Sunday, June 5, 2011

Peaceful Sunday Morning

I always liked Sundays.  When I was in college, I hated Sundays.  It was the one day of the week I didn't have school or work (full engineering course load + 30 hours of work), but I had so much homework and lab reports to catch up on, that my one free day was taken from me.  When I went to graduate school, I vowed that Sunday was my day.  I would get my homework and projects done during the week, even if that meant I was working Friday night.  But to have a day to recharge - what a joy.  I still keep Sunday as a rest day.

I started my day cycling.  I especially like riding on Sunday mornings - it is quiet and peaceful.  My morning ride took me through farmlands . . .

 . . . with mountain views, . . .

. . . by farm fields (watch out for the smells of slurry!), . . .

. . . through quiet country roads, . . .

. . .  and by mountain marshes.

It's been a while since I went kayaking.  I decided to go see how the South Slang was doing (we are still at flood stage in the low-lying areas near Lake Champlain).  The woods by the lake are still very flooded.

The South Slang is always a great area for wildlife.

The muskrats dens are rebuilt.

One surprise were the yellow irises I saw throughout the marshes.  I was amazed I never noticed them before.  Maybe with the higher water I could get deeper into the marshes and see them better.

I didn't paddle very far.  I spent most of my time looking for wildlife.  I could hear all sorts of bird calls.  The red-winded blackbirds were everywhere.  The frogs were croaking.  I even heard an American Bittern calling out 'oong-ka choong - oong-ka choong'.  I have only seen them twice. They are uncommon and secretive.  I was on the lookout for one.

 I came across a Common Moorhen.

Do you see it?

This character was hard to get in a photo.  It is a Virginia Rail.  They are a smallish bird (~ 9 inches) and quite camouflaged.   It was hard to get a picture of them when they were moving, but as soon as they stopped, they would blend in with the reeds and cattails.  Not a great photo.  I snapped it when it had its head down.

I was happy to get this photo of a painted turtle.

I didn't see the bittern.  Not a problem.  Gives me another reason to go back to the South Slang.


Simplifying in the South said...

So glad you go to enjoy a beautiful Sunday. I am discovering the wonderfulness of days of doing nothing. It's so rejuvenating.

Beautiful pictures!

Laura's Last Post: Sing A Happy Song

~ Regan said...

Great pictures, Dad.
I love the one of the trees, covering a country road. This makes me miss Vermont!