Thursday, November 13, 2008


Went paddling with Susan on Lake Johnson yesterday. Clouds hung heavy over us and the wind across the water was brisk, making me wish I'd put on more layers of clothes, or had brought the skirt for my kayak.  Still, it was very quiet and peaceful and worth the occasional shivers from holding the cold metal handle of the paddle.  Late crickets and/or cicadas were calling from all around, and back in one protected cove, a river of Whirligig Beetles entertained us for the longest time.  Try watching them through binoculars some time. Their shiny bodies glide effortlessly through the water and leave a tiny V of ripples.  When they are in neutral you can see their two front legs vibrating, churning the water on either side of the head.   As our kayaks floated into the river of beetles, they divided into two rivers, with occasional independent thinkers heading out to explore on their own.   "Look," Susan said, "that's us!"

Bird list from Lake Johnson and the swamp:  
Canada Geese (flock of 24 greeted us then flew away honking)
Chickadees (hanging and eating seed on pine cones)
Kinglets (too high to see their crowns)
Tufted Titmice
Kingfisher (one in lake, one in swamp)
Black vultures circling (4)
Eastern Phoebes 
Bluebirds (many swooping out over lake catching bugs)
Killdeer (several walking the shore pecking the ground)
Great Blue Heron (flying very high above lake)
Mallards (in swamp)
Red-bellied Woodpeckers
White Throated Sparrows (singing)
Mourning Doves (also heard whistling wings)
American Goldfinches
Pine Siskins (flock in a Sweetgum tree)
Turkey Vultures (on road as we left)



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