Beautiful Upper Lake Mary will host the 30th annual Mountain Man Triathlon in August, 2014.
This weekend we took the kayaks to the Narrows of Upper Lake Mary. The lake has maintained boat ramps for motorized and unmotorized boats. The ramp at the narrows is very shallow and most suitable for launching light craft. What started as a day with slight clouds and damp ground from a storm the previous evening, promised to give us enough time for a cruise around the area before the next storm could move in. This is the monsoon season of Arizona, and prone to lightning, thunder and heavy downpours, so we started early.
You can see by the brown tint to the water, there has been substantial run off from storms.
Muddy water and a slight, chilly breeze greeted us.
The wildflowers are now in full bloom along the shore. In addition to the clouds, you could see a haze of smoke from wildfires in the air.
Woolly Mullein grows tall here with grasses, zinnias and sunflowers.
Crows, Blue jays and hawks were active along the shore.
Blue jays looked in the shoreline rocks for delicacies like crawdad pieces.
To the north we could see the summer thunderheads building around the San Francisco Peaks.
As the storm began to close in, we headed back to the ramp.
Turning back I caught sight of a watcher high in an old Ponderosa Pine.
An Osprey watched from on high!
While watching the birds in the woods and yard, I have been learning a lot about their behaviors. Some birds and squirrels feed communally at our feeder while others insist on dining alone. While the Abert Squirrel this morning chased off woodpeckers, jays and other squirrels, he didn’t seem to be bothered by the tiny Nuthatch.
As I watched, the Nuthatch approached, quietly stood shopping for the best nut, picked it up and went off to to find a spot to eat it. Nuthatches are so named for their habit of wedging a large nut into tree bark and then pecking at it to get the shell open, thus “hatching” the nut.
A Nuthatch cautiously makes it’s way down the tree to the feeder.
The squirrel is listening, but he lets the Nuthatch approach.
Shopping for the perfect nut.
Making his get-a-way!
Looking for the best place to wedge the nut in order to peck it open.