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FINALLY – I tracked them down and got a few photos. The baby has been very well taught by the parents to be skeptical of all noise and older people with cameras. The baby darted out of view into the bushes and I would have to wait for it to feel safe enough to come out. I bet I was at least 75 feet from them, but the parents were fine, it was the baby who wanted my credentials before posing. I tried to hide behind a tree so it would come out, this was all I could get, but gives a sense of size of this 5 day old and he’s bigger than I remembered. The single child seems to thrive faster and grow bigger!
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P/S, so long to Carbs. Have not seen him since the band of brothers took over ruling the lake
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Elvis and Carbs March 2009

No Carbs sighting since last update, Carbs has been gone since around 2pm Saturday. This morning I went out at around 7am and only Elvis was swimming near the shoreline alone. He kept looking for his buddy, but finally swam away about ten minutes later. I could see the twins had left a morning deposit of two eggs near the edge of the lake.  Have wrapped up the eggs to keep them warm. The other two were clear when candled, so the birds can have them. Ahh, I miss my daffy muscovy Carbs, maybe he will come back later…
P/S – no baby heron yesterday either. As for the crane family, I am still waiting for them to make an appearance down here, every time I have gone to the nest, they are gone. This morning I am waiting for the big rain they are forecasting. It’s overcast and just a light rain has been falling at times, but lake is down a good three feet again since Fall!

Today was a wonderful example of the kindness of nature with the birth of the new crane, and at the same time, the cruelty with the baby heron who must have fallen from that tall pine. Though at least I did see him make it to the water so I assume he at least had a drink of water and possibly ate some minnows. The baby heron remains quiet even when I hear one of the parents in the tree call out from the nest as I did tonight.  Though the mother still fished with me as if nothing was askew.  I noticed the baby heron both on the property where the tall pine is and hanging out next door, so he is sticking close to home, though I did not see him the whole time I was fishing.
Tonight for the third night he used his wings as arms climbing up the norfolk pine at the base. It pulls it self up to stay safe, at least it has good coping skills. Tomorrow I will fish and save a fish in a bucket for him. Ringo looked a bit too curious, but that heron is a lot taller than Ringo the cat!  The last I looked the heron looked tucked into the tree.
So here’s a good night from the babies of Loch Arbor in Sanford, Florida…
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good night from the baby heron…

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babycraneinnest32609cropb-1 Ya gotta look hard, but it’s out!!! happy birthday baby crane. I hope to see it here in a couple days! Will keep you updated, will go back later tonight. Sorry pics aren’t clearer but there’s too many weeds between me and the nest!

This morning Elvis and Carbs were yakking it up and then the Pekin twins swam over . They get so excited one or both of them layed an egg as there was one on shore and one in the water. dsc00681 I brought them both up to see what happens in 3 days, the candle test to see if they are fertile.
dsc00691 I doubt they are. Somehow, Carbs and Elvis seem to like each other more than they like the girls.
On my way to check out the crane progress, I noted one of the baby heron’s folks way up in the nest. (I had binoculars with me). I wondered if they had found the baby.  So I hurried to look at the crane, and Mama crane was sitting on the nest and indulged me as she stood and rolled the egg and sat back down.
resizenestingcrane Back home I went and walked into the backyard and who did I see peering over the seawall at the neighbors but the baby heron. He looks well, but still confused.
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Tonight I hope he is still there as his mother will come down and I hope she will spot him. You can see he wants to get down to the water, but there is a 4 foot drop to the shoreline. If only he would walk over to my yard it has a natural slope down to the waters edge.  The baby could catch minnows then like this small gray heron. resizesmallheron

No baby sandhill crane yet, Papa crane is on the egg as of 8am. BUT, poor baby heron still sitting in norfolk pine. He’s got to be very hungry as he has not eaten

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in at least 24 hours. Meantime. his father it looked like was sitting ‘shiva’ in the tall pine waiting for a sign. The baby does not make a sound and they are both so ‘near and yet so far…
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This morning while I was watching for the new baby sandhill crane to hatch, the baby great heron decided to try his wings for the first time and came down to a camilla bush.

