A Tribute Float
Several years ago conversations began with a friend of mine about a double-crested cormorant rookery near his home. At the start, we discussed whether on not it existed as described and if the rookery was worth the several hour drive for me to see and photograph it. My buddy, who was not a serious birder, had no knowledge of the rookery. Even though he lived close to the home for hundreds of double-crested cormorants, he knew nothing about them.
Our second year of cormorant-conversation was based on my “on-the-water” observations. I encouraged Terry to take the time to see the rookery, especially since it is easily visible from a hard-surfaced road – even without binoculars. I am fairly certain my suggestions did not move him to check out the many nests.
This year we talked about the rookery again and how I was planning to view the status of the rookery on my way to a conference both Terry and I would attend. If Terry were to finally check it out, we could discuss what we saw and did not see, and maybe Terry would have some local details about the rookery.
Sadly, Terry died unexpectedly recently. I would be very surprised to learn that he had actually viewed the rookery or had done any research. If he were still here, tomorrow I would have been giving him grief about overlooking a bird phenomenon in his own backyard. Instead, I paused today near the rookery and saw that it was in full use – possibly more than other years – and then I paddled near it. As I paddled I thought about our conversations that abruptly ended. Thoughts of gatherings and discussions that will not happen drifted through my mind. I paddled thinking of Terry and wishing he was still with us. I paddled today for Terry.
Double-crested Cormorant Rookery:
Double-crested Cormorants in Flight:
Common Tern in Flight:
Non-breeding Common Tern in Flight:
Ring-billed Gull in Flight:
Earlier in the day I found a decent number of skunk cabbage plants lining a wet ditch.