Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Patience, Persistence and Perspective

Yellow Chat
"Is Muddlety a place or an attitude?" we asked our guides this morning. As it turns out, we passed a sign to a place called Muddlety, but it just as well describes our bird watching trip in the rain. Not an absolute downpour, thank goodness, but a steady, drenching rain that blurs your binoculars and camera lens. I kept fanny pack, camera and binoculars under my raincoat, pulling out the needed item for immediate use, then tucking it back into the relative dry of the raincoat. It felt like being pregnant with optics. Maybe I could hatch a Swarovski binocular if I'm careful during pregnancy!
Prairie Warbler
Connie and Keith gave us extra doses of patience and persistence this morning. Every so often, they stopped the van, rolled down the windows and listened intently. "Is it?" they glanced at each other. "Everyone out! You want to see this," and we all piled out of the van like kids doing a Chinese Fire Drill. Despite the rain, we found Blue Winged Warbler, the sought for Cerulean Warbler, and heard the rare Swainson's Warbler. Although we stopped to listen and look several times, I think there was actually only ONE Cerulean which simply followed us down the road. "Watch me make these guys come out of their natural habitat one more time," it said to all the other birds. We also saw lots of Lesser Rain Warblers, making the leaves move each time they landed or took off. We were unable to find the elusive White Billed Rain Warbler though. Better luck next time!
Blue Winged Warbler
This trip includes a trip to the Big Tree, estimated to be about 300 years old. As we ate lunch by the tree, chain saws buzzed on the next hill, and we were close to tears listening to at least 6 different trees fall to the ground. The crash echos across the valley, as if the whole forest is mourning. Surprisingly, the birds did not seem to be affected by the noise and destruction.
The forest doesn't give up. We saw one stump bravely sending up shoots.
In a forest, your perspective should not be limited to the birds and the trees. This little snail certainly was ready for a road trip to explore new places. Keith found a Red Spotted Newt which was ready to climb right up on Susan's shoulder!
British Soldier lichens live in a world of their own, completely limited to the tops of some old fence posts. I can image small creatures viewing this as the entire universe, which is correct given their perspective.


GainStar said...

The little newt is adorable. Why does that snail look so intrigued by that camera? Great shots.

*I Donated To Cornell Ornithlogy!*

Susan Gets Native said...

My snail !!!!! There he is!!!!
I still want to cry when I think of that newt.

KatDoc said...

Ah, HAH! Somebody else who went "snailing" in the rain, instead of birding. We need to form a union - we will do snails and slugs, anything that leaves a slime trail.

Love the tiny, tiny snail investigating the strap. And the newts --- can't say enough about them. I have to get a whole post up about them, when I find all my pics.

Great colors, Kathy! All my shots look gray - too much rain and fog.

~another Kathi

Lynne said...

I missed the snail at first glance, but you know? That is a really moving photograph.

Kathiesbirds said...

What amazing photos you got! Love them!