100_0561 The poor little guy stayed there from about 8am, until he figured out where the ground was at 5pm!

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He wandered around the ground, but didn’t have a clue how to get back up to his pine tree nest over 100 feet up! He has been trying to figure out his wings, how they took him down and yet, won’t lift him up.  dsc00452

The heron walked around for hours looking for the nest. It remained silent. Hasn’t made much noise. While I fished it was still looking and the funny thing was, his mother was down with me and never noticed her wandering bird.
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At 7:30pm, the baby heron climbed up into my norfolk pine. I suppose he knew it had to find a place to sleep.   dsc00511

I could hear a racket up in the nest when the parents noticed their baby gone. I saw one heron take off flying. I wish I could speak ‘heronese’ to tell them where the baby was. But last I saw tonight. He was in the safety of the norfolk pine. I know it will be a long scary night for it. It is old enough to fledge, but they also say being young and immature, have a 70% survivor rate. I hope this little one makes it!  I’ll let you know if I see it in the morning light. I hate thinking it is so very scared all alone….ahhhh

32409papaonegg-1 There he is, Papa crane
sitting on the egg. I have been
there twice this am to see
if there was any progress, but it’s still an egg.

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So I am still waiting like an anxious, expectant, overdue mother. Any day

now the colt will be hatching. It’s probably close.

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Here are the folks, mama is the rusty color on right, though Papa crane has also gotten a bit rusty too.

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And here’s a pretty flower on the ground

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The lake the cranes are nesting on this spring, how I wish they were still nesting
on my marsh like last year.

Unfortunatly, it’s way too windy to fish tonight. Cool winds are whipping up to 25mph and standing at the lake earlier, I could tell it was not worth it as the bobber would just be swimming right back for shore quickly once I cast. So I have included some photos of fishing last night and the heron. The photos below include todays look at the Mama crane and her egg, the heron, and some extras. The crane’s beak is also looking rusty!  Finally some roses are starting to bloom!
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dsc00016Woke up this morning and went out to feed critters and no Carbs. I didn’t see him anywhere around the lake. The girls came swimming up about fifteen minutes later, they did not see their man-duck and swam off. Yesterday Elvis had come to visit.
31809ducks-11 He and Carbs and the girls all yakked it up on the bank and then Elvis flew off and the girls left.

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Carbs has taken to jumping up on the stump and eating the bird seed, he doesn’t care a ducks ass about Ringo hiding to sabbotage the birds.

Will let you know if he comes back, maybe he is visiting Elvis??? It’s only 10:am – Do you know where Carbs is???

Now it’s 5pm, Carbs has a hiding place underneath the fallen tree, I called and called and finally went to the waters edge and saw a little red duck head peek out when he heard me.
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So he is still here, enjoying life in Abbesworld, and I’m
so happy he still likes it here, enough to hang out and be a duck model….

100_0333 When I arrived at the nest this morning, Papa crane was in the water looking bored. The egg sat alone and Mama crane was gone. The male seemed quite annoyed and after about five minutes, he started screaming for his mate. She would scream back at him and I bet they were not but a few hundred feet apart.

100_0338He was very anxious for the female to get there. And when she appeared, he flew off fast toward the south.

