Friday, January 14, 2011

THE RIVERBANK BY REQUEST

Upstream from the cottage…


Gray squirrel on the box elder by the front door of the cottage. 
BTW, the missing bark is courtesy of the pileated 
woodpeckers. 



A couple of days ago, Weaver asked for a few shots of the river in its current snowy state. It sounded like a reasonable request—so here 'tiz.

As you can see, yesterday was overcast and filled with flurries. Not the best day for sparkling riverside scenes. But here's what I saw during a quick foray… 




The riffle is still free of ice, except for the above-water rocks

Sycamores lean along the island.


A single sycamore leaf in the snow.


Song sparrow, fluffed and foraging. 

Icicles along the eaves, and a pale January sun 
trying to shine through the clouds

Of course, who needs the sun when you have a goldfinch? 

Heron tracks along the riverbank.


Ice shelf at the bottom of the steps near the front door.


When I was shooting these pix, I made a pact with myself that I wouldn't succumb to the easy temptation of posting a cardinal photo just to jazz things up…even if cardinals are one of Weaver's favorite birds.  

Instead, I thought I'd include a shot of this blue heron who
likes to do his fish-spotting from a perch high in a sycamore
across from the cottage. Yes, the bird has issues…between
you and me, I suspect it believes it's a kingfisher. 

Here's a better look at the same misguided heron. Of course, who am I to poke fun of another angler's fantasy?

Well, at least I managed to resist that redbird temptation…
 
 ————————

35 comments:

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Oh I've enjoyed my visit to the riverbank. I love the misguided heron! Such wonderful jewels of colour amidst the snow and ice - what variety of feathered friends.

Linda said...

What a great series of images, Grizz. The goldfinch is beautiful, as is the cardinal. But the heron fishing from the tree is something I've never seen before. Maybe it's warmer up there than wading in the shallows.

George said...

A feast for the soul no less than the eyes, Grizz. You are fortunate to live in such a magical landscape.

Grizz………… said...

Raph…

So glad you came and enjoyed—it isn't the Wild Wood, but it's close. I like that goofy ol' heron, too.

Grizz………… said...

Linda…

Thank you. Until I moved here, I had no idea herons spent so much time in trees—other than trees in a rookery, of course. But they do. This one will sit on its favorite limb between fishing bouts. Don't think it's cold feet, just a bird with loftier ideals.

Grizz………… said...

George…

A tough day so far as light went—kinda flat and blah—and I didn't really do it justice. The birds which willing to put up with my coughing helped me add a few better images. It is, indeed, a place of subtle magic.

annie said...

Thank you, Grizz, for these lovely moments. It has been a so refreshing to meander through your trees and look at the river and those birds. Funny, but I feel that I am back from a wonderful day on the river.

annie

Cicero Sings said...

Love that first picture!

On cardinals in our neck of the woods to brighten up our view!

We got lots and lots of snow ... but our water table needs it so for the snow we are grateful.

Hilary said...

You see more wildlife in one day than most of us do in the course of a week or several. I love the perched Heron. He looks fed well enough so I imagine he knows what he's doing.

ellen abbott said...

beautiful pictures even if you did have to resort to the redbird.

Grizz………… said...

Annie…

If that's the case, then I've accomplished what I set out to do. Thank you.

Grizz………… said...

Cicero…

Cardinals will brighten up anyone's woods. Actually, I think we're still well below average on our annual water—not that five inches of snow will make much difference.

Grizz………… said...

Hilary…

Squirrels and birds attracted to the various feeders accounts for about ninety percent of what I regularly see—but you're right in that this river corridor woods is a wonder location for seeing lots of wildlife. You're also right re. the heron…that old bird is a highly efficient fisherman, regardless of his penchant for tree-sitting.

Grizz………… said...

Ellen…

Thank you…but what redbird?

Scott said...

Put out some birdseed for that poor Song Sparrow!

Gail said...

GRIZZ-

Beautiful pictures - breath taking landscape around your cottage and wildlife - so natural. I was so happy being with you seeing nature in it's magic glory. Now, I have been asking for some pictures of your cottage and the great room and hearth and so forth. So....how 'bout it??!! :-)

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Jayne said...

LOL... always sort of makes me do a double take when I see Herons in a tree. Beautiful shots of your lovely river bank.

Grizz………… said...

Scott…

Okay, I don't know how you managed it, but you'll be pleased to learn a nefarious squirrel has gnawed the line holding one of my gallon-sized seed feeders (that would be the one 6 feet directly above the head of the song sparrow in the photo) and sent it crashing to the ground…where it now rests, bent, battered, sunflower seeds scattered everywhere.

Sheeeesh! Are you happy now? The song sparrow has been fed!

Tramp said...

Thanks for these, Grizz. The rain came here and washed the snow almost totally away. In fact the temperature rose so quickly that the forest floor was steaming. Keep warm.
...Tramp

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

I'm glad you liked the pix and bankside ramble.

