Itchy birds are the norm this evening at the Horicon Marsh. The heron family entertained with its avian antics. Great Egrets are a part of the heron family. They itched, stretched, and ate fish as they waded in the water along Highway 49.
They have tremendous balance as they stand on a single skinny leg.
Egrets have elegance,
and comical agility,
which is also shared by another member of the family, the Great Blue Heron. These family members like to scratch because they have unique modified feathers on their chests that continually grow and fray. These feathers disintegrate into a fine, white powder. Herons comb this powder down with their middle toes. The powder helps to remove fish slime and other residue.
It helps keep their plumage looking fabulous.
I have never seen a Sandhill Crane sitting down. Usually, they like to stroll through the marsh or nearby fields. Perhaps, he just had to sit down and enjoy the entertainment.
“I am grateful for what I am and have.
My thanksgiving is perpetual.”
Henry David Thoreau
I suppose it seems odd to be thankful for a marsh. The birds of the Horicon Marsh have been a source of joy,
There are moments when I have said, “Awwwww,”
out loud to myself when I looked through the viewfinder of my camera and was treated to incredible facets of nature. The Marsh has been a refuge where I have relaxed, discovered, and explored.
I am thankful for you, my readers. You both know who you are. I appreciate your encouragement and support.
This blog is a fun, creative outlet where I have the opportunity to share the wonder of nature at the Horicon Marsh. I have much for which to be thankful.
Note: The date of the post is usually the date the photos were taken. I think it is important to know when you might see certain things at the Marsh. Today’s photos are some of my favorites taken over the past couple of years on excursions to the Marsh.
It is a calm, gray, fall day, perfect for a drive on the auto tour. Sumac is turning red, orange, and yellow.
The velvety, reddish brown fruit is rich in Vitamin A. Apparently, birds aren’t all that excited about eating it, but they will resort to it if other food is scarce.
Trumpeter Swans and their growing cygnets enjoy a leisurely swim.
A little boy was walking with his mother along the road as I was standing taking pictures. He exclaimed, “Mom, she is taking pictures of that white bird!” He was so excited and so was I.
The prolific cattails are going to seed. Cattails are actually an herb. Each spike can contain 220,000 seeds!
Milkweed is also an herb. The plant contains cardiac glycosides, similar to Foxglove, that are used to treat some heart diseases. These glycosides are absorbed by Monarch butterfly larvae. Milkweed is the only thing the larvae eat. The glycosides make the larvae and adult butterflies toxic to birds and other predators.
Canada Geese take a break before migrating south.
This Great Blue Heron stands in the water near the road.
I love the coloring of the Red-tailed hawk. His eyes looks so dark and almost hollow. Red-tailed Hawks have keen vision. They can see their prey, like a mouse, a mile away.
Some of the information today was found in the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers: Eastern Region.
If I was a fish, looking at a Great Blue Heron from this angle, I would be rolling in the water, fins flailing, laughing hysterically.
Until I saw him from this angle.
Some days on the Horicon Marsh, I am treated to the whimsy of wildlife. Other days, I am amazed at all the facets of nature I am privileged to observe. The word wonder, according to the Random House Dictionary, means to “to speculate curiously; to be filled with admiration, amazement, or awe; and to marvel at.” These things describe a day on the marsh and it is my purpose to share them with you. My hope is that you will experience the wonder of nature at the Horicon Marsh, too.