Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Return to Hagerman /Rains/New Birds

We were gone from the refuge for a few days to take care of some family business and when we returned we were met with an awful evening of rain and storms. In about six hours 4 to 41/2 inches of rain fell. Several of the bridges in the refuge were completely impassable due to the overflow of the lake. An area called Big Mineral Springs was actually out of its banks. On a normal day, this is a nice area to fish and picnic. The drop from the bank to the creek is about 4 feet. Not today! One bridge looked more like a waterfall than a bridge. We were very happy that we had planned ahead and stowed the satellite dish and put in the awnings before going to bed. At least we didn’t have to get up for that task.

We have a few new birds to add to our list of “first.” We followed a Red-shouldered Hawk until we could finally get a picture. These birds love the swampy groves and that is just exactly where we found him - at Haller’s Haven aka Dead Woman’s Pond. What a fitting place to roost. Maybe he’s looking for that dead woman! Who knows!!

We then discovered this fairly ugly bird and couldn’t quite get a good look at it to identify. Every time we saw the fellow he was in a hurry scurrying back into a thicket. Finally one morning he just walked out from some underbrush in front of the truck and we were able to get a picture for identification. It happened to be the Greater Roadrunner. The best part about the Roadrunner is his/her love of lizards and rodents. They love to hide in the thick underbrush so they can capture lizards and rodents for a tasty dinner. I love that bird!!

We were driving along the main road inside the refuge one morning when we discovered a huge flock of American White Pelicans just enjoying the morning in the lake alongside the road area. We had already witnessed these beautiful birds in flight but now we could see them up close. The American White Pelican does not dive for food as does the Brown Pelican but they prefer to sit in large groups and cooperatively scoop up fish and this is exactly what they were doing on this particular morning at the refuge.

Friday afternoon after the big rain we went for a ride and discovered this very peculiar bird. There were only about 10 to 15 of them and they seemed to be very preoccupied with sticking their heads in the water. This bird is rarely seen at the refuge and was only stopping over as they were migrating south. They must have rested and refreshed themselves because we haven’t seen them since that afternoon.

With the temperatures getting cooler we are beginning to see many different species coming to the refuge. Each day seems to bring something new at this time of the year.

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