Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Falls Afterglow

As I waited for the bus Monday morning, I gave serious consideration to calling in sick. The air was cool, the breeze pleasant, and the sky absolutely cloudless, a condition we don't see often in July in the Ohio Valley. However, duty called and I got on the bus when it arrived. To my amazement, the same weather conditions held when I got home after work, so we jumped in the car to spend the evening at the Falls of the Ohio.
A man sat on the shore with a spotting scope, so we asked what he had found so far. "Not much," he replied. We were heading to the Point to look for Ospreys, and he and his wife decided to come along. Lucky for us, this was an experienced birder and member of the Beckham Bird Club in Louisville, and he saw more little birds than I ever would have seen on my own. His good scope came in handy too for the Cedar Waxwings, and other smaller birds. We found a Pileated Woodpecker heading into the nest for the night. At least, we saw it go in and not come out for about 10 minutes.
A beaver swam downstream, and a groundhog spied on us from his creek-bank den under some roots. The Osprey was sitting in a branch waaayy downstream. I don't know how Tom ever found it, even with the scope. We hoped to see the Screech Owl along the edge of the woods as the light faded, but no luck there. Tom also told us about a wetlands on the other side of the levy which I had not heard of before. We climbed the 1,000 foot levy (well, it felt that tall to me) to see several acres of wetland, backed up by at least two small beaver dams. Come back in November and see all the ducks here, Tom invited.
The sun turned the sky red, orange, and purple as it dipped below the horizon, with the color combinations changing every few seconds. It seemed that the water itself caught fire. A dog and his best friend waded in the flaming shallow waters, and Canadian Geese paddled serenely. As we drove out of the park, I talked about coming back another time with my tripod to take photos of the Louisville skyline at night. Well, no time like the present, tripod or not, so we parked the car at Ashland Park, where all good photographers go for skylines at twilight. I never knew before that the upstream side of the McAlpine Dam has a large, lit sign that says DANGER. Sometimes boaters a little the worse for their day on the river, float down pasted the bridges, too close to the dam. I hope the sign is enough to get their attention.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a grand evening at the Falls. Next time i'd love to go with you if i'm not working that night. Give me a call if you remember the next time.