Sights and Sounds of the Swake in Spring

The morning light is amazing at this time of year, as the sun peeks over the trees on the east side of the swake casting wonderful highlights and shadows onto the west shore.  With the rising of the sun the birds are raising their voices in praise of their Maker and we are tempted to join the chorus.  As the dawn unfolds, I wander out along the swake camera in hand, housecoat flapping in the wind, winter boots keeping my bare toes warm, all in the effort to capture some photos. Yes, that makes me quite a sight on the swake.  You'll be relieve to know that I have refrained from singing so far.  Fortunately there isn't anyone to see other than Kanti or Greg, and neither of them seems to be unnerved by it.  

The redwing blackbirds have returned en-masse, to build their nests in the willows that line the shore.  You can listen to their songs on this site Redwing Blackbird Songs.  We arrived on the swake last year, roughly two months after the Redwing Blackbirds and they weren't too happy to have extra visitors near their nesting sites so we were dive-bombed by angry birds.  Maybe this year they'll be used to us and we won't have to deal with angry birds.

Mallards and buffleheads have also moved in.  We watched a mallard set up it's nest right next to a pair of canada geese.  Not a bad idea considering that there is a hawk residing in the tree tops on the east edge of the swake.  There is probably strength in numbers and the geese are larger than the mallard and maybe more capable of keeping the hawk away from the nests.  I guess this is Bird Strategy 101, we'll see how it works out.

There are another pair of ducks who are establishing their home in the dugout near our bedroom window.  Those crazy ducks start their quacking about 4:30 a.m. and quack continuously until the sun has fully risen across the swake.  Somehow I think God screwed up on the duck sound because it isn't very melodious but it has made us laugh.  Hopefully they only feel the need to quack for a week or two.  What they don't know is that Kanti's treats are dried duck from Costco.

Kanti is unable to decide whether she is okay with the bird activity or not, especially when a pair of geese wander right up onto the land and across 'her' territory.  I was throwing the ball for her to catch and there were a pair of geese waddling by.  For a time she just watched them intently and then lost interest.  Our game continued until suddenly some little switch went in Kanti's brain and she high-tailed after those poor geese giving them quite a fright.  They were caught off guard and were forced to scramble a bit to get up to a speed that allowed them to take flight.  They haven't been spotted back on land since, at least not on our land.

Kanti discovered how to slide the pocket door open to the laundry room this week.  Her target in there has become Greg's cell phone, which she has to retrieve off the counter and bring to the kitchen for us.  She isn't too interested in giving it up, we usually have to make a trade of some sort but she isn't rough with it. She just carries it around between those big old jaws.  So this morning I used the other phone to dial Greg's number because we wanted to see what she'd do when the phone she was carrying around began to ring.  Well, she set the phone down gently and just studied it while it rang on the floor in it's leather case.  Then when the ringing stopped she picked it up again.  Next week maybe we'll set it to vibrate and see what happens then!