A Clear Day on Clear Lake: Birdwatching Heaven by Janet Riehl

I arrived in Lake County a few days before Thanksgiving in order to visit friends and one of the landscapes of mountain and water that hug my heart. The weather was unseasonably warm with blue skies and intense light. My host loaded up our kayaks into his truck. We paddles from the county park over to the marina at the state park and back. Our journey took us several hours. Here are some images from our time on lake…looking at land from another point of view. –JGR


It’s a clear day on Clear Lake. The water flat as a liqid prairie.
We glide as if inside a 1950s Kodachrome postcard.
In the foreground juts the yellow prow of my kayack.
In the middle ground birds abound:…Osprey nest, flourescent teal mallards,
…Grebe (now coming back from near extinction), coots, flocks of Egrets–floating–
a flotilla of pelicans raise into flight.
Then: the Great Blue’s body flies overhead. The underside of its powerful wings.
One fisherman, so still except for the flick of his wrist, casting.
A motorboat wake rocks us, but we cannot see the boat on the other shore.
Mount Konocti towers in the background, crowned by transmission towers.
Docking once again our sore muscles and cold feet are worth it.

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  1. HI Janet,
    It is so easy to envision your day on Clearlake through your words and my own memories there.

    On Friday, I was at Lake Michigan with my daughter Shannon and family, picking up stones, a possible Sandhill Crane feather and bits of driftwood. The day was warm with strong sunshine overhead and drifting layers of cloud holding the promise of things to come. The waves lapped gently if ocean-like and the color of the water shifted from blue to green and shades in between.

    Reluctant to leave, we headed south to Jasper Pulaski Nature Preserve further south in Indiana. Here, the Cranes announced their sunset arrival in a chorus of some 14,000. The sky was filled with orange and reds of a beautiful sunset while humans clustered and bumped along the viewing tower to get one more picture, one more sighting.

    It was a grand mid-westeern day added to a grand two weeks of lovely visits and visual and spiritual gifts.

    Sorry to miss you as we traversed the continent in our opposing directions. Best to you and your Dad.


  2. Arletta, thanks for this luscious description to augment my time in nature. I, too, love the sand hill cranes. We used to see clouds of them at Bosque del Apache in New Mexico.

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