From one end of Jordan Lake to the other, the ospreys are hauling in big bass.
Dad osprey was fishing in the Haw River, inside the riprap at the dam.
Into the flight path of the osprey a great blue heron appeared.
The osprey ignored the squawking heron and concentrated on the bass.
You can see that the raptor was struggling to get the whole fish above the water.
Dad osprey managed the lift and was up and away towards his nest. Whew!

I always have so much of Jordan Lake that I want to share!
My emphasis for my media time is usually on the bird life – in particular the raptors.
But by no means do I miss opportunities to photograph the other lives at Jordan Lake.
 
So, this is part 1 for the current catchup: critters without feathers.
 
Meet the official North Carolina Reptile: the Eastern Box Turtle
This beautiful box turtle strolled out from under my truck as I was packing up to leave one morning.
I picked him up and carried him, in the same direction he was headed, to an area in the woods off the edge of the parking lot.
 
 
The Imperial Moth was well-named: this one was wider than my hand. 
 They get to be about 4” across in their wingspan.
 
 
The Sleepy Orange butterfly.
If the photo was of this butterfly with his wings out flat, you would see the “orange” of its name.
 
 
The Swamp Cicada.
This noise maker is an annual cicada: they appear every year.  Some cicada species appear every 13 or 17 years.
I really like its brilliant green wing veins.
 
 
The Deep Yellow Euchlaena moth.
The angles in the wing structure and the curves in the color patterns make an interesting and pleasing contrast.
 
 
Skink tail bling!
Notice that I did not name the specie.
Without a clear photo of the side of the face of a skink, I have no way to know if this is a five-lined skink or an immature broad-headed skink.

2 year-old bald eagles will do just about anything to get a meal …
especially if it means little work on their part.
I watched the gull catch the fish and suddenly drop it.
The young eagle swooped in,
snagged the fish from right at the lake’s surface
and headed for shore where he consumed the gull’s catch.

The water and wind was rough this morning.
In the early light I could see the bright flash of scales and fins where the water rushed up against the shore.
 In the waves was a school of American shad fingerlings chasing food and being chased by the bigger fish who were also looking for food.
The video starts at normal speed and then I slow it down so you can watch the fingerlings in the waves.


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?!