Monday, April 11, 2011

Evening at the Lake

Our community has four lakes.  We live near Lake Atagahi, the largest of the four.  [Our house is only half a million dollars away.]  I often go down to the park on Lake Atagahi near sunset.  I especially love it this time of year because I rarely see any other people.  It's too soon for the evening picnics and late swimming that will fill the park later on.  I'm happy that so many people enjoy the lake and the park, but it surely will disturb my solitude.  But at this time of year the lake is all mine.

I'm always thrilled to see the Barn Swallows as they go about building their amazing mud nests.  The netting you will see in the photographs was put up to discourage the swallows from nesting under the roof of the cabana.  Fortunately, the clever swallows use a gap in the netting to anchor their nests.

This swallow stares at the intruder with her camera.

Another flies up to assist.

They become more suspicious of the clicking and fly over to sit on a beam.

Finally one of them returns to the nest.

I put down my camera and watched the swallows skimming along the lake for insects and grabbing mud by the shore for nest building.  It is an amazing sight to see such large numbers of these beautiful birds flying around.  After a while my presence went unnoticed.  Oh, what a treat.  I sat there for quite a while until a pair of geese caught my attention.

A pair of Canada Geese pass by.

When I looked up at the sky, I saw the dark clouds heralding a storm.

While I was looking out over the lake I failed to notice the darkening sky.  I quickly headed for home before the storms began.  Once safe again at home, we sat on the screened porch and watched the lightning streak across the sky.  We had some rain but were spared the really bad parts of the storm that did severe damage throughout the state. It was a lovely evening.


The Bug said...

It LOOKs like a lovely evening - I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Karin said...

What a lovely evening - just to sit and watch the birds make their nests! I love my solitude as well. So glad you got home before the storm. Have a blessed week!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Carolyn, I laughed at the swallows story because they go through the same thing at the pavilion at Cades Cove... They have tried hard to get rid of the swallows under that open area --but the swallows are smart....

Sounds like you had a nice walk. Glad you made it home before the storm.

ShySongbird said...

How lovely to see the Swallows so closely! Ours are only just returning for the Summer.

As someone who loves solitude, I totally understand what a joy it must be to have the lake to yourself, it must be a lovely place to visit.

Tara Rinaldi said...

the swallows are sweet little things, aren't they?

how nice to watch the storm from your porch -- a perfect day to my way of thinking.

Jill said...

Beautiful photos! I love watching the swallows.

Rudee said...

Those nests look so sturdy. How pleasing to know the birds outsmarted the attempts to deter them.

As usual, your photos are gorgeous.

Melissa Weisbard said...

It seems like every weekend in KY its either raining, I've got some event I have to attend, or I spend the whole weekend cleaning house and doing laundry (or a combination of all three things happen). I'm having a severe case of spring fever and my camera is calling my name ... LOUDLY. Your photos are great! I hope that I can have a relaxing afternoon like that someday soon before I go mad!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Looks and sounds perfect...I always enjoy a nice thunderstorm too!

Ruth said...

Barn Swallows are so graceful and pretty. I know they can make a mess around their nests, but Why discourage them for the short period of time they are nesting. Nice pictures!

Anonymous said...

Do you remember a movie from waaay back... I think Jimmy Stewart was in it... which had bird watchers in it. Can't remember who played the wife or the name of the movie, but every time they'd spot a bird and ask what it was, the leader would shake his head disgustedly at their ignorance and say, BARN SWALLOW!

Now I'll be awake all night, wondering...!

Vicki Lane said...

Barn swallows are such pretty birds. Around here they nest in...our barn!

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Shysongbird - I love the spot during the winter and early spring. Have to find my solitude elsewhere when the weather gets warmer.

Melissa - I hope this will be YOUR weekend with nice weather.

Ruth - I couldn't agree more. And we get the benefit of all the insects they eat.

Merrily - "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation." I loved it.

Vicki - I visit the barns at the Carl Sanburg home just to see the barn swallows in the barn.