Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer







Friday, July 3, 2015

A Journey to Paducah and Bobwhite for the First Time~


Happy 4th of July to those who reside in the United States of America~

Two weeks ago we decided to take a journey over to Paducah KY.  The Land Between the Lakes is there, along with many state parks.  We had our 2 dogs with us and the husby planned out 2 days of viewing the sights in the parks near by.  We went as far South as Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee, where there were at least 16 Bald Eagle nests sites.  Most of the young had already fledged and the nests were empty.   
The river scenes above and below were taken in a tiny town called Hickman, which is becoming a ghost town.  The land there is falling away into the river at 4' a year.  This is the local tug boat that ferries people, or rather ferried people across the river.

Remember to double click on the first image, to view a larger slide show presentation after you have read the narratives~

I will be linking up with Judith for:

www.lavendercottagegardening.com

&

Stewart for:
   http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.com.au/


Many barges come down the Mississippi River, carrying such things as coal and grain for nearby cities and beyond~


The upper part of the mosaic below is a tiled wall that I saw in downtown Paducah, placed with the now empty county jail in Hickman~



Empty store fronts and old buildings stand empty and decaying~


The concrete structure below sits across from where the ferry boat is anchored, but there were no signs to show what it had been used for.  I thought it was interesting~


An old farm house stands empty now~



The only sign of life was a still useful Bluebird house on a post out in front of one of the old barns~



My husby with our 2 Long Coat German Shepherds.  Silveit is closest to him and Meaka on the far side.  They love being with us on our adventures and we cannot imagine not having them with us~


A beautiful Red headed Woodpecker~


The Ballard County Wildlife Management Area was a place that we have decided we want to return to and explore.  Due to much rains, and in fact we are still having way too much, the area was flooded and we could not access the park, other than one lane where we could walk in a bit.  Cypress trees were like giants standing in the deep water covered in a greenish film.  Sounds of birds echoed from every direction, as Bald Eagles, Herons and Egrets flew past me with such ease and speed, I missed most with my camera, but not with my eyes~


A Bald Eagle flies past.  Two more were up in trees, that I could not get images of, for the distance was great, as well as so much overgrowth of green everywhere~






At Reelfoot Lake, I was told that 2 recently fledged Bald Eagles could be found in a large dead tree, across from their numbered nest site.  Sure enough, there they were, with one adult.  I had to walk a long way to get these images and still could not get close enough for better shots.  We had not visited this area for 34 years~





Reelfoot has a small area where they permanently house a few Birds of Prey who are used for educational purpose, having been injured and non-releasable.  The Bald Eagles were hiding back from view, but the gorgeous Red-tailed Hawk sat out in the sun~


The other day, I drove out into the country a bit, to pick up 2 of our grandsons for a day of fun.  I was running early on purpose and took a road where I enjoy seeing wildlife.  The sun was just on the rise along with heavy fog lying close to the earth~



I have seen many a wild turkey in my day, but I had never witnessed what I saw that morning...a turkey fight!  There were a few turkeys inside the fenced in area and two approached and wanted in.  One at a time they jumped up on the gate rail and into the area fenced in.  After the second wanted flew over, the battle began.   Two and three beaks were holding on to each other and wings flew and it was crazy.  I sat in the car with windows down and finally had to get out, as I hated what was going on.  One broke away and waddled down the field and finally the last two stopped at least in front of me and they too waddled down into the wood beyond where I could see them.  Whew~






On the same lane the sun was breaking through the wood and it was eerily beautiful~


 I have a few times heard the sound of the Bobwhite, but have never seen one close enough to snag a capture.  I could not believe my good fortune in running early and turning down this dead end lane.  First the turkeys then the sunlight breaking through the wood and now right in front of me was a Bobwhite, singing his heart out to me and all the earth to hear.  He was still there after I took nearly a hundred images, oh yes I did ;) and I left him still singing his morning song~





