What a catch

A green heron gets ready to make a meal of a small bullhead it caught recently at a Stillwater-area lake. The heron waited patiently n the shallows of the lake for small fish to swim in close enough to catch.

It is late summer, time to observe what is happening in our area. The extreme heat has affected nature as much as it has people. Sometime we just do not spot it.

With the slightly cooler temperatures, I have enjoyed watching a green heron (it’s bluish-grey) fishing along the lake. Being considerably smaller than its other cousins; the great blue heron and the white egret, many people never even spot these birds. However, green herons are very patient when it comes to fishing.

The green heron I was watching was patiently waiting for a few small fish to get too close to shore. Then, in a blink of an eye, the bird had its prey and brought it to shore to slow down its wiggling before devouring its meal. Last week I saw it catch a few small sunfish. This morning, it was a bullhead.

It was a good thing that I could photograph the green heron from inside the house. Outside, it was raining. Yes, the sky was cloudless. However, I could see the hail coming down in the yard. No, it wasn’t hail. It was acorns.

I could hear them hitting the roof and rolling down past the gutter into the yard. These were big enough to chase you out of the yard. The past week, the huge acorns have been littering the ground to the delight of the squirrels. They appear to be larger than normal. Does this mean that it is going to be a cold winter? Or, is it nature’s cycle of producing more acorns every few years?

Ray Lundgren sent me a few photos from his observations. He noticed a few extremely large mushrooms this summer. A few weeks ago, I saw some also that were three times their normal size. They looked like chairs for the squirrels. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera with that day. The weather has created some strange sights. The right amount of heat and moisture can grow enormous fungi.

Speaking of strange sights, Ray also sent me a photo of a tree he had seen. The knots in the tree would make any person walking by take a second look. This one was not the fake eyes you can buy. It was the actual coloring of the knots.


David Fabio


David Fabio is a local author and nature photographer. His books can be reviewed at www.davidfabio.com