ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Teal Ridge Wetlands with Deb, 2013

Updated on May 21, 2013
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron | Source

Want to Go Out Tonight?

My friend, Jeannie, stopped over at 7 p.m. yesterday evening for a surprise outing. I learned that we were heading for Teal Ridge Wetlands, where we once visited last year. Since you haven’t seen the area for a year, I thought that it was high time for you to take another look around, and drink in a few new surprises. Welcome to my world, once again, as well as what the great state of Oklahoma has to offer for naturalists like myself.

Source

Breathe!

The fresh smell of country is in the air. It had rained about an hour ago, and the birds had returned to feed and frolic, as is natural for this time of day. It is nearly bedtime, so they have one last opportunity to fill their bellies before visions of family life dances in their heads.

Nature at Its Best

It looks beautiful, for the watershed marsh is filled due to the abundance of rain. We are privy to the beauty of the Blue-winged Teal overhead, Red-winged Blackbirds are chasing away every possible intruder that they see, and the lovely marsh grasses blow in the wind.

Cement Path and Onto Boardwalk

There is no need to visit the blind, as everything is directly in front of us, with no need to feel that we intrude. The beauty of life goes on, as though we aren’t even present. The cement path shows various prints of wildlife: duck tracks, as well as our four-legged friends. I feel at home, especially since I have my camera strap around my neck and plenty to look at. It has been a whole year.

Just Beautiful!

Nearing the back of the refuge, we have spotted the Eastern Meadowlark. Finally we see it, perched on reeds. Even though it is late in the day, we can still get a few fairly good photos with the lighting. The skies have cleared, and the only evidence of prior bad weather is raindrops on the marsh plants. Other than that, it is picture perfect with pleasant temperatures.

American Avocet
American Avocet | Source

American Avocet Feeding

Besides the Mallards and the Blue-winged Teals, there are a couple of other interesting birds in the marsh. We quietly get closer, and there is a gorgeous lone American Avocet feeding. He is sweeping his slender, upcurved beak about from side to side, catching small worms, crustaceans, mollusks, and water insects. They will even take some seeds of the correct sizes and kinds. He readily mingles with the other birds, just going about feeding business.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Yellow-crowned Night Heron | Source

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Wait a moment. There is something else out there, which I have never seen before. Jeannie isn’t acquainted with this water bird, either, which is a heron. Yellow-crowned Night Heron pops into my head. Yes, that’s exactly what it is. What a lucky find! This bird is also feeding, paying us no mind. We manage several photos with the sun heading on its downward slope.


Mallard Hen with her Ducklings
Mallard Hen with her Ducklings | Source

Mallard Ducklings and Other Action

When I finally decide to move on, Jeannie is in a pavilion area, getting numerous shots, but I haven’t had my fill yet of what is in the area. I see a couple of Eastern Bluebirds perched high, and off flies a Red-shouldered Hawk being chased by a couple of Red-winged Blackbirds. The hawk flies toward the sun. Rounding a bend, a female Mallard swims off with her brood. I had just seen an eclipsed Mallard drake at Boomer Lake, and knew that there were young ones in the area. An eclipsed male loses his primary feathers and is unable to fly, shortly after the hatching of his young. It is a signal to molt, and the males generally hang around together on another part of the body of water that they live on. This is the picture that I captured of this beautiful mother and her ducklings.

Barn Swallow with Nest
Barn Swallow with Nest | Source
Marsh Rat
Marsh Rat | Source

Barn Swallows are Nesting

I met Jeannie in the pavilion, and she points to a nest at the ceiling. It is a Barn Swallow’s nest AND there are either eggs or young in it. A male is perched on a sign right in front of us, and I point to that wonderful photo opportunity. I happen to look down in the marsh as I see movement, and there is a marsh rat of some type looking back at me. I quickly snap a couple of photos, and try to see what other shots I can get of the Barn Swallows. These birds don’t cease movement long, but nesting is a perfect excuse.

Source
Source

Water Plants

Numerous beautiful water plants can’t be forgotten in the area, right in front of us. Here are a couple of shots of these lovely plants.

What a wonderful ending to a great day for me! I visited both Teal Ridge Wetlands and Boomer Lake, all in one day. By the way, there is another small lake called Sanborn Lake that I haven’t showed you yet. Perhaps we can take a trip there this year, and I can show you the beauty of that wonderful place, as well. Until then, rejoice in nature, and get out there as much as you can.

Source
Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, precy anza! We'll get to Sanborn Lake sooner or later. Yesterday was 104 degrees, so it was pretty rough. Got some nice oriole,pics, though. The little ones are being tended, so I hope to see them soon.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      Enjoyed the wetlands trip :) Beautiful photos! I just love the feeling I get looking at them, brings back memories for some reason, specially with the rat :) I'm excited for our cyber trip to Sanborn Lake! Yay ^-^'

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Peg! Oh, it was great fun, and the swamp rat was actually very sweet. He was just looking for thuings to eat and didn't bother anyone. Nature is such a great gift.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      These creatures are incredible and your pictures, with their reflections in the water are wonderful. I enjoyed the trek through the wetlands with you and your friend, even meeting the swamp rat. (Well, from a distance.)

