Watching Wildlife

Saturday, October 22, 2016

As I approach the bridge this late afternoon, a large family poses for photos using the bridge and river as a scenic backdrop. The young women spend more of their time running after the littlest ones who are far more interested in running across the bridge, and petting dogs walking with their owners.

The sun hides behind a dense cloud cover. Fishermen in boats are waiting, kayaks launch and children enjoy feeding ducks on the boat launch ramp. Other people stand on the bridge watching the fisherman.

The evening always brings out people to enjoy the river and watch wildlife, boats and the setting sun from the bridge.

A few years ago various groups and individuals regularly enjoyed picnics on the bridge to sit and watch the moon rise and the sun set. I rarely see people picnic on the bridge. Many walkers, very few “sitters.”

woodpeckerRiding along the parkway this afternoon, I heard the distinctive sound of a woodpecker working in a nearby tree and stopped to watch. We may call it pecking. Officially, woodpeckers “drum.”  I watched the woodpecker at work near the top of the tree for several minutes until it decided to fly across the road to another tree.

I ride to another one of my favorite scenic spots and see a dozen turkey vultures sitting in the treetops. They sit only at the top of trees on bare branches.

I wonder if turkey vultures want a clear view of the landscape when they look for their next meal?

turkey vulturesTwo walkers greet me and I tell them about the turkey vultures in the trees. They tell me the incredible story of a baby deer they had that died young. The baby deer lay in their yard only one day. The next day everything was gone. The turkey vultures took everything, including the bones.

It is shortly after 6 pm and daylight will soon be gone. I watch the sunset reflecting in the water and spreading its golden light across the sky as the minutes pass.