100_0366 She rotated the egg and then sat down

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The male looked like he had had enough today, sick of babysitting the egg. I saw two snakes near the lake, black racers that were too quick to photograph. I must talk a walking stick down there as I am afraid a mocassin might intrude and scare me – or worse yet, bite me!  On my way out I found a bee, we used to call them queen bees, they are fat and annoying.
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and at last, the shuttle launch

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Lots of things in the sky and on the ground, the launch was beautiful, The shuttle flew like spectacular comet, and I caught nothing for the heron except this photo.31409ringoherona-2_edited-1

Okay, I think I told you I found two duck eggs the other day near the bank of the lake. One was already broken into, but the other was okay so I brought it in and padded it with a paper towel and put it on the porch. I found out that it can be “candled” on the third day and you will be able to see a beating heart or if it is clear, then it is not fertile. Tomorrow night I will let you know the results. And if it is fertile, then what? Do I raise a Pekin duck? Another duck? Am I quackers? I read that you are supposed to keep the egg warm and place under a ‘broody’ hen or muscovy if one is convenient. But since it’s mother is one of the Pekin ducks and neither has any interest in this egg, I guess this psuedo nest will have to do with the fake chicken sitting on top.  eggchurch

Maybe I can trick one of the old cats around here to share the warmth, they are old and sleep a lot and probably would not notice a lump beneath them, well Church, the one on my computer printer might, he’s a poor sleeper. And you can’t trust Ringo, we all know that!
As for the cranes, they seem to only have one egg now. (maybe I could sneak this Peking duck egg somehow under the crane and she could raise it?)  I looked back at the archives and saw that last year the ‘colt’ , sandhill crane baby was born on March 23, 2008.  Wow, that’s almost a year to the date of when this one should be born, (the 25th I am thinking). Those birds are quite the mathematicians! Who says all these birds are birdbrained???

frankie-egg As for cats being ‘broody’ surrogates, I’ll let you know ‘eggs-actly’ how long it took Frankie to notice she had an egg attached. From the looks of her, she’s ‘egg-statically’ asleep….

3609lilblueherona-1Had a little blue heron spend most of the afternoon around the lake. It sprinted from pad to pad and would stop to bend and catch some minnows and then be back on the run.

3609pekinduck-2_edited-1Pekin ducks came to call

3609heronintree-1 of course the heron was there as were both mama and papa cranes each taking their turn on the nest.

3609woodpeckerb-1The woodpecker too. No otter sighting and the
fishing was horrid, caught one fat catfish and he
complained the whole time till I freed it.
I have not check up on the cranes, but will do so tomorrow. I am once again babysitting for Bella the Chihuahua. She will keep me busy as her bladder seems to be a magnet to the carpet! But no worries, I won’t take pictures of the puddles…

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This morning I took camera and even telephoto lens and saw only one egg. I will check later on
and let you know if the other egg was just hidden…. These are todays look so far….

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The otter was sooo close tonight! Under my fallen tree I heard a huge splash. I thought maybe it was a turtle, until I saw it’s face in the grass where the cranes had nested. I slowly put down my fishing rod, and got my camera, but the otter noticed and went under and I did not see it again until it was half way cross the lake. That’s his face surfacing from a good distance. I love watching them. They are so big and long. It’s more fun when there are two, they have quite a time playing.
Fishing was not the greatest, but look at this  3209gar-1_edited-1

This bad boy is a gar. The gars have a long mouth like a gator with long sharp teeth. This gar did not appreciate being caught and was like landing an enraged pit bull. I have no idea how it didn’t break the line. They are pure Hell to unhook, it is quite a manuver to keep the body still while a chomping mouth tries to take a good piece out of you.  This one was about 3 feet long and feisty. As soon as I unhooked it, it rolled right back into the water without any prodding.