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I would love for you to see it, and I will show you my favorite haunts. Let me know when you come, and I will show you.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Your photos are just gorgeous! We love going out and bird watching (although we are by no means professionals). Would love to be able to visit this place if I ever got the chance.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, M! These are places that are always good to visit later in the day, as the birds will come to settle in for the night

    • profile image

      ignugent17 4 years ago

      As always I enjoy looking at the pictures. I got a good information about the American Avocet. Thanks.

      Voted up and more. :-)

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Mary! Glad that you enjoyed the journey to Teal Ridge. I am willing to bet you that you have a place very similar to this in NY. If you get the chance, pay it a visit and do experience first hand the feel of nature if you able to do so.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I am so jealous ;) Not only is your writing interesting and educational but your pictures are superb! This is a beautiful hub and we're so lucky you shared your walk with us. Reading this hub was almost like being there. I did step back when I saw the swamp rat ;)

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Alicia! It was a good late afternoon trip, that's for sure. The plants thrilled me, as much as the birds. I hope that I can track down all their identities.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Connie! Thanks for coming along, and I'm glad that you enjoyed everything as much as I enjoyed showing it to you.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Lela! There sure was a lot of activity that evening. The more unsettled the weather, the more eventful things are apt to get with birds and animals.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Interesting photos, Deb - and I did like the rat! Thanks for the introduction to the wetlands.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Deb, I could almost smell the sweet rain-washed air as you took us through another super place for birds, like that yellow crowned heron. What a beautiful bird; and that mallard mama and babies looked almost golden in the last light of the day. Wonderful stuff as always, my friend. Voted Up ++

      Connie

    • CreatePerfection profile image

      CreatePerfection 4 years ago from Beautiful Colorado

      I just love your pictures and articles. The only word I can think to describe both is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this extraordinary place and its inhabitants with us.

      Blessings,

      Lela

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I have seen mutes elsewhere. I'd love to get shots of them with their young ones. Thanks for popping in chef-de-jour. Now I have seen all of the night herons, all in one area, which pleases me!

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Martin! Don't they say that almost doesn't count except in horseshoes?

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, deergha! There are so many good places around here that host wildlife. It is a virtual smorgasbord for the animals and birds. I justy wish I had more time to visit them all. Thanks so much for everything.

    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 4 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      I really enjoyed these pictures and your introductions to our feathered friends. I love to watch the herons too, so concentrated on their fishing..or are they admiring themselves in the water? Watching a heron take off is a great treat.

      Any swans around your neck of the woods?

      Votes.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Almost missed you. Almost missed these wonderful shots. Almost...

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Excellent hub and very well informative. The photos are real icing on the cake. I really admire your take on the Mallard Hen with her Ducklings ...soooo beautifuly done this one is !!!!!! Thanks you for sharing with us this wonderfully researched hub. Take care and hope you have a great week ahead....votes all up, sharing, tweeting and all.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Vellur, how nice to see you on this nature walk. There are so many great things to see all around us, and I'm su happy that you were able to see them for yourself.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Great photos! Informative and useful. Reading your hub, I have learned a lot today. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Barbara! Glad that you got to see the wonders at Teal Ridge. I also enjoyed what I saw last evening, and with any luck, I can return in the fall to see some of our outbound passengers!

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 4 years ago from USA

      I agree with Bill. I loved all the photos, but I hate rats. This was a nice article.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Leslie, no tornadoes in my area, but they were 1.5 hours south, which is too close, really. Yes, a lot of people were killed and hurt as a result, but the good citizens of OK have been collecting food and clothing from them. However, some Baptist church says that we are evil, which is why we were hit. Always something. BUT the important thing: thanks for caring and being a friend. In the scheme of things, we will survive for those around us.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Sooo breathtakingly beautiful - minus that beady eyed creature! Ewwww!.

      my thoughts as i read this my friend was that i hoped all these plants and birds made it through the tornadoes ok..

      sigh..

      thinking of you and hoping you're well!

      And praying for the victims - alive and passed!

      voting/sharing

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Jim, I was so thrilled to see him. I have seen both night herons now, all in less than two weeks of one another.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      A bonus edition for us this week! Great photos and excellent writing too.!

      That yellow crowned night heron is beautiful!

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Billy. The swamp rat was very sweet, believe it or not. I usually visit here a couple of times a year.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A beautiful surprise visit until you showed me that swamp rat. LOL Thanks for the tour of a new place...great pics.

    Click to Rate This Article