Bamboo For You

The Merganser Event

 

 

12-30-2006

Hoping everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday.

Looking out the back door, James spotted something in the pond.  At first we were not sure what it was.

Then, realizing that it was a bird, I ran to get my camera.  As the bird drifted out into the sunlight and we discovered that it was a duck, I knew that it was a type of duck that I had never seen before.  James found it in our bird guide.  It is called a Hooded Merganser.

It looked unreal in its elegant perfection.  As you can see, it has an unusual crest, accented by bright white feathers.  In the photo above, the crest is down.  However, when the Hooded Merganser is agitated, it can raise its crest for an interesting display, as I discovered a short while later, when a Little Blue Heron arrived at the bank of the pond, landing not far from the Hooded Merganser.  Immediately, you could feel the tension at the pond.  The Little Blue Heron strode closer to the water.  The Hooded Merganser raised his crest and flashed this bright white hood at the Little Blue Heron.  Well, that Little Blue Heron gave the Hooded Merganser a curious eye, as he tensed and leaned toward the water.

 The dynamic was about to explode.  Suddenly, the Heron leapt into the air toward the Hooded Merganser.  Just as quickly, with strides so strong they left a trail of flying water across the surface of the pond, the Hooded Merganser shot out of harms way and made his own flight away from the pond. 

The Heron circled the pond, landed where the chase had begun, and began to feed, having the pond all to himself.

In addition to being very busy planting bamboo, we also planted a Caliandra hematocephala (powder puff tree) a few months ago and it is starting to come into bloom.  It has beautiful, brilliant red flowers:

Here's a closeup of one of the flowers:

It also has beautiful leaves:

Bamboo For You.