Thursday, May 21, 2009


As you may or may not know the Hudson River is what is known as a "tidal estuary". It is like a tongue of the sea that stretches up towards Albany as the tide rises. Then it retracts towards New York City as the tide lowers. The other day I went kayaking for the first time ever. I went with Mike Sweeney who is on our Mount Retreat Team, is our Music Minister and is a fine young man and musician. I was surprised how easy it was for me, especially as last Monday (May 18th) was quite cold and windy. But the tide was falling from from Kingston towards Hyde Park (right across from The Mount), and so we went "against it" up towards the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse. That way it would be "smooth sailing" to come back to our dock. Our biggest treat was seeing an eagle not 50 feet from us, just on the shore. It ignored us like we were "just another part of the scenery". Unfortunately I had not brought my digital camera. Next time I will. I will keep it in a tupperware container. This way it won't get wet. And, if it falls out of the kayak it will float. It's a good thing to bring one's cellphone also placed carefully in another tupperware container.
Our grounds are literally "bursting" with Red Wing Blackbirds, Northern Mockingbirds, Chipping Sparrows, House Finches, Song Sparrows, House or Winter Wrens along with the Carolina Wrens, Baltimore Orioles, Brown Headed Cowbirds (with their "ice cube" clunking sound), . I wrote something a while back on Bird Listening. How true this is. The "invisible but audible birds" are often what I most identify: Common Yellowthroats, Hooded Warblers, Eastern Towhees, Red Eyed Vireos.... Most disappointing of all for me are the fact that I "hear but have yet to see this year my good friends the Greated Crested Flycatchers. Years ago at Huntington State Park south of Myrtle Beach a Great Crested Flycatcher was my constant companion as I wandered through that truly great birding spot. It is part of what is Brookgreen Gardens founded by the great millionaire Arthur Huntington and his artist, sculptress wife Ana Hyatt..

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