As we continue to dodge the snow and get sunny days, we have been taking advantage of that to get outside for short little walks. Walking in the cold isn’t always a lot of fun but I think there are good things about just getting outside even for a short time.
The turtle pond is where we go and the other day, we saw two herons there. One was a youngster like the guy pictured above. The other was an adult who looked more like this:
They are really beautiful birds. They are a common sight here in the summer months when we typically see them flying out to eat in the morning or back to the roost at night. They don’t tend to visit the turtle pond that often so it was really unusual to see two of them in the middle of winter.
Not to mention that with the cold weather, the pond was iced over. And the fish get out in the deep water so there is really nothing to eat. The young one was in a little creek that runs near the pond but it really only has fish in it in the summer so, even though there was no ice, he wasn’t finding anything. The adult was just standing by the shore of the pond – maybe enjoying the sun like we were.
But then I got to wondering about why they were here and how they’d survive if all the water was frozen. Turns out they can winter here and, when they can’t get fish, they turn to birds and small mammals. Not sure I’d want to see that but a bird’s got to do what a bird’s got to do. Winter is rough and survival is the first job.
I really wonder if they had come from points farther north and decided to check out the pond and stream. I suspect we won’t see them again because there really isn’t any food there. Did make for an interesting walk though. I’m still not winter’s biggest fan but I do like seeing how the wildlife gets through it.