Mission Statement

Bearing Witness to Local Natural History-- from the wildness of Indiana

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Perch-- Paying Homage to a Fallen Neighbor