Hiking Nature

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Radnor Lake Turtles Active on Cold December Day

December 3rd, 2007 · No Comments · canada goose, great blue herons, turtles

Upon awakening, I found that my desire to hike on this cold day had faded. I was actually considering cancelling this afternoon’s planned hike. A couple of hours later, I was looking forward to it. A hearty thanks goes out to my shrink and his prescription pad.

After reading a few pages of Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, I looked up and saw trusty Kelly drive into the Granny White parking lot at Radnor Lake, right on time. It had been a few weeks since our last hike, making this outing all the better.

The first thing we noticed was water actually spilling over the spillway. For months, the water had barely been within a foot of the dam. Radnor Lake has finally reached its normal levels for the first time since the drought took it down a few notches.

(NOTE: Progress on the writing of this post would be more notable if tonight’s new episode of the award-winning TNT show The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick, were not entertaining me so very thoroughly. This show just keeps getting better and better!)

The first sighting gave us two new proximity records. Kelly pointed out a couple of Canada geese (a.k.a. Canadian geese) standing on a half-submerged log near the edge of the lake. Not that it’s any big deal, but this was the closest we have gotten to Canada geese since this blog — and thus our amateur recordkeeping — began in July of this year. They were about 25 feet away.

As I gazed at the geese, Kelly commented on a third waterfowl that was even closer than the geese. I did not, could not see any other bird. Embarrassingly, almost a minute passed before I was able to see what the kell Helly was pointing at.

To my delight (yep, I’m a nature geek), it was a great blue heron, with its neck so contracted it appeared to be neckless. In this scrunched form, it did not have the traditional heron chic. I noted that in this position, the great blue had the same shape as the green heron, which usually do not have their necks extended when I see them around Radnor Lake. A few seconds later, the great blue heron stood tall and looked like a great blue heron should. We marvelled at it for a few moments, then continued our hike.

Only a few short yards later, I noticed a few turtles sunning themselves on a couple of other nearby half-submerged logs. It had been near freezing last night, and was only 40 at the time, so I thought it interesting that these cold-blooded reptiles were out and about. On second thought, though, it has been rather warm lately, so I guess I should not have been surprised.

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