Huh. So, you don't think the magic of fantasy is better than reality—you really want to risk seeing what you've heretofore only been imagining? You do realize the idyllic could turn out to be rather prosaic, nothing more than a small stone cottage beside a river?

Well, this might, in fact, be the winter for an across-the-channel shot of the cottage, with snow and all, providing I can get to feeling well enough to make it over to the island from the far side while the water is still ankle-deep low.

No promises just yet…but I'll see.

Robin said...

Oh, my Lord. What beautiful pictures. Thank you!

Robin said...

BTW, "rookery' is one of my favorite words.

Grizz………… said...

Jayne…

I see herons in the trees up and down the river every day—and what I'm pretty sure is the same heron sitting on this same limb—and it still looks really weird. They just don't seem like tree-perching birds. But even as I'm writing this comment, the same bird (I believe) is sitting on that sycamore limb across and slightly downstream from the cottage, and another heron is perched on a similar limb, 25-30 feet above the water, fifty yards downstream. Go figure…

Grizz………… said...

Tramp…

Good to hear from you.

Is's not too cold here—about 30˚F at the moment—and the icicles along the eaves are dripping. The snow is wet and compacted, but still here; we could really use a few inches of new flakes and a slight temperature lowering.

Grizz………… said...

Robin x2…

Thank you. You know, considering, I can understand why you like the word "rookery."

AfromTO said...

Yes leave us to our imaginations concerning your cottage-We all have our own fantasies fulfilled this way-As I have seen your cottage I regret having done so.

deb said...

Thank you so much for posting these,
for sharing a view I could lose myself in quite easily.

or find myself .

Grizz………… said...

AfronTO…

You may be right. Fantasy is a powerful tool—especially when self-administered.

I suspect most readers picture my riverbank abode as looking like one of those storybook stone cottages from Tasha Tudor or Thomas Kinkade. You've seen the aerial Bing-map view and know it is a sort of sprawling single-story affair, more modern than its age (part of the structure having been built in 1919) might seemingly dictate. The great room is the most recent addition—house-wide and facing the river, simply a single big room accounting for half the cottage's square footage—yet in some ways, looks the oldest of all.

Still, I'll probably post some photos one of these days—if for no other reason than to set the record straight.

Grizz………… said...

Deb…

You're most welcome…and always welcome here at Riverdaze. BTW, I think that latest poem of yours is really good.

deb said...

Thank you,
It was especially appropriate to see the riverbank , the visual of part of the poem's desire. Mine.
Life has seasons and reasons for which we are just living in the story of , and I am at long last quite aware that I am who I am because of my life and not in spite of it .

Grizz………… said...

Deb…

I spent a bit of time yesterday looking back through your posts after reading the initial poem, and I'm really impressed by your writing…and also by the honesty and vision of your life. The line at the end of your comment goes directly to this—"I am at long last quite aware that I am who I am because of my life and not in spite of it." There is a world of clarity and truth—so often never recognized—in that simple statement. It speaks much of you, and explains the deep well of insight and talent that brings forth such poetry.

Robin said...

Sometimes, it's what comes in the comments that's astounding. I thank Deb for this quote I've saved...


"Life has seasons and reasons for which we are just living in the story of , and I am at long last quite aware that I am who I am because of my life and not in spite of it . "

It takes some work, but 'them's some powerful words....'.

Thanks to you both,

~ Robin x2

Grizz………… said...

Robin…

I couldn't agree more. You just said it better than I did…but we both understood the power of Deb's words. Now, go and read a bunch of her posts, and you'll find the same voice interwoven throughout.

Jenn Jilks said...

I do so love the cardinals, too. Haven't seen any here. Our usual morning involve the Group of Seven (deer), Doh, Re, Me, (a group of 3 deer, including yearling), and 11 mourning doves, with the blue jays thrown in for colour. The wolf happened by in the dark.

Amazing photos, Griz. My fave is the heron. My animal totem. They are gone from Perth, Lanark County, till spring. We have no running water anymore, and I miss the lake. Adore the privacy of our 7 acres, tho'.

Everything is frozen. The 'crik' down the road (Jebb's Creek; how quaint) thawed in our 3+ C. yesterday, but today we have -7 C. and I know it will appear frozen again shortly. We were -30 C the day before. Brrrrrr.

Cheers from my world !

Grizz………… said...

Jenn…

Your new home sounds quite interesting—particularly the wolf. I'd love to have the possibility of a wolf around here. (Fat chance!)

Thank you re.photos. They're really easier to come by than you might think…the river is beautiful from almost any angle in any light, and the wildlife is just a matter of patience. BTW, I like that hereon, too—and took a similar shot of him on his limb earlier this morning.

They say we'll be getting a bit of snow tomorrow, with 5˚F lows during the night. Just another dose of winter. I look forward to making more snow photos.