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A Fishing Tale at Lakeshore Park

boating in the lakeshore park inlet

 

 

It is early and the sun is slowly beginning to rise as William and I pack our things for a morning fishing adventure at Lakeshore Park. This park is located on the Ross Barnett Reservoir and is our favorite fishing hole. The fish are spawning this month and we hope to catch some perch.

We arrive at the park and set up the fishing poles and chairs by the bank of the reservoir. There are other people along the bank with their fishing poles and a few in boats not far from us. It is a friendly and optimistic group this morning. There are several people who have caught fish and are using buckets to house the day’s catch.

It is not long before one of our bobbins goes down in the water. I quickly pull on the pole to pull the fish out of the water.  The fish fights as it comes out of the water trying to escape the line but all goes well and out comes a medium size perch. It is a beautiful fish that is admired before being delivered into the bucket. William puts new bait onto the line and the pole is once again in the water.

I decide to explore the park while William watches our fishing poles and lines. There is a group of geese in the park this morning. The wildlife in this park is fun to observe and photograph. The geese are happy to see people in the park because of the food that is given to them. They will deliver quite a show to get free food. This morning someone is feeding them bread while they strut and show their glory.

My observation on the morning stroll is the marina across the bay. The boats are pretty sitting in the docks. People will be in this marina all day taking rides in the boats. I enjoy taking photographs of this area. The people are fun to observe. There is usually an interesting and diverse group sharing stories of the day .

boats on marina lakeshore park april 10

The marina is also home to some of the reservoir water life. Ducks and geese split their time between the marina and park. The reservoir water between these two points provide abundant food and shelter for the birds. The marina is a place where alligators have been spotted as well. There have been some days when alligators will swim between the boats searching for food.

Alligators have become more common in this area through the years. They are mostly harmless unless disturbed. I have lost more than one fishing pole when an occasional alligator has decided he wanted my fish. It is better to let them win the prize than risk life and limb for the fish.

It is time to check on William and the progress of the fishing poles. He has caught two more perch and has decided to try catching fish along the shoreline. Sometimes the fish will come extremely close to bank in the spawning season. I sit down and watch the other fishing poles as he walks down the bank.

There is a snake in the water this morning. He is quite large and colorful flowing through the water. Usually they will pass by people unless disturbed. I sit quietly and let the snake swim by the poles without moving. Snakes are poisonous here and not to be taken lightly.

My bobbin on the fishing pole is going down again in the water. I pull on the line to bring the fish in to shore but pull too hard. The fish gets away and now my line flies through the air and is now stuck in a tree. An entertaining site to see for observers as I try to get the line out of the tree. William returns and saves the day by retrieving the line. The line gets new bait and is returned to the water.

tree in lakeshore park april 26

We have some new visitors as a hawk tries to get his lunch in a nearby tree. He is climbing the tree with a squirrel. The squirrel is faster and more efficient in the tree than the hawk. The hawk struggles for a while and then moves on to try for easier game. The squirrel then returns to a safer spot on the ground.

Up a tree jess

Following this spectacle is a group of geese with their goslings going toward the water. These birds are protective of their young and do not allow anyone near them. They are entertaining to watch as they cross the park to the water. I take a photograph and return to watch the fishing poles.

goose with babies april 26

The morning ends and the temperature has risen. It is now hot on this day and time to return home. William gives our fish to some of the remaining fisherman. We enjoy fishing but do not keep our catch. Most days the fish are either put back into the reservoir or given to people around us.

We pack our things and return to the truck. It has been a peaceful and beautiful outing with nature providing food and recreation. William and I look forward to our return on another day.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

 

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Strawberry Park Wildlife

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Scampering Squirrels

squirrel eating grass in park march

 

Small gray squirrels

scampering across the land

chasing each other having fun

marching like a band

 

Not worrying about today

gathering nuts along the way

playing in the community

laughing through the day

 

Climbing to his nest

high in the trees

resting in the summer sun

God providing for all his needs

 

It’s beginning to rain

a storm is near

trust in God

there is no need to fear

 

The storm is over

the sky is clear

scampering down the tree

his friends reappear

 

Playing again

they begin to scurry

living life fully

without any worry

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/scamper/”>Scamper</a&gt;

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Sunset Illusions

IMG_0139

Sunsets in the sky

beautiful as can be

creating shapes of illusion

for all to see

 

The beauty in the sky

reflects our moods

happy for some

others to brood

 

Our attitudes determine

how we see each day

happiness in the skies

shapes our ways

 

Sunrises are the beginning

of how we view our life

each day is new

without any strife

 

Kindness in every situation

dealing with life’s issues

helps us to face life

without many tissues

 

The sunset ends the day

as sky illusions enrich our souls

thanking God for grace

skies filled with colors so bold

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/illusion/”>Illusion</a&gt;

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Farce: Part 2 – How a Family of Squirrels Won and Lost the Bird Feeder War

Up a tree jess

I wrote about an adventure with squirrels on a Sunday morning in my bird feeders. In the end there was a truce called and an area was set up to feed the squirrels in an attempt to keep them out of the bird feeders. This is an update on how the experiment is coming along. The experiment has been a farce.

It was not difficult to pick a spot to set up a buffet for the squirrels. The yard has fruit trees that are not producing this year so putting the food between them seemed like a great option. Carefully laid out it looked like a nice addition to the yard.

In the beginning the squirrels enjoyed the new feast put before them. Munching on the cornucopia of bird seeds appeared to be a dream come true. Soon the squirrels  invited their family and friends and the food ran out quickly.

This is the point where greed entered the picture. The birds coming to the lower feeders would savor the seed and leave some for the late afternoon visits. The feeder looked extremely appealing to a few squirrels and the truce was broken. I was again in the midst of a bird feeder war.

