When my oldest daughter, now in her mid 20’s, was 2 or 3 years old I would get her up from her bed in the mornings and we would stand at the front door looking out at the promise of the new day as we packed away the night. One morning we opened the door to a sight, not all that common in the Texas Panhandle, of curling mists softening the edges of our yard. “Froggy,” croaked my daughter, her voice still creaky with sleep, and since that day mornings like that have been froggy.
This morning was froggy and I wasn’t sure what to expect as I drove to the lake. It turned out to be a pretty nice morning for photographing birds. The crowd at Spring Canyon was noisy and seemed to be enjoying the mists as much as I was. The Western Meadowlarks and Red-winged Blackbirds were particularly boisterous-both groups were busy courting and defending territory from other equally amorous rivals and their penny-whistle trilling filled the fog. The poor Eastern Phoebe was calling loudly from his tree top, but was still the only one I saw in the canyon. A couple of Rock Wrens and a Rufous-crowned Sparrow sang on the north side of the larger pond and a Belted Kingfiser rattled castenet-like from the spillway before flying away. This Spectorian production was the perfect accompanyment for a solo by the Common Loon swimming in the `Stilin’ Basin. I was not the only one enjoying the show. A couple of American Coots and a male Ruddy Duck and his harem (that bright blue bill must really do it for female Ruddy Ducks)
For more photos of the birds discussed in this post see the gallery pages.