Usually I try to get some 'on location' photos of me knitting on vacation. Darling usually accommodates, but he's been a bit busy on this vacation because this one has been about BIRDS. Birds, birds, and more birds. And he loves birds more than I love knitting (yup, I know, it can't be done, but he's done it.)
Herons, anyone? More than I have ever seen in my LIFE, and I've seen more herons than a lot of people. First, because I really like herons, and second, because I live on a river where we get two types - the Great Blue and the Green.
Herons are like a lot of birds; simultaneously pretty and ugly. It's kind of amazing how they do that. Herons and woodpeckers have been defined as my 'totem birds' by a First Nation's fellow from the West Coast of Canada. Woodpeckers to represent my strength, and herons because of my love to be near water. He was one smart Salish man!
I do like birds, just not quite as much as Darling. Even for an amateur birder like myself this has been a dream birding vacation... I have seen more green herons in the last four days than I hafe seen in my entire life, let alone as many types of heron. And they're all beautiful! (and ugly)... here's an example: Check out those wing feathers... amazing!
Then there's the little blue heron - one I didn't see before this vacation. There's a photo of him at left, but my program crashed before I could add a photo of my new favourite: the tri-coloured heron... whose neck is the colour of pale amethyst and whose back is just about the colour of rose gold. That and a white tuft of feathers behind the head. Such beautiful creatures!
Then there are the yellow-, and black-crowned night herons... perhaps the more logical for me, because they are hard to find during the day. But, we found 'em!
On the right is a black crowned night heron... This one doesn't have the long, streaming breeding feather that some of the ones we saw did. I've only ever seen these guys in pictures.
At the risk of acting as a tour guide for the United States National Parks system, I have to say, the two I've been to so far are definintely worth the visit... Everglades National Park is a birder's mecca. The Everglades are as much a natural wonder as Niagara Falls. Rocky Mountain National Park is just plain pretty scenery.
True, I'm a flag wavin' Canadian, but it's good to see some of the rest of the world! Besides, a lot of the birds we've seen on this jaunt will be back in Canada within a couple months... Darling just couldn't wait for them to come back, and I'm quite happy to have come along for the ride!
If you DO want to stay in Canada and see a beautiful national park, my favourits so far are Algonquin ( which is about 20% larger than Everglades National Park -- I looked it up) and Cape Breton National Park in Nova Scotia. I'm an equal opportunity national park visitor!!