Last week I took a trip down to Connecticut to visit my Mom and sister. Since I was by myself I was free to stop along the way and count birds. The northeast section of the state is one of the least birded counties in all of Connecticut and so I got off the highway and, like Winnie-the Pooh, I went on a long explore. I found this lake off Shepherd Hill Rd near Danielson, CT. We once lived in this area over 20 years ago and as I drove up the wooded road that led to the parking area I sensed a familiarity about it. I walked a short path through the trees to the edge of the lake and recognized a rope swing hanging like a memory from a nearby tree. Then I did remember that this was a place I took my kids for swimming lessons so many years ago!
In the fading light of the setting sun a few geese paddled in the water. I heard the rattle of a belted kingfisher as it flew out over the water and alighted in a distant tree. Dressed in a cream-colored coat with a fur-lined hood I tried to hide behind a large eastern pine that hugged the shore. Using it as I blind, I scanned the lake and forest for more birds. Suddenly I heard gunshots ring out through the surrounding forest. With their sounds I realized it was still hunting season! And then I realized that from a distance across the lake or through the trees in my cream-color coat with a fur trimmed hood hiding against a tree that I would look like the butt end of a white-tailed deer! I had nothing bright colored with me. If I took my coat off, I had a cream-colored sweater on beneath. Even my pants were dark brown. I was dressed in the colors of nature and now they could mean my death! Quickly but with measured pace and heart pounding I walked back to my parked vehicle. It was probably 300 feet or more up the path through the woods to get there. I opened the door and jumped in so quickly! Then I drove out of there even faster! The lake looked so peaceful in the fading light but my heart was racing as I drove off into the sunset down Rt. 395. (I think I need to purchase one of those orange hunting vests!)
Bird seen at Quinnebaug lake 12-7-10:
- Canada Goose 9
- Belted Kingfisher 1
- Downy woodpecker 1
- American Crow 3