Friday, July 8, 2011

Green Heron

I've been seeing this water bird all spring and summer, but usually it was because I startled it and caused it to fly away. In flight, it looks very blue. I got lucky at dusk tonight, and captured it catching fish. I wish I could have gotten closer. This was taken from about 15' away. I've identified it as a Green Heron.

Here's how it is described in Birds of North America, " Common, locally abundant, in both fresh and salt water. Found more than other herons in small ponds and along wooded streams. Looks more blue than green. Told by its small size, dark underparts, and bright orange or yellow legs. Flight is rapid, with deep wingbeats. Appears all dark at a distance. The crest is not always visible. Neck is comparatively shorter than that of other herons. Call, a sharp, descending kew." According to the book, the average length is 14" with a wing span of 25".

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Historic Garner House In Lilburn

I recently had the pleasure of photographing the historic Garner family home on Five Forks Trickum Road in Lilburn. I appreciate the information shared by the current owners and Garner descendants:

The home and 500 original acres were passed down from William Garner to his son William "Newt" Garner.

In an early census you can see that this area was called Garner District and William Garner is listed as "landlord." In other words he rented land out to tenant farmers. William's son Newt fought in the Civil War and had a daughter in 1885 named Commie Garner who lived in the home nearly her whole life. She lived just a couple of months shy of 100. She had married a Thomas Wesley and by her death the property had been whittled down to 50 acres. At this point most of that remaining land was sold to make Wesley Ridge (named after Commie Garner Wesley and her husband).

You'll find more photos and a lot of great Gwinnett County history at Gwinnett County GAGenWeb.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Baby Mallard Ducks

Beautiful and little family of mixed color, with three blond and two dark. I've seen similar mixes in previous years, and somehow, they all end up looking alike by the time they are teens. Fascinating!

We hope this family will fare well. The sixth one disappeared within 48 hours. It's been a tough season for babies, with only one family from May still surviving and thriving, the babies now as big as their mom. She's the tough mother duck who hovered over and defended her original seven, as well as adopted three orphaned/abandoned ducklings.

The greatest threats to ducklings seem to be hawks, snapping turtles, pollution, and fishermen who cut their lines loose and leave them in the water with hooks attached. Well meaning people pollute the water with processed white bread and anything else they find in their kitchens. If given a choice, kids would eat junk food for dinner every night. If give a choice, ducks will eat white bread. It doesn't mean it's healthy for the ducks or the water, and it fills their tummies so that they do not seek healthy food.