Drop by drop the Spring rains filled Summersville Lake until it covered 28,000 acres. And in the Fall the gates open and the water recedes down to winter pool. Visually, the empty lake bed has always reminded me of desert with it’s scattered stones, long dead tree stumps and small stream. However, it’s anything but dry. In some places the mud is knee deep but in others it’s only a few inches down to the hard stone bottom. In those spots it’s great to find tracks and get an idea of what kinds of animals are around. But this time when I looked down into the empty lake the animal was still there.
The Heron family of birds are the very definition of stealth. They sometimes stalk the creek in front of my house and in spite of being a large bird you won’t notice them until you’re too close for their comfort. Then the sudden takeoff and massive wings can give you a good scare. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to have an encounter with a Pterodactyl I’m fairly certain that walking up on the Great Blue Heron is probably a close proximity.
He stood there as still as the driftwood around him waiting for the small bait fish to try and make their way downstream to the main waters.
Image Titled “Great Blue Heron 102220c” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.
I hadn’t truly appreciated how sharp his vision is until he slowly changed position and began to crouch.
Image Titled “Great Blue Heron 102220d” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.
With one powerful flap of those huge wings he was airborn and closing in on his quarry that was about 80 yards upstream.
Image Titled “Great Blue Heron 102220e” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.
He also showed some strategy in over shooting his target, circling back and landing in a position that would have to cause his prey to look into the sun in order to see the attack. Once back on the ground he coiled that long neck into an S shape and rushed in. The strike was flawless and as soon he swallowed the first fish he flew back to his original position and picked up the one that thought it had gotten away. The Heron is truly a remarkable predator!
We have a tendency to get the mindset that when the campers and boaters are gone that the lake has nothing to offer but in reality the wildlife is just getting started.
Well Friends, that’s it for tonight and thank you for joining me for this one. Good night and be blessed throughout your days.
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