Greed in animals is much like it is in humans. So many times we see things and become envious. Contentment with our lives is gone and now is the time to seize things from where the grass appears greener.

Again taking my broom out the door to the squirrels I look like a cartoon character. Picture a woman in her robe chasing a family of squirrels with a broom. Truly a funny site to see. A new adventure each day as the family of squirrels runs to the fence, sits on it, and appears to be entertained.

The days pass by and there is a new character in this drama. I love God and He has an interesting sense of humor. Today is the day the hawk enters the drama.

My yard has a few trees and the bird feeders are in the part of the yard that is flat and covered with grass. There is no place to hide and to escape the squirrels must run over a retaining wall to the fence and run over roofs of houses to the woods to escape. My neighbors do not have trees because our neighborhood was developed in a field.

The hawk lands on the fence and the squirrels run when his presence is sensed. The hawk does not appear to be hungry today as he sits and observes the site. He continues to sit on the fence for a while and then flies off into the nearby cluster of trees.

The next day the squirrels return to the bird feeders bypassing the area set aside for them. Greed has totally taken control and now there will be no site off-limits to them. This persists for a while because I am out with the broom again.

The hawk reappears this day and now he is looking for a meal. The squirrels scatter and the hawk is on the prowl. He goes for a squirrel that has made it to the roof of the house next door. The hawk dives for the squirrel and misses him as the squirrel scurries into the covered gutters on the house. The hawk then leaves  for the day.

The next day there are fewer squirrels in the yard and they mostly stay in their appointed area. The cover of the few trees provide a little protection against this predator. All seems well for them until the hawk returns this morning.

Again the hawk goes for his prey as the squirrel who has decided to come into the unprotected portion of the yard to eat from the bird feeders. The squirrel runs frantically toward the fence and scurries to the top post. The hawk swoops down and hits the fence. Both are unharmed and the squirrel escapes.

For the last several days the squirrels have not returned to the yard. I have removed their buffet spot and all is now peaceful in the yard. There is now a family of blue birds in the bird house. The song birds have returned and are feasting on the seed from the bird feeders.

The hawk has not returned since the last squirrel incident. He can still be seen flying near the yard in the woods across the empty field behind my neighbor’s house. For now the bird feeder wars seem to have ended.

My broom sits near the door in case there is another episode in this drama. There is a calmness in my soul as I listen to nature and the sounds of the song birds. The bird feeders remain full and all is well with the world.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Bitter: How a Family of Squirrels Won the Bird Feeder War

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There is a family of squirrels at the bird feeder this morning. It is difficult if not impossible to keep the squirrels out of the bird feeder. Each day there is a constant war going on between me and those squirrels. I have become bitter toward this rodent.

Such is the way that events affect us in life. The battle with the squirrels eats away at my soul. It has become an illness in my life weakening me each time I get after them with the broom. To the observers in the house watching me chase the squirrels with the broom it is quite funny and they are entertained each day.

In an effort to make peace with the squirrels and repair the damage to my soul, I have decided to understand the life of this animal. In many ways it is a cute little rodent that is fun to watch.

Squirrels are small rodents that live in the woods. They come in a variety of gray and brown colors. The ones in my yard are light gray with big fluffy tails. The squirrel normally lives in a wooded area where there is protection from predators. The wooded area provides a place to burrow and make a warm pleasant home.

The squirrel likes to eat a variety of nuts, plants, and meat if it is available. A rodent with a well-balanced diet is healthy and playful. Bird seed is an easy food to obtain and apparently extremely tasty to a squirrel.

The war with the squirrels continues as I write this piece. We are at the critical point in the morning where the bird seed is gone from the ground. The time for the acrobatics has begun. Watching a squirrel scale the poles of the feeders is entertaining to watch. Climbing and sliding down the pole several times is the game of the day until the edge of the feeder is reached. The squirrel grabs some seed and shakes the feeder. This small amount of bird seed sustains him until the next round.

The second act is now upon us as the other squirrels attempt to jump on the feeder from the retaining wall. It is a bit of a distance but these persistent little rodents are successful in landing on the side of the feeder. The bird seed scatters to the ground and the squirrels on the bottom of the feeder delight in the prize. It is reminiscent of a pinata being broken and the candy spilling to the ground.

By this time the game is old and I decide to allow the squirrels to have the remainder of the bird feed. It would be nice if a hawk would come and scare these rodents away from the yard. Ah there is the bitterness creeping back into my soul.

My husband suggests that instead of feeling bitter each morning that I find a compromise that ends the war. Since negotiation with the squirrels is not possible due to communication issues I decide to take action that will be acceptable to both parties.

The first action will be to scatter a certain portion of the bird seed on the ground for the squirrels. There will be some seed near the feeder and other seed a little distance away. This will ensure that there is seed for them and the birds.

The second action is to observe what time the squirrels appear in the feeder. By changing the refill times on the bird feeder the seed will last for a longer time. The birds will have a chance to enjoy the feeder.

My last course of action is to watch and enjoy the antics of these rodents. They are entertaining to observe running from each feeder trying to win the prize of bird seed. If left alone to eat the squirrels appear to pose for photographs. We both win on this one since photography is a hobby of mine.

With this course of action the war will end. Bitterness will be replaced with joy and all will be right in the world again. The squirrels will have their food and be happy with the cornucopia put before them each day.

My soul is nourished and renewed as I ponder the possibilities of a day without bitterness for these rodents. It will be nice not to be running outside every ten minutes with a broom. My family will miss their entertainment each morning but there will be peace within my soul.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Bitter