I'm not sure if you can have a "heron fest" with just one great blue heron, but this guy is a treat.
He's likely the same guy I've seen of late in the Allendale Brook and on Lake Appert, but he just seems more prominent these days.
From my window yesterday afernoon, I saw huge dark wings landing on the lake, and I had to rush out to see what it was.
"It" was the heron, who was coolly, calmly, methodically walking across the ice. Almost like on a stroll.
This morning, as I was walking around the farm at dawn, I met up with a friend by No-Name Culvert.
We were talking softly when all of a sudden there was this great commotion by the culvert on the lake side.
I grabbed the camera, pointed and shot, and came up with some images of the great blue heron taking wing -- water dripping from his feet.
He landed nearby and did his heron thing. And I did my camera thing. (Click on the photos for larger views; this blog service makes loading images a time-consuming challenge.)
At one point it looked liked he was doing some sort of semaphore schtik with his wings.
Lake Appert is frozen again, and the Celery Farm has a completely different personality.
The lake, typically the dominion of gulls and geese after October, is now ruled by skaters.
The sounds you hear nowadays are the scratch of skates on ice, the clack of hockey sticks, and the eerie singing of the ice as it expands and contracts.
I tried recording those sounds -- if you listen closely, you can hear the ice singing.
The lake is frozen solid, and I can see skaters having a blast...
I hope to go for a walk later if it's not too cold.
One of the nice things about my job covering the environment and nature for The Record is I get to cover stories like this one on the Local front in The Record today.
Ten bear cubs were orphaned last spring and sent to a rehab place in Pittstown, NJ.
The cubs arrived weighing 10 pounds, and now they weigh from 100 to 120 pounds.
It was time to move them to larger quarters, and yesterday was moving day. The cubs were tranquilized, tagged on the ears, and tattooed inside their mouths (below).
They also has tissue and blood samples taken.
They were then carried on tarps to their new digs.
I am sorry to say that although I took some videos, I have such a bad cold that you would be able to hear my breathing on the videos. Ouch.
So I stuck with the still images. My favorite shot is of a bear cub's paw.
Just had never seen one up close before.
They look clunky but somehow tender. Once they get out in the wild again, I'm sure they'll be toughened up.
Also, one look at those claws and you know you don't want to mess with these guys -- even the cubs.
Which is why they were sedated.