Nesting Herons

Today was partly cloudy and warmer, temperatures in the mid to high 50s — and we’re expecting more rain starting tonight and heading into next week– so I decided to take the house-bound kids on a nature hike that I’d been wanting to take for a few weeks. The merit badge counselor working with Bella on her nature badge had wanted to lead the scouts on a hike to this conservation area to see nesting herons and osprey. That hike and merit badge university were both canceled, but I figured we could still go as a family to see what we could see.

It was really beautiful, an almost perfect day. We walked a couple of miles in the woods and everyone got to use up some of that excess energy. The woods are still mostly brown of early spring. Very little green. But we could hear bird singing and it all felt expectant. You could see buds waiting to open.

And we saw a beaver dam and beaver lodge, much closer than we’ve seen them previously. And we spied lots and lots of herons. There were a dozen or more nests on the far side of the pond and herons coming and going. It was amazing. We weren’t able to spot the osprey or great horned owl that other birders told us about, but the herons were quite enough.

It was so very good to get out of the house, to walk in the woods, to explore a new place and see sights we’ve never seen before. Heron nests were a first for us all.

This afternoon while I was making granola we listened to a couple of episodes of How Music Does That, one of my new favorite podcasts. The episode we listened to, Simplicity in Three Pärts introduced me to my new favorite piece of music, Spiegel im Spiegel for Cello and Piano by Arvo Pärt, which I’m listening to over and over again:

 

 

Beaver lodge.

Beaver dam.

Sophie.

Floating bridge.

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