Saturday, September 23, 2006This morning, our first together without workplaces to attend to, we went to IHOP for breakfast, after which it seemed like a good idea to take a walk along the lake. Rainclouds threatened, but weren't quite ready to give up the goods, in that Midwestern way they sometimes have. First day of fall, seventy degrees, not a spot of sunshine anywhere.
We got to the beach and the light was tricky. It was one of those mornings where the lake horizon blends mistily into the grey of sky, and only the textures of water and cloud set them apart visually. Few people were out, despite the late-season warmth, and as we walked we spotted some gulls frolicking at the end of a corrugated steel-plate jetty, along with two more sedentary, S-necked darker birds which I couldn't name right away. Here, let me get the Peterson guide:they were DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS. My first migrating shorebirds of the season, yay!
I watched the cormorants preen and dry their wings for a bit and then slowly sauntered my baby-carrying bulk down the beach to the pier. At the entrance to the pier is a fenced-in dune vegetation area, where we spotted two AMERICAN KESTRELS hunting for their lunch. They danced midair among the butterflies for awhile, and one made a laughable semi-dive for a squirrel which was probably twice its size. They eventually flew back into a willow, tired of the chase.