Along the Natchez Trace

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My New Favorite Spot

When we're in an area and have been there long enough to find our way around, I often come across something that just hits my eye...  a place that I find exceptionally pleasing and I find myself going back there during our stay and going back there in my mind after we leave.

I could tell you about my favorite places at Sevilleta NWR in NM...  or that really special place in Buenos Aires NWR in AZ...  Sometimes it's a special memory...  like the 10 day tour of all the AZ refuges that Bill & I were part of during the 2003 Centennial Year.  In our nearly 12 years on the road I've added a lot of special places and people to my good memory bank.

I guess it's obvious that Aroostook NWR, way up here in Maine, is one of those places.  This is our 6th summer to volunteer here and it's a LONG way to drive unless it's a place you really want to be.

There have been 3 places here that I am drawn back to many times during each summer we're here.  I've taken numerous photos at all 3 places and have seen some great sightings of wildlife.  In fact, I was fortunate enough to be at one of the places on a misty morning and and two moose were down in the marsh...  Canada geese flying overhead...  the light was just right for a great photo shot.  The refuge liked the photo so much that they use it on their brochure.

Well, I still love my 3 special spots..  but I have a new spot that might just take first place.

Remember a few weeks ago when I was painting that Photo Blind?  Well, I did get that done, but no decision had been made as where to place it.  There was one spot along one of the roads overlooking the E. Loring Lake that I kept saying needed a "window" through the trees to view the lake.

Bill did even better....  he saw a spot fairly close...  up on a rise ...  that would be perfect for the blind.

Yesterday, he and Kirk moved the blind out of the maintenance shop to it's new home.

That's just a log they used to lever it into place that's leaned against the side of the building.  But you can see a tiny bit of the lake at the lower right corner.

And here's a view from across the lake.
Looking at the blind in its new place....  it's just a short walk from the road, but still far enough back that you'd never disturb anything below.

Of course I had to take my binoculars and camera out there to christen the place...
Saw this pair of loons flying in for a landing.
Not the best picture, but still, it's the first shot I've ever gotten of loons in flight.

This female Belted Kingfisher was sitting on a snag right below the blind.  

She took off ....  probably going to dive for some dinner.

And again...  this time you're looking at her belly...  with the wings down on either side...  head under her left wing.

I can see where I'll be spending a lot of time in this place. 
Is it any wonder that it's my new favorite spot?

A couple other photos...
This photo just doesn't do it justice!  This flower head was covered with dew...  and the sun was shining on and through the water and it looked just like diamonds...  or maybe even ice.
I wish I knew how to capture a subject the way I see it!

And one final picture..
The Game Camera caught Mama moose and her calf strolling through this old section of the refuge.

I love it when I see what goes on when I'm not around.

I took an hour or so break while writing this...  I gave a tour to a woman from Illinois whose late husband was stationed here in the 1970's.  They had intended to take this vacation together, but he passed away last December.

It's always interesting to hear the stories that the visitors have to tell.  I just hope I can give them a tour that will mean something to them.  

That's All For Today!


  1. I have never figured out how to take a picture of a bird in flight. Yours are wonderful. And I love the moose. Such gangly looking creatures.

  2. That blind would definitely be my new favorite spot. More amazing photos. Wow! And what a privilege to be able to share with the visitors. I'm glad some of them are pleasant!

  3. I'm sure you do a bang up job on your tours. I always find it enjoyable when a tour guide is as enthusiastic about a place as you are. :)

  4. I was almost late for an appointment this morning I sat so long in my drive watching a doe and two speckled fawns cross my road. And, me with no camera! Lovely pictures you've posted. Thanks.

  5. You really captured some great birds-in-flight shots!

  6. I'll just agree with what everyone else has already said about your great bird photos - nice job!

  7. I went and looked at that photo on the refuge brochure - that is indeed a great shot. Just beautiful. Your love of nature shows in everything you do.