Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Wildlife Valentine

Honestly, I gasped when I saw it. A male wood duck, floating just a few feet away outside my window. Wood ducks are the most colorful bird we see on or around the island -- with its green, blue, gold, orange, red, brown, black coloring and distinctive white lines. This is the first one I've seen from the houseboat and probably the closest I've ever seen one. I first spotted it around 9:30 in the morning. I got the camera and that spooked it and it scooted off. It seemed to be hanging around a "regular" mallard pair, and eventually floated back. I started taking photos from inside.

I took probably a dozen photos, most of them blurry. A half hour later I still couldn't take my eyes off it. Often when people visit they look out the huge windows at all the goings-on and say "How do you get any work done?" I'm used to glancing up and down up and down as I work, but today I really felt like How am I going to get any work done with this beautiful bird here for a rare visit -- an extra Valentine's Day gift from the river. At one point the two resident white domestic geese landed and tried to scare it off, and it backed up a bit but stood its ground (or water spot, as it were) -- by stretching up and spreading its wings. It ignored the Canada geese that came floating by.

Eventually it floated downriver, although I spotted it with binocs around 11:30 amid three mallard pairs outside the next houseboat, but it's 12:30ish now and the wood duck is gone again.

I am very lucky to have a place where there is a huge window, a tiny strip of deck and then the water. It allows birds to come just a few feet away from me for excellent views. Yesterday I saw a coot here for the first time, also passing close by.

It's 1:29 p.m. and the wood duck is back in sight, swimming alongside a cormorant. A large boat towing a Zodiac passes near the other side of the channel and the wood duck veers closer to my houseboat, then floats downstream.

It's 2:15 and the wood duck is floating with two mallards in front of the houseboat next door downriver.

Nearly 3, and the wood duck was just outside my window but moved quickly away as I moved to take a photo.

3:14 -- oh, wait. This isn't the first wood duck I've seen at the moorage. I spotted one in the backwater near the ramp a month or so ago. I looked in my notebook and don't see that I wrote it down.

It's 4:48 and here's the wood duck, again swimming in front of my deck with the mallard pair. Maybe it will return another day ...

Friday, February 8, 2013

1,000 page views

Today this blog reached a milestone -- 1,000 page reads.

I have been watching the stats with amusement since I began, fascinated with wondering who is reading my posts -- connecting my lovely spot with the rest of the world. I have kept diaries (as a girl, with lock and key) and journals throughout my life. This has been a new writing and sharing adventure.

Here's where the page reads have come from:

South Korea
United Kingdom
United States

Not many people have written comments, so I don't know how they found these stories, why they're reading them or how they relate to them. No matter, from here it's all been fun.