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.
Castro Valley, California
December 9th, 2006