Snowy Egrets – In a New Light

I’ve always thought that my favorite images of Snowy Egrets were when they were captured in sunshine and a full palette of colors.


Then, on the suggestion of a friend, I tried the images in black and white.

Just to see what might happen.


And oh, my.

If it’s even possible…


I love these birds…


Even more…


In black and white.

Seeing them in such a “bare bones” contrast of light and shadow has moved me in a whole new way.

Thanks to my friend…


>3

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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”

Storm’s Comin’ on the Heels of the Full Corn Moon

The night of the full Corn Moon was also the night we knew there was a storm approaching, promising flooding in some areas.

I am usually so cheerful when I am out on a full moon walk, but this time I felt unsettled somehow.

A thick, humid haze hung over the marsh, a stiff wind was blowing and the water was churning with whitecaps.


Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something moving in the water.


It was the black duck family I’ve been spending time with lately up at Taylor Pond!

Their heads barely above the water, tightly clustered, they were swimming wildly toward me against the current.

Without saying a word, Mama Duck pressed her brood down the channel past me, around the point and out of sight.


Had something happened? Were they okay? There were only three ducklings, and just yesterday I had seen at least six.

You can be sure I’ll be checking in on them, once the storm passes over.

Meanwhile, through the haze I could see one of our osprey juvies perched on the far nest, having his dinner. Totally non-plussed by what was to come.


And a tiny chirp told me that I was not alone.  I turned and was delighted to meet this tiny pine warbler!


I noticed him gulping down the cedar berries like they were going out of style.

I asked him if he was nervous about the storm,  was he eating to calm his nerves?


What berries, who me? Nervous? ME?  he asked.


I decided not press the tiny fellow further, and he went back to his knoshing.

It was then that I began to wonder how the Snowies were faring, what their storm prep like.

You could see them out there in the marsh. Gathering together with wings a-fluttering, vertical leaps into the air and they were —


DANCING.


I sighed.

How I wish that I could learn to be more like the Snowies!!  😉

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Hot August Weekend, Cape Cod Style

Running tight on time, but I wanted to share a few of the things I spotted this weekend on the Cape.

It seemed like everything was either blooming..


Or bobbing on the sea.


Big and small.


I got scolded by a seagull who bobbed his head at me, told me it’s not polite to stare.

I ALWAYS forget that.


And I saw, in real time, the kindness of two boys bobbing along on their paddle boards who took such care not to disturb a family of egrets who were hunting for their evening meal.


Co-existing.

Neither one losing anything at all.

And gaining everything..


And of course Marmee was the center of my weekend, too.


As she is, well, everyday. Sometimes bobbing, forever blooming.  ❤

Hope you had a good weekend, too.   😉

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Party Time at the Mill

Mill Landing this weekend seemed like it was going to be all about the great egrets.

Each time I visited it seemed like any which way I turned, to the pond or to the flats, there they were.

Fishing in the shallows…

At long last, having the ‘hood all to themselves for a change.

That is, until the snowies showed up…

To join in on the fun.

‘Seems they’d heard there was a party going on, and they wanted IN!

And it looked like someone had blabbed to the black crowned night herons, as well, for they showed up and said the Snowies had been spreading the word.

 

And then the OSPREYS began to appear too, their cries filling the skies as they dipped and glided their way into the mix.

Ah well….. I guess everyone knows you never can trust a Snowy to keep a secret, after all…  😉

When all was said and done, I’m not sure who had the best time.

But I do know that if it’s the weekend, you can be sure there’s always a party goin’ on down at the Mill!  😉

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