More Then Meets the Eye
Autumn is in full swing along the banks of the Pine River, the birds are massing in great flocks taking advantage of the harvest season to bulk up for the long flights south, temperatures are slipping into the low forties as the night hours lengthen bringing a early end to our apple picking and leaf raking chores. It is a unimaginably golden world we make our way through. The agreement between green leaf and sun to partake in the sacrament known by the awkward word "photosynthisis" is quickly coming to it's fiery conclusion. It would be well if you were with me to see the kalaidiscope of color with your own eyes. My trips into the wetlands are equally as beautiful. I am waiting to see the giant flocks of geese that are even now making there way to Shiawassee refuge. I have never seen a snow goose and if I read the pamphlets correctly that oversight will be corrected a thousand times over very soon. I have had good looks at pairs of trumpeter swans resting in the marsh and flights of Sandhill cranes popping up unexpectedly on the stubble fields, there finding plenty of left overs to keep them happy after our farmers have taken in the crops. Between the blowing leaves, Wild turkey and deer bombing back and forth across the road, along with the ultimate distraction of the spectacular red, orange, and yellow hardwoods I'm having trouble keeping my car in it's own lane.
On the shores of Lake Huron I spied a group of Black-bellied plovers in their non-breeding molt working the shore line. They are powerful fliers capable of scooting along at 50mph even in the face of a strong head wind. Their breeding grounds skirt the rim of the Arctic ocean where the plover may lay 1 to 5 eggs. Remarkably, the newly hatch Black-bellied plovers are able to feed themselves within a days time and are ready to take to the air in about three weeks. These birds are long lived in the wild with life spans in the neighborhood of 20 years. This 11 inch shorebirds halting stutter step as it patrols the beach and its bulbous profile give no hint that in the air it's 27 inch wingspan can support nonstop migratory flights figuring thousands of miles. The inset picture shows the Black-bellied plover in it's more distinctive breeding plumage.
I have been reading recently about the "Market Hunters" that harvested wild game in the 1800's all through North America. There was a huge market for anything from bears to frogs and nearly everything in between that might feed the 76 million hungry mouths that populated turn of the century America. There was no season and no bag limit. The inexpensive meat was iced or salted and sent by rail to the cities where it was sold to the poor or prepared in wild game restaurants. So efficient were the killing methods developed, the disseminated flocks of avian life and throngs of wild beasts nearly vanished in a unthinkable cataclysm. If not for the efforts of naturalists and enlightened hunters in the waining moments of the 19th century much of our glorious native wild life would be nothing more than faded pictures on the pages of century old field guides and hunting magazines. The Migratory Bird Act of 1918 put an end to the slaughter of shorebirds like the plovers. The concept that natures treasurers were finite and belonged to nature and not to man's arrogant consumptive whims was revolutionary. I shudder to think, what if this new mindset had not caught on?
Now it's time for World Bird Wednesday!
This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.
World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.
#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with Linky.
#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!
The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compadres!
Come on it's your turn!