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One of the things I love the most about “my swamp” is the crazy things I get to see, things I’ve never seen before and may never see again.  I’ve seen a bald grackle fishing for frogs.  Can you “fish” for frogs?


A grackle finds lunch

I’ve seen eastern phoebes smile.

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Smiling phoebe

One day I was in my float tube, heading back to shore, when I was distracted by a frog.  I was sitting there watching it, when there was suddenly a huge commotion behind me.  I turned and saw that a red-tailed hawk had swooped down and grabbed a grackle.

As I desperately tried to get the tube turned around–they’re not very maneuverable–about a half dozen other grackles began to attack the hawk.  Just as I got myself turned in the right direction, the hawk released the grackle and the rest of the grackles chased it into the woods.  As much as I hate that I didn’t get a shot off, it was amazing just to be there to witness it all.

The swamp used to be a series of four beaver dams.  It’s not anymore–more on that at a later date.  One day I was floating above the upper dam, probably wondering why I was sitting in an inflatable tube in the middle of a stinky swamp on a 95 degree day.

I turned towards the lower part of the swamp just in time to see the biggest freaking bear I’d ever seen walk into the water and roll around.


The bear was this big

There were a number of obstacles between the bear and me, so I didn’t get a lot of photos.  I did get one where he seemed to be staring right at me.


Oh, hi. Please, don’t eat me.

Apparently, he didn’t find little 5’4″ me to be much of a threat, because he turned, swam to the other side and, nonchalantly disappeared into the woods–at least I was hoping he had disappeared, because that’s the side I had to get out on.


Okay, bye now.