In between watching eclipses and aerobatic bald eagles, I have kept my eye on other interesting critters …
This is father osprey plowing into the lake for a fish.


A white-tailed buck very calmly glanced my way and then went back to browsing.


Something must have tickled this great blue heron’s toes – he sure made a spectacular leap and didn’t take flight!

It was great fun watching the pileated woodpecker stop his hammering just long enough for me to get his portrait.


The three brassy little skipper butterflies were sharing a button bush blossom.

First Nest’s neighborhood in the aftermath of all the rain
 
That is mom Kate on the lower branch and dad Petruchio on the upper one of a tall pine at the edge of their cove.
As the surrounding areas have drained, Jordan Lake is doing what it was created to do: control flooding.
In September 1945 the Homestead hurricane came up the coast from Florida and flooded eastern North Carolina.
Cities on the Cape Fear River were severely impacted by flooding. The state of NC set out to control any future flooding. 
The Haw River and the New Hope River were dammed by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Lake filled by 1983.
During rain events, as the lake fills with waters from further inland and the rains above, the lake spreads out and floods it’s shoreline.
Better the shoreline gets flooded and not the downstream cities and towns.
Once enough drainage has occurred east and south of us, the Army Corps will open the gates of the dam and begin letting the extra water out.

Coffee is grumpy! Nothing about the lake looks right to her at all, but both she and HC are within sight of their parents.

The red arrow is pointing at where I was standing, against the trunk of the tree, yesterday afternoon about 3:30 PM.  
As you can see the lake has traveled well in land (probably 30+ feet) – I took this photo today at about 9:30 AM.
BTW the mirror reflection makes my eyes cross when I look at it!
This tiny least sandpiper has walked down about 4 feet on one of the concrete ramps where he reached water.
Normally he would have had about 4 times that much walkway.
Notice all the debris that is already washing up against the ramp.
This pair of critters seem very happy for the extra living room…
How can there be a day at the lake without a squirrel stretched out at a full run past the top of one of the flooding ramps?!

Petruchio returning to the First Nest after pushing an osprey back to the east side of the cove.

A beaver on an early morning swim back towards his dam.

This mallard drake was traveling so fast with his hen, that I missed getting her in the photo.

A ring-billed gull with a mouthful of fish fresh caught on the surface of the lake.

Wood duck drake starting to glow with his breeding colors.

In the winter you can find two varieties of kinglets at the lake.

This is a golden-crowned kinglet pouting at me.

Here is the other kinglet.  A ruby-crowned kinglet popping his ruby-crown at me when I startled him.

I had to have my knee repaired.  Ouch!  Sometimes I have to remember that I am not 12 any more….but, wait…I DO believe that I am 12, at least at heart, and in spirit  The surgeon was very happy with the procedure.   I am up and rambling about, slowly, but my steps are getting longer and that is a good sign. Sun bright and tempting here, but I have to be patient for a few days then back to the lake, the eagles and comfortable walking!  And right back to being my 12 year old – long into several decades – self.

peace and grace and on the mend,

doc ellen,
the photo is my cat Grayced doing his best to keep my healing knee warm
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I was waiting for the clean-up volunteers from the Jordan Lake Wildlife Cam group when I had a visitor.
Wouldn’t you know, I had put my camera down to rest my arm when this face appeared in the water.
I weighed just watching or risking spooking the animal if I picked up my camera.
The river otter was as curious about me as I was about him and he swam in and looked me over.

river otter 1