Last week, while hiking at our local Community Park, I was surprised to see a large white bird wading on the far shore of Lake Irena. It was a great egret. I had never seen one at the park before.So, after work on Thursday I decided to go back and see if it was still there.
It was a beautiful Summer afternoon. Temperatures were in the 80’s Puffy cumulus clouds floated above the lake.
After walking a short distance along the lake, I saw this pair of dragonflies perched on a pickerel-weed leaf.
While I was stopped to photograph the dragonflies I heard a plopping sound and though a frog had jumped in the water. Looking to the source of the splash I saw this bird standing on a lily pad.This was the first time I ever saw this unique bird. . It hopped from lily pad to lily pad ignoring my presence. I have since learned it is a sora, an aquatic bird that lives in marshes and cattail swamps. It is not usually found on open lakes like the one in Community Park. I was very fortunate to observe this beautiful bird.
Eventually the bird scurried into the cover of the brush along the lake. I walked along the shore and came to the stream that fills the lake. It has been dammed by beavers creating a large pond.
I followed the trail through the tall pines on the northern shore of the lake
. One can tell the Summer is at its peak by the many ferns that have already begun to turn colors.
There were no many flowers in bloom now. The pickerel weed could be found all along the lake.
There was also plenty of steeplebush flowers along the lake.
Under the trees I also found some young teaberries.
As I neared the southern shore of the lake I spotted the great egret I saw on my last visit.
It was walking along the shore looking for some food. And it found a lot of it. I first saw it capture a dragonfly.
Next it caught a grasshopper.
I followed the egret as it walked along the shore. As I approached it would take flight and land a few hundred feet away.
As I walked along the shore following this beautiful bird, I found a unique flower, a white turtlehead.
The egret was now feeding on a small catfish.
As I was photographing the egret storm clouds approached the lake.
I continued to follow the egret and watched it catch a rather large fish. What I didn’t do was watch the weather.
The storms clouds moved in and rain began to fall. I made it to my car just it being to pour. I was a little wet but was so glad I had visited the park. I once again was treated to the beauty of nature. It is all around us, if you look for it and keep you eyes peeled. Here is a link to some more photographs from my hike. Community Park August 8 2019.
A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. Henry David Thoreau