False Spring Busy Slough.

The Critters finally showed up today in fairly large numbers. I was expecting it one day before the end of the month. Mating season is right around the corner the SeaGulls are exhibiting some of their squabbling while setting the pecking order.

A lone Pelican worked his way across the Island on the far side. I saw him from a long distance flying close to the ground which they don’t normally do. Apparently this one was on a mission as he proceeded straight as the Crow flies towards its destination. They are curious birds nearly silent they go along with the business at hand whether it is rounding up fish or flying slow motion through the air.

The Canadians are well represented, they have been arriving for the past week in small flocks until today two or three big flocks flew over. I was fortunate to be in the middle of the air show. Two of them made 4 passes over me, gratefully I was prepared for them and took advantage of the opportunity. The two in the photo above were full of energy acting anxious to get started doing something.

They were crowding one another in the vast sky I’m not sure what the deal is with that; I took several of them in close quarters. Some will most likely nest here, I don’t expect many because there is a great wet lands about a mile from here that is much more secure. The security is mainly from Coyotes and perhaps Bobcats, the pasture is wide open it would be a tough place to build nests.

I don’t know what species of Crane these are, I looked through the bird atlas, the closest I was able to determine is they are “Common Cranes”. OK most critters have a 35 letter Latin name, not that I pay attention to words I have no clue how to pronounce. I often wonder why science names stuff like that, I’m sure Grizzly Bears have a Latin name six inches long but don’t we all know them as “Grizzly Bears?” The Cranes were in a large flock as well, even with my hearing loss I was able to hear these guys from a fair distance from me.

The slough was filled with activity today I was able to take a few images of Otters, I missed the Minks. The Otters were on my neighbors dock while the Mink are a lot like taking pictures of a submarine.

They are slim this time of year, they don’t hibernate but they do enter a time of limited activity while holed up in their dens. It’s curious that they build their dens at the same bend in the river as the Mud-Hens, Geese and Ducks. I suspect a part of the reason is it is protected from our relentless summer winds that blow from April until September non-stop. None the less this guy appears to be in good shape, a bit skinny yes but it’s to be expected for now. The reality is there is a better than average chance after this brief break from our mild winter it may get a lot windier and wetter. If it dries out too rapidly it will start the wild fire season early as it did last year, hopefully with a bit of good fortune it will begin to rain and not stop until May.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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