Coconut Times - Ocean City Maryland
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Mysteries & Nessy
Written By: OC Fotoguy
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Mysteries & Nessy
Mysteries & Nessy
Mysteries & Nessy
Mysteries & Nessy
Mysteries & Nessy
Mysteries & Nessy
Mysteries & Nessy
Mysteries & Nessy
Mysteries & Nessy
Mysteries & Nessy
    My day started in a mundane enough manner with a walk through the irrigated alfalfa and grain fields to a comfort station used by hunters here at Cibola (, when the geese are migrating through.  I’ve seen lizards, herds of deer and yesterday a herd of wild burros, that found their way through, under or over the fence, were here; and various raptures during other visits, but nothing this morning, except the largest buck I’ve ever seen.  He’s well fed on the alfalfa and grain and sure looked as if he was loving life.  Then, I headed for the marsh which is beside the alfalfa.  There was also an eagle diving on some unsuspecting prey.  I guess the marsh and farmers fields complement each other, but not sure about how the fertilizer and/or pesticides from the farming are kept out of the marsh; maybe they don’t use any or it’s of no concern.
    As I got near my nest (slide-in camper on my pickup truck), a yellow flash at the top of reeds caught my attention.  There were several yellow headed black birds.  I moved closer and composed a picture with the Palo Verde Mountains’ tallest peak behind it - nice.  Yesterday I saw lots of fish, maybe carp or catfish, which were way too big for the shallow water, flopping around.  The water must’ve been higher earlier.  Now, it looks like they may become an easy meal for a Coyote, bobcat, fox, raccoon, or other predator.  If you know what kind of fish they are, let me know.  I walked to where the water goes under the dirt road in a pipe controlled by a weir (gate).  I heard some splashing, saw a cormorant fly and attributed noise to it.  Then I heard some sucking sounds and air bubbles appeared from the places the noise came from, and occasionally it seemed like something below the collection of dead reeds, sticks and debris at the mouth of the pipe was pushing them up.  I watched for a while, but didn’t see more than the motion and bubbles.  It reminded me of otters I used to see in the EverGlades.  I went to the exit side of the pipe.  I could see the water was cloudy at the bottom and the cloud was moving away from the pipe, so there was water flowing.  Maybe that was causing the sound, bubbles, and motion or just another of my many unsolved mysteries.
    As I turned to go back towards my nest I saw a gull-like bird, or maybe it was a gannet (a bird that lives most of its life over the open ocean), or then it appeared maybe to be a Bonaparte’s Gull as I look at my bird book; but probably it’ll stay just another mystery.  What would either be doing here?  It was some kind of gull though.  Gulls are widely distributed.  I’ve seen them close to Lake Mead near Las Vegas, but I think they’re more numerous on the east coast in the Mid-Atlantic States.
    When I got to the nest I brought some whole grains to a boil with strawberries left over from Florida, then I turned them off.  With a lid on they’ll cook themselves; and I left for another walk.  As I neared the water I could hear the fish flopping again.  I restrained myself from taking pictures.  I did enough of that yesterday. I always have too many photos to edit, when I’m in a place like this. I never got a fish fully visible, so I walked towards some ducks.  Then I saw what appeared to be a long thing, at least 2-3 feet long, moving through the water.  Up came my camera and I was firing away.  Tonight when I down load my pics maybe I’ll solve this mystery.  Does this place have a real live Loch Ness Monster?  Maybe some cyber-geek has stolen Scotty’s trick and transported a serpent here, but the cyber generation wouldn’t know who Scotty, Capt. Kirk or Spock were!  After the “monster” disappeared I got lucky and one of the big fish beached itself and I got some good photos of it.
    Well, I’ve finished the whole grains, as I wrote this, and now I’m ready for round 3 of enjoying what Mother Nature has to show me, whether I can identify it or not!  IDing everything isn’t necessary to appreciate and enjoy nature and it doesn’t really matter what things are anyhow.  Just being here with the Trigo Mountains towering to the east and the Palo Verde Range to the west, with the Colorado River’s C shaped bend along the northern, western & southern edges feeding the lush greenness and the desert surrounding the rich oasis of the marsh is enough.  On the down slide and lovin’ it.  Ask me about a free photo.
    If you haven’t noticed, summer is slipping away.  I already feel the chill in the breeze on my upper deck, but it’s still sunny and hot on the Boardwalk and beach, so enjoy it.  Get over to Birch’s across the airport and load up on their DelMarVelous sweet corn, tomatoes, and other veggies.  September’s always a good crabbing month, so I’m looking forward to catching a bunch.  I’ve been getting calls for family photos on the beach and I’ve surprised myself.  I’ve still got it.  They’re pretty good!
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy
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