Some eight hours later, after taking Thomas and Braden to  visit with my sister and then swim at my friend Sandy's home, I drove back out into the country to deliver the boys back to their parents.  I was enroute back home and thought...I wonder if anything will be down that dead end lane, if I take a quick look-see.  Sure enough, possibly the very same Bobwhite was not singing, but was only a few fence boards down from where one had been earlier that day.  I was thrilled to finally be able to check Bobwhite off my wish list of birds I long to see.  Once again as well, I drove away first, as the bird did not seem to mind a bit, my intrusion~



My friend Theresa loves Lilies and horses and so I decided to place these together in her honor.  She may not see them, but that is OK.  One of her LCGS dogs will have her first litter of pup-cubs anytime now, and so this is for her~












32 comments:

  1. nice array of photos. Love your pups. Loved that landscape...I think it was shot 26. Happy Independence Day.

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  2. Hi Mary. I am so jealous of your beautiful pictures.The birds are breathtaking. The ghost town is
    amazing with nature growing through it. Such beautiful countryside. Your dogs are lucky they go with you they look so well behaved.
    Rosezeeta.

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  3. As usual, you have outdone yourself! Wow!! Such beautiful collages/mosaics. LOVE the fence shots, and all the birds you saw. I have never seen a Bobwhite - how beautiful!

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  4. Where would I start to comment on this cornucopia of the beauty of nature and old buildings? Your shots of the Red-headed Woodpecker remind me to get out and find some in their local haunts before leaving Illinois for Florida. The Bobwhites bring back memories of when we lived in north Dallas and we could find families of them only a mile away from our home. Sadly, now all is concrete and asphalt for miles around. Your days at Braniff remind me that I flew a lot in those days and probably took one of Braniff's first and last flights. Still had a little black and white plastic coffee cup that I "borrowed" from the airline (Braniff's successor MUSE only handed out "Muse-mints" before they too went down the tube). Finally, congrats on your 5th anniversary at blogging. We were mostly off the internet (meaning only the iPhone when signals were available), so I missed the event.

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    1. Thank you so much and I appreciate your memories that have come along with my shares over the past 6 years, yep 6 beautiful years of blogging and I have enjoyed it so very much, Braniff International was one of the best times of my life, loved that! Thank you again~

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  5. Thats a lot of history and life packed into one place.

    Trying to catch up on visits and comment while I wait for a flight - one busy week to go and it's back to normal!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Heathrow Airport UK (for the next couple of hours!)

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    1. Thank you always Stewart and I do believe this is first comment ever to be delivered out of Heathrow Airport UK ;)

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  6. There's a definite air of melancholy in your pictures and in your words today Mary. The word "Paducah" is a such an unusual one that conveys no image of what is there or what the place is like and then we find out that it is something of a ghost town, neglected, and abandoned even.

    Super misty morning shots. How I envy you in taking those wonderful pictures and watching the Bobwhite in full voice for those 100 clicks. Such Magical Mornings are hard to come by.

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    1. Thank you so much, always Phil for staying the course with me and encouraging me to keep on going. I do have to make one correction though, it is the tiny town of Hickman near Paducah that is collapsing into the river and it s really a haunting place now. Happy Thursday~

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  7. Wonderful photos of the birds. How sad the town is disappearing at a rate of about 4 feet a year!

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  8. Amazing photos - so many wonderful birds. I am now following your blog via Feedly.

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  9. What gorgeous photos and even some surprises today. We have a flock of turkeys in our community but we've never seen them fight like this. And we've see Bobwhites on our hikes but not gotten good pics! He's so pretty! Enjoy your week sweet friend. Hugs, Diane

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  10. Wonderful post. Love the pictures of the barges...I also saw my first red-shouldered hawk on Saturday at a farmers market. She had been injured The Talon Trust is a raptor rescue and release in Evansville, IN. She is a beautiful hawk, but because her wing did not heal properly she could not be released. They have had her for 8 years. We also got to see Skylar who is an American Kestrel, the smallest Falcon in North America. What beautiful birds these are. I can understand the enthusiasm they exhibit when they share their stories about these birds. Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Awe, so happy that you got to meet a Red-Shouldered Hawk. Their colouration is magnificent. Always sad when they cannot be released and yet those who can be used to tell their story, always a great thing~

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  11. Beautiful shots ... the Bobwhite!!! So sad the town is disappearing. This looks like a fun adventure for you and your hubby and pups. (Love dogs). Happy Monday!

