Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Heron and the Turtle

Even though it is all one pond, it is much more likely you will see herons at one end rather than the other. I am not sure why. I have wanted the opportunity to film Green Herons for quite some time and this pond has several. It is not obvious from this photo, but there is a large turtle on the log next to where the heron landed. It's back is covered in duckweed, which camouflages him very nicely.

I thought I was seeing things at first, but the heron appeared to be stabbing at the air. Then I realized it was eating (or at least trying to catch) dragon flies that were buzzing around it's head. If you look closely in a couple of the pictures you can see them.

Actually, if you look again, the log is not really a log. It is one of the rhizomes  out of which the spatterdock grows. Some of these "logs" are twenty or more feet long and as big around as dinner plates. You can see a root laying across the rhizome over on the left looking like a garden hose. Maybe it is a root or perhaps it is a leaf stem. I'm not sure.

So, the heron decides the fishing is probably better at the other end of the log, but the turtle is in the way. You can almost hear him thinking. What to do? What to do? It doesn't appear that flying as an answer ever crossed it's mind.

Apologizing vociferously, the heron somehow found room to squeeze by the turtle.

Whew! Made it. Notice there are a number of other turtle heads sticking up out of the water. That pond is full of turtles. Big turtles. I never realized that turtles like the Red-eared Sliders and Red-bellied Cooters I've seen here could even get that big.

You can almost see him get his confidence back as he moves down to the end to return to fishing.

While he is standing there, another denizen of the pond, a muskrat, swims by. I just happened to have seen it earlier out in the middle of the pond. I am always surprised by the things that can be seen just by quietly sitting on the edge of a pond.

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