We lost a workshop but gained a very good time! When a workshop had to be cancelled, we gathered at Black Bayou Lake NWR anyway, first in the Environmental Education Center then on the boardwalk, where the birds entertained us well.

Grouchy,” BBLNWR’s resident Louisiana pine snake, attends an LMN-NE board meeting back in the early days.

David Hoover kicked off the day by presenting his certification project once again. It’s titled “Snakes Alive!” and I’m sure you haven’t heard the last of it. It’s excellent and I think/hope we got a good recording of it this time. It’s fun, informative and especially helpful to people who want to overcome a snake wariness. So if you know a group or organization that would like a fine educational experience, let us know. Our certification projects are meant to be shared!

After David’s talk, we played with Grouchy (see above) for awhile, then adjourned to the boardwalk. It was an overcast day, which was better for photography than you might think! On a sunny day, birds sitting high in trees turn into black silhouettes against the bright sky. A cloudy day can be a relief.

It was a woodpecker day for me. First a red-belly in a tree along the boardwalk, then both a downy and a sapsucker on snags out in the open. Of course, a great egret stalked fish along the edge of the open water and a flock of coots passed us by.

But the crowning observation was a bald eagle–high on a snag and quite a long ways away. Nevertheless, I managed a shot–not the best, but suitable to share here and for iNaturalist, the online citizen science platform where many Master Naturalist post our observations.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

So it was a great day after all. Our next event is our 4th Quarter meeting and Christmas party. That will be at Heartwood, the home of Kelby and Amy Ouchley, and a delightful natural area in its own right. Visitors will be welcome. Look for details here soon.

And be sure to go to our public Facebook group to see lots of photographs and stories from our outings. You’ll find it here.

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