The other thing tonight was the noisy baby heron. I tried to get as close as I could to take a picture, but that baby is way up high and he must have been hungry cause he was screaming his pterodactyl rampage in all directions for his folks. My small heron who had been with me must be its’ mother as she eventually got tired of all the screaming and flew up to calm her baby down. She didn’t stay too long as she knew I was near the lake. I stopped fishing to go try and get a photo of the screamer. I only saw one baby in the nest and it was a big one.  Look hard, the baby is standing to the side of the nest looking forward.
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The day was very cold, only in fifties, and when that sun left the shore, I could not stay out as it was way too cold for me in my 5 layers. But being out there for a while was fun. I encountered egrets, the heron, the ducks, a gar, the daddy crane, the baby heron and the antics of the otter. How can you have more fun in a matter of a couple hours…

With

my last artblog ran out of space and I have been too lazy to start a website yet, so please visit my new art blog at

http://offshoot2.wordpress.com

100_4719 Last night it got to freezing and it made a very nice looking frost on the grass. Somehow many of the plants froze, but of course, the damn weeds are fine! They look perky, too perky, they pop right out in their perkiness. Why bother with all the good flowering plants, I should just let the weeds take over! 100_4740 Carbs the duck was waiting by the lake for his twins to swim over. The duck looked very happy on a bed of dead plants it had kind of shaped for a nest. The bird looked quite cozy, and got up when it saw me waiting to see if I had put out the bird seed yet, (I had)!  The anhinga sat on my fishing chair and left a secret  message in white scrawled across the bottom of it.  100_47431 It leaves many messages on that chair, so many that I can’t even begin to know what that bird is telling me.  It leaves before I can even ask it.  In the evening, the bird comes and sits on the pine tree to my right and mocks my fishing luck to the other birds. I hear it laugh loudly as it relays to it’s friends around the lake that I am hardly catching anything OR, maybe it is telling the fish to dive deeper. Every night that bird comes to watch then leaves. I always wonder where they all go at night? The cranes always take off toward the east, the woodstorks that fly overhead always go west. I know exactly where the heron is, but the ducks fly off in many directions. The only flying pattern I can totally verify is the one airliner over my head every night around 5:45 each night! I know those wings are headed toward Ireland.
The twins hurried over once the sun was full blown. They look so choreographed as they swim in synchronized strokes.  Those white ducks stay and keep the muscovy company most of the day. 100_4778
The cats did not even want to go out at all this morning, 12209ringounderchair-1 I opened the sliding glass door and the cold blast of air convinced them to stay where it was warm. I was the only one crazy enough to brave the freezing cold in two shirts, a sweater, my heavy jacket, sweat pants and thick socks and boots and gloves, and that was just to stay warm in the house!  But I did manage to feed the birds and take pictures except that my camera turned into an icicle in my hands!

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Sunday morning and very bright, better hit the 70’s today so I can take my reptilian self and come out of the heated house.
Fishing sucked last night, the heron and cranes were fighting over territory, the cranes always win. The baby crane is due in another month to be exiled, I keep watching for the signs that the parents have had enough of him. I am always happy to see the new babies in the spring. What will I do today….

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BRRRR, it’s in the fifties and my fingers are so cold from being outside and taking heron pics. The heron is up in my pine tree. I only wish it were building its’ nest there like a couple years ago. I loved having baby herons making so much noise! The herons should be nesting now. But I have not seen them in their main tree they always nest in. Usually by now we notice herons grabbing branches for their nests. Once they begin building they are relentless in getting sticks and material to build the monster size homes. But I don’t notice this one doing anything except watching the water. With a cold front going through, I doubt the fishing would be good. Maybe it’s bad for the heron too and that is why she has come to call, hoping it will get me to bring out my pole and catch a bream to throw her. This heron is the smaller one, the other one is larger, that’s why I think it’s the female.
I don’t know, I came inside and am watching the stock market tank, the recession grow darker, maybe soon my portfolio will totally tank and I will be fishing for the both of us…

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Morning brings the cranes flying over for breakfast and fast moving clouds. The southern winds are blowing the warm gulf moisture toward the north. This afternoon the north cold front will clash with this warm mass and BANG, we should hear some activity! I was gardening in front this morning and watched a big otter cross from little Lake Amory into the canal that leads to our lake. I rushed in and waited and waited to see it swimming, but not a sign of it. Oh well, I will shower and look for it later… you know there will be a photo if I see it! Stay tuned

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