Christmas Morning at the Neighborhood Swamp
Tuesday 29 December 2015 — Category: Shooting
On Christmas morning the rain had stopped, so I put on my big rubber boots to go for a walk through the forest and nearby swamp along the Oak Creek Greenbelt Trail which encircles my neighborhood.
Just to the north of my house, the Trail winds its way through a low-lying forest which always gets flooded during Oregon’s nine-month rainy season. With my 18-inch boots, I figured I could navigate the lake-like Trail without much difficulty.
But it turned out to be trickier than I had imagined, because with all that water I couldn’t see where I was stepping, and I for sure didn’t want to fall down. Furthermore, the flooded part of the Trail was dozens and dozens of yards long, and I didn’t feel like struggling through all of that water just to reach the higher and drier part of the Trail. Especially since I could get to that side by another path. So after taking some nice shots with my pocket camera, I turned around and took the other route.
When I reached the neighborhood swamp on the west side of the Trail, I found a number of photo-worthy subjects. I was especially thrilled to see, once again, the green heron which I had first sighted and photographed last month — see An Unusual Bird at the Neighborhood Swamp.
At that time I didn’t know what kind of bird it was — only that it was fairly large and that I had not seen anything like it in the area before. But thanks to feedback from a couple of kind readers — Judy in Oregon and Debby in New Mexico — I’m fairly certain that a green heron it is.
For some reason known only to itself, this bird has decided to spend the winter at the neighborhood swamp. It does seem tamer than it was a month ago. On my first encounter, although I was quite far from it, each time I would make a slight move it would immediately fly away to another part of the swamp.
This time I was somewhat closer. And when I walked a bit further down the Trail, instead of skittishly flying away, it turned its body around to face the other direction where I was standing — almost as if it liked having its picture taken! The shot to the right is the clearest photo I have gotten of it so far.
You can see the best 13 pictures I took on Christmas morning in the Neighborhood 2015 album.