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  12. Beautiful photos Mary, I like the misty shots you captured. Darn birds fighting - I've broken up several robins duelling to death it would seem. However, I guess that's nature, survival of the fittest.
    Always love to see your babies (and your honey).
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

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  13. Coming into the harbour at Paducah is simply dreamy, but how sad that the town is almost abandoned! I'm amazed that those tall trees are still standing amid all that water, but they look 'accepting' of the situation. After all, it is natural, I guess. The red headed woodpecker is such a siren of colour among all that lush greenery, isn't it? And the bobwhite is truly beautiful; how sweet it looks. You have composed a stunning collage of lilies and horses for your friend, and no doubt, she is enjoying her favourite things. The pink lilies are so pretty!

    Wishing you a wonderful week, my friend.

    xo
    Poppy

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    1. Thanking you so much dear Poppy and so happy to hear from you. Your presence has been missed and yet, I know how much you love visiting your precious family back home in Canada. I needed to make a correction as I may not have worded it accordingly. Paducah os a large city near the river and the little town of Hickman is the town that is becoming a ghost town. My husby used t have clients there and it was a small town, yet vital to the area being on the river. Sad but true, slipping away a few feet at a time~ HUGS!!!

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    2. Dear Mary,

      Came back to see if you got my comment, and just want to say that your words are perfect - I should have gone back to reread them, instead of relying on my memory. It seems that these two moves are getting the better of me!

      Hope you are well, sweet friend!

      HUGS!!

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  14. How lucky are you to be able to take your beautiful dogs with you to the parks, so much of Australian National Parks is off limits to dogs - we walk the dog then do a "good" walk! Such a fabulous post from start to finish, love your mosaics using the same photo, makes great impact!
    Have a happy week.
    Wren x

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  15. Another wonderful ful post with fabulous images. Love the Woordpecker shots and the misty coloured images

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  16. Great photos and so many interesting things. The town that is slowly being taken by the river is especially interesting and it is rather sad to see so many deserted buildings. The Bobwhite is a very beautiful bird. I have read about them but don't remember seeing photos of them like that.

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  17. Mary you always find the most amazing sights wherever you go....and that Bobwhite is a lovely bird indeed.

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  18. Fantastic post, so full of beautiful photos. It is sad, though, to see the decay of downtown Paducah and the abandoned farm. Your dogs are just beautiful

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    1. Thank you and just one little correction in case I did not say it right...Paducah is doing fine. It is the little river, rural town of Hickman that is falling away, which is very near Paducah. I appreciate your visit and I wanted to make sure I got that spoken correctly ;)

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  19. Love the Bluebird, but the posing Woodpecker are my favourites.

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  20. oh, what an impressive blog.
    thank you for visiting mine!

    (please, understand, I do never come back to look for re-comments, because that is our of my time-reserve...............).
    Nice if you visit me once again, if you are interested.
    Thanks Pippa

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  21. What a wonderful collection of photographs - I love the photos of the small town in decay - very poignant and atmospheric. Aren't your dogs just the most beautiful creatures - they have such gentle faces, and I think it's wonderful they go everywhere with you - aren't they lucky!

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  22. Hi Mary, wonderful post. I enjoyed all the bird images. The Bobwhite is awesome! Congrats on your sighting. And your dogs are beautiful. The Redheaded woodie is pretty. Have a happy day!

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  23. Fabulous collection of photos, Mary! Enjoyed every bit of this post!

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  24. Your photos of the area are stunning! Even if you didn't get a close-up shot of any of the eagles, your bluebird, woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks and bobwhite were amazing! Oh, and turkeys! Such a gorgeous place, and such wonderful photos to document your encounters!

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  25. Great Red-headed Woodpecker. I have not seen one in quite a while.

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