Sweet Dreams of…

Cee-Cee is all tuckered out and dreaming of peanut butter. See the rest of the story at:
http://www.horsesandanimalsaretalkin.wordpress.com

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Credit:
Photo of my sweetie pie, Cee-Cee, by Barbara Anne Helberg, from my personal and copyrighted collection

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What Is It?

Name this fishing bird (BELOW):

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Many species of birds visit the river behind our apartment building. The one pictured can dive completely under water from a swimming position to catch fish. He swims low in the water and uses his tail feathers as a fanned rudder while he trys to locate his dinner.

His fan tail, hooked beak, and black-webbed feet (not visible in this photo) identify him as a juvenile Cormorant.

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Credit:
Photo from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

 

Mums and Colorful Trees and Leaves Equal Fall

It’s my favorite of the four Seasons of the year — Fall!

Hearty Mums brighten Fall’s colors, too!

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Trees show off their colors in a small city’s parks and lawns (BELOW):

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The tree’s eye-view of its turning leaves (BELOW):

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Credit:
Photos at Napoleon, Ohio, from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Take-Off Flight Sequence of Heron

The Great Blue Heron has an amazing take-off sequence. A wingspan of 77 to 82 inches flaps him into flight.

Involuntarily hitting the shutter on my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS with 40X Optical Zoom in different times — quickly, normally slowly, and abnormally slowly — I captured pictures of a Great Blue Heron in a patterned sequence of take-off and resulting flight.

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(ABOVE): This is an incredibly lucky shot! The heron has used his skinny, long stick feet to push himself slightly forward and out of the water. (See the water dripping heavily down below him.) His wings are in the first take-off motion, with most of the wings in a flapped down position from which he is about to swing them upward to gain more lift.

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(ABOVE): In the second flight sequence, the heron shoots his wings fully upward and folds his eight stick feet (four on each leg) closely together in preparation for lifting himself into full flight. His head and neck remain high, here, and his legs are dangling while his feet shake off water.

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(ABOVE): Low over the river and pulling in his rudders (legs and feet) straight behind him, the heron has fully launched himself out of the water (third sequence) in a forward push. To give himself momentum and speed, he has lowered and leveled his wings.

At every take-off from the water, the Great Blue Heron uses the same basic three-part sequence to become airborne.

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Credit:
Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Birds In the Air

The Great Blue Heron (BELOW) is a shadow in the sky above the bridge in Napoleon, Ohio. Notice how his long, long neck is pulled into an “S” as he flies high. The heron’s equally long legs and stick feet fly straight out behind him as he glides along.

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(BELOW): When he lifts off, the Great Blue Heron displays beautiful, incredibly huge wings of purple-blue edging and relatively small, fan-like tail feathers.

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(BELOW): Pigeons that live under the bridge give their own impression of shades against the sky. They regularly give a fly-by show around and under the bridge as a troupe.

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(BELOW): The Great Egret shares fishing space with the Great Blue Heron. They rarely argue on territorial water rights.

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(BELOW): Notice the Great Blue Heron’s head is straight up, and that’s because he/she just watched the Great Egret fly over his/her head and land in front of him/her.

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Turkey Vultures, or “buzzards”, as the ones (BELOW) are easily recognized on the ground for their red, bare-skinned heads. But in high flight, they display silver-gray outer flight feathers and black feathers in front, while their white, short beaks are more visible than their red heads. Highly predatory, Turkey Vultures flap and soar in circles above prospective ground prey.

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(BELOW): Geese fly above the Maumee River at Napoleon, Ohio.

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Credit:
Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

Eagle Landing

An accommodating friend transported me to Eagle Country at Grand Rapids, Ohio, last month. GR Eagles have nested and frequented the little quaint village along the Maumee River and former site of a portion of the Maumee and Erie Canal consistently for years.

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One resident (ABOVE and BELOW) obligingly landed on the bare branches of an island tree close enough for my tiny lenses to photograph. I snapped a number of pictures from quite a distance, as he never did incline himself to soar off, and he was still roosted when we had to leave.

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As luck would have it, a Red-bellied Woodpecker (BELOW) also stopped to stare on the old canal trail, and held on long enough for me to snap a shot.

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Isn’t he a fine fellow?

A good time was had by all !

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Credit:
Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg