Photo from www.allaboutbirds.org from Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
We went for a walk at the Panola Mountain Park on the Rockdale River Trail late yesterday afternoon. The trail starts at Lake Alexander and then meanders down to the South River. Just as we started on the trail, Richard had a sharp intake of breath...wouldn't you if you saw this bright blue bird? It is an indigo bunting and even though it is considered a fairly common bird , we had never seen one before. In my reading on it, I understand that it migrates by night and uses the stars for navigation. (As many birds do, that is why light pollution is a problem for birds.)
At the beginning of our walk, it was all bright sunshine but by the time we got back to the lake, the sun was going down and it bathed the water in this lovely pink light. There were several frogs that began calling, just we arrived at the water's edge. One of them is the southern cricket frog and the call is very distinct, it sounds like two marbles knocking together..."CLICK-CLICK-CLICK". These frogs have the ability to orient themselves using the moon's movements and stellar patterns. Stars again! Both of these creatures use them. Fascinating.
So, picture us... we are back at the lake with the pink light all around us... it is quiet and peaceful and there are just a few people fishing. It is pleasantly warm and still. The frogs are calling and the birds - the martins and the swallows are swooping and darting over the lake. Serene and lovely, a very delicate air.
"This guest of summer, the temple-haunting martlet, ....
where they most breed and haunt, I have observed, the air is delicate."