It’s still summer at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg and the pond is like a gently simmering soup. At first glance it would seem that all the wildlife is hiding but the longer you look, the more you see.
We haven’t had much rain lately, although that could change tomorrow but, for now, the water levels are quite low and the frogs must be wondering how long they can hold out against the sharp eyes of the great blue heron that is standing on a partially submerged branch in the water.
On the far side of the pond is a convenient bench underneath a shady tree and I sit looking at some kind of heron that is perched on a branch at the water’s edge, staring right at me. It doesn’t seem to be bothered by our close proximity and continues to eye me as I click away with the camera. Those of you who have been reading my posts for any amount of time will know that I have a terrible bird phobia. I’ve had this fear of birds, which is a distinct problem for someone who enjoys doing wildlife photography, ever since childhood, but for some reason, larger birds don’t scare me quite so badly. That much becomes evident when a mallard duck creeps up behind me and proceeds to practically walk across my feet, while I merely let out a stifled “Arrg!” I’m not saying I wouldn’t have uttered a piercing scream if it had started flapping its wings, but I am quite proud of myself when two more show up and I do no more than make a slight movement with my foot to ensure they don’t get too familiar.
Autumn is fast approaching but, for now, the summer soup of Spring Valley pond continues to stir and bubble with activity.