Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cloud Races

We are on a mid-week mini-vacation at Rough River Dam State Park, an easy drive from home. A leisurely afternoon at the pool led me to engage in the sport of cloud racing. This is a dry county, so no, I was not seeing any sort of "pink" elephants, but I found an elephant cloud leading the pre-race parade.

It's hard to tell if clouds are moving, and in which direction. The closer ones seemed to speed by, while the ones farther away stood still. Two light poles at the pool make the start and finish lines on my cloud race track. Granted, this sport will never replace the Kentucky Derby for most racing fans. As you try to watch the racers, they tend to change shapes mid-heat and you are never sure if you are watching the same cloud or not! It's hard to award Wind, Place or Blow to clouds when they don't wear numbers! Finally, these clouds were overshadowed by an incoming weather front, and the race was called on account of rain.

Earlier in the day, we took a pontoon boat ride around the 5,000 acre lake, which twists and turns along the old river course. Cliff Swallows built nests in the cliffs resembling brown jugs. No babies left in mid-August, of course.

It was exciting to see a Bald Eagle on a lake this small. The park staff says there were three pairs this year. Kingfishers and Great Blue Herons joined the resident flock of Canada Geese in our avian escort for the morning.

There is no fishing allowed from the marina itself, of course, so enormous carp swim around hoping for a handout. This turtle would pop his head up for a minute, and when he thought someone was looking, quickly submerged again. When the threatening rain petered out, we went canoeing at sunset and saw a red fox, which was more rare to us than the eagle!

The Kentucky State Fair starts tomorrow, and I'll be there several days assisting at the Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky, Inc., booth. I've started volunteering there and I love it so far. Got to handle my first Great Horned Owls for their meds last week. Go for the drumsticks, John said. But when it was time to work with the Screech Owl, I quickly learned that they don't have any drumsticks to grab!

1 comment:

Richard said...

Great pictures of the eagles. Love the new header.