs trailing behind him, he faded into a pale, cloudless sky and was gone.

Almost as if he’d never been there.

But he sure was.

I’ll be looking for you, dear Snowy, you and all the others as you return to this, your Cape Cod summer home!  😉

 

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Monday Best: Snow in Summer

Welcome to Monday Best!

Presenting my pick this week, the Snowy Egrets of Mill Landing!

SnowyEgret-MillLanding24-BlogI saw the large flock of Snowies feeding the other morning down at the Mill. It felt like the first time when I discovered them many years ago. They stole my heart then and here I was captivated by them all over again!

SnowyEgret-MillLanding48-BlogKnown for being vocal, I could hear them even before I spotted them, talking amongst themselves in the shallow channel water as the morning sun backlit their every elegant move. It’s like watching the Nutcracker ballet in the middle of summer!

SnowyEgret-MillLanding39-BlogI must have been photographing at least twenty individuals, each one casting its stunning reflection on the shallow water as they slowly moved forward, sideways, and back again. It was so beautiful that I had all I could do just to hold the camera steady!

SnowyEgret-MillLanding44-BlogAnd it looked like I wasn’t alone in my bird watching!

ForestBeachLoop882-BlogSnowies have a most unique fishing method which seems to fit their personalities to a T. They literally flush out tiny fish below the water’s surface, using their yellow feet to chase them up, up, up and then – gulp! Oh, to be an underwater camera to see those fancy feet so gracefully at work…

SnowyEgret-MillLanding35-BlogSnowyEgret-MillLanding22-BlogSnowies love to hang out in big family groups, and seem to get along quite well.

With the occasional dust up over mates and territory, that is… 😉

SnowyEgret-MillLanding30-BlogI continued to snap picture after picture of these elegant beauties, the water twinkling like diamonds all around them as they fished. I had forgotten all about the heat as these magical snowy creatures transported me to a place in my mind that was cool and calm…

SnowyEgret-MillLanding40-BlogSnowyEgret-MillLanding28-BlogAnd talk about hairdo’s! The Snowies have the hair award, wings down!

SnowyEgret-MillLanding47-BlogThe feathery plumes on their necks and back, called aigrettes, were once used for decorating ladies’ fancy hats. I, as a milliner, am proud to say that I never use any bird feathers in my designs. The feathers that allow these and other birds to soar and fish so magnificently look far better on them than they ever could on my hats!  🙂  (You can read more about this in my blog, For the Birds)

SnowyEgret-MillLanding33-BlogI hated to leave them that morning but it was time to head back to my own “real” job and leave them to theirs ’til next time we’d meet.

Which I am sure, will be soon.  😉

SnowyEgret-MillLanding42-BlogThanks for visiting me here and enjoying these magnificent snowy dancers with me!

Sally

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