Sunday, March 15, 2015

Heron Haven and Standing Bear Lake-Two Omaha Gems

Not  heron, but a Canada Goose visiting the wetland sanctuary.

It was an unseasonably warm 80 degree F. day in Omaha, so we set out to enjoy the weather at two of Omaha's many excellent birding spots. Heron Haven is located right along busy Maple Street, across from Mullhall's nursery. It is the sort of place locals drive by for years without knowing it is there (at least I didn't!). Open from dawn 'till dusk, it features not only wetlands, but a butterfly garden, a mushroom garden, and an education centre. There's a bird blind for photographers (many of whom were out today taking advantage of the weather), and the trails are well maintained. It is a small spot, but just enough for a family walk in a lovely location tucked away in a bustling city.
 And when the old folks get tired of walking, there's adequate seating areas to rest, and watch the birds. Not visible in the photo, there was a beaver building a dam behind us. A frog also made his presence known.

If you look carefully, there's a band on the leg of this goose. That might explain his comfort around humans as he swam right up to have his photo taken. 
The first Red Winged Blackbird I've seen/heard this year. Their call sounds like an introduction of sorts:
"Red Winged Black Biiiiiiiiiiird." 
Or it does to me.

We also visited Standing Bear Lake

"Hey kid, the birds are behind you."

That's better.
These geese are better fed than their cousins at Heron Haven as children routinely toss them their lunches. This fellow got the better part of a little girl's sandwich. Thanks to her sharing, Danny was able to get a good close-up. I was hoping we'd be able to see a Trumpeter Swan as they've been spotted nearby, but other than these geese there weren't many waterfowl about. The yearly migration of Sandhill Cranes has begun in the central part of the state. For the next few weeks it is, "All cranes, all the time." If you think I'm going to be sitting in a bird blind at sunrise looking at birds that are almost as tall as I am-forget it. That's a job for Papa. I'll drive, and meet them in the coffee shop in town when it is over. 
If you can't make it there in person (I don't blame you a bit) perhaps you would enjoy the
Or not. I understand. The thousands of Snow Geese on the farm was bad enough (the noise was enough to keep me indoors until they left). 
"Don't forget me!"

The robins are suddenly making their presence known singing from the (very) early hours until the last of the sun in the evening. This year we have a pair of robins at the feeder again looking for raisins. I was surprised to see one remain on the patio when Danny went out to refill the feeder. They know who feeds them! 
Well that was an exhausting day! We came home, changed into lounge wear, and took up our positions in front of the house to yell at youngsters on the lawn. Danny heard one of the neighbours at the end of the block screaming at kids being reckless on bikes, so I like to think I've started something good. I don't understand why they prefer to play in the street and parking lot of the college next door when there is a lovely park five minutes from here. No, they prefer to play around and in the skip. Oh sure, there's "Danger" signs everywhere but you know kids. Anyway, I'm pretty confident Danny won't be joining them because he's a bit squeamish about filth. 
Yep, I'm a fan of the caftan. This beauty was a .98 cent Thrift World score at the end of last Summer. We get full afternoon sun on our side of the street, so I need to be adequately covered, but still cool. This gauzy material is perfect, though I do wish it were a lighter colour. The positive part of living on the sunny side of the street is that by evening we're still basking in residual warmth when our neighbours across the way need jackets. 

I hope you had a lovely weekend, and that the week ahead will be kind to you.


Connie said...

I, too, am a big fan of your caftan. It's great with the gold slides. The kids in my neighborhood love to play hockey in the middle of the street. It is exhausting for me to constantly have to give them the evil eye. Exhausting.

Goody said...

Do the little punks just stand there looking at you like you just dropped in from outer-space? I get that.

The slides are a now nearly-destroyed pair of vintage Daniel Green slippers. They're still around, but the new slippers are junk. They're only good for sitting outside, but I've yet to find a good replacement.

Bibi said...

Well, I'm a caftan lover too.
Although I'm about 5'10" so I think that caftan might look more like a poncho on me.
I like the black on you.
Yep, I thought I recognized my mom's favorite gold Daniel Green mules there!

Goody said...


I wore so much black when I was young that I'm sort of over it now.

Maybe I should do a Caftan of the Week photo as I have enough to get through a good chunk of summer.