Sunday, December 10, 2006

Saturday In The Park In Early December

"They're most festive. When you think holidays, you think Egrets."

-Alan Pelzer

The weather here in the Bay Area has been all kinds of crazy the last couple days. This weekend is stormy. Overnight there are supposed to be some thunderstorms. I hope so, I love watching them dance off the bay, and the way it makes the air smell is intoxicating to me. Everything is so fresh and new the morning after a good storm. The downside is that the temperature is too cold for my achy joints and muscles. I injured my back last week, and the pain persists. Sigh. In the middle of the afternoon yesterday, I got a bit of cabin fever, and decided to go for a ride, in search of the last of autumn.

I thought it might be fun to drive down to Cull Canyon in Castro Valley, I haven't been there for a while. It was a good choice, because the trees, which still had colorful leaves on them, were just glowing! The sun was waxing and waning, so I got a lot of practice in dealing with lighting. I took most of the photos from my car, my back was hurting too bad to do much walking around. Still, I was happy with what I saw. :)

Towards the later part of Saturday afternoon, I parked my car closer to the pond, and to my happy surprise, there was a beautiful Egret, sitting in the water, pretty close to a pathway. I sat in my car for a few moments, before deciding to go ahead and try walking down the small hill to where the bird was wading. I will know tomorrow if it was a major mistake or not. My back has been really sore, but it was a marvelous opportunity to sit and photograph that amazing bird. I guess it was a case of take the photograph now... pay for it later... kind of opportunity. :) The camera won! LOL.

This was a moment I wouldn't have wanted to miss. I caught the Egret, catching his dinner! I am not sure what kind of little fish it might have been, but when I looked down at the water's edge, there were quite a few just below the surface. A quick visit to the parks district page told me that they stock the pond with bass, catfish and sunfish. To me it kinda looks like a baby bass. If you recognize it... name that fish!

After reading a little bit more about Egrets, I found out that this type of Egret is not a Snowy Egret, but instead, it is the Great Egret. The Great Egret is a much larger bird then the Snowy Egret, and has a yellow bill and black feet, as opposed to a black bill and yellow feet that is characteristic of the Snowy Egret. Sigh. My quest for the Snowy Egret continues. LOL. In the mean time, I am happy with this fellow, yes, I think I will be paying him a visit from time to time this winter, if my back is on the mend. :) I may be in pain tomorrow... but I think I will still be happy I went for the photos all the same. :)

You can get info on Cull Canyon, including a map, here. :) Lovely place.

Cull Canyon
Castro Valley, California
December 9th, 2006
Late Afternoon


DesLily said...

oh wow! beautiful shots once again!..
I love the egret reflection, and am amazed you caught the one with the fish!! Good timing eh?!

Anonymous said...

I love your pictures -- stunning! I'm sorry about your back, and I hope you feel better quickly.

Charley said...

You have such an amazing talent for capturing life through the lens.
I'm terribly jealous.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

There have been times when I've had Great Blue days, or flown by Cattle, seen Snowy skies, lost my Heron, Craned my neck and let the flamin' go. But overall I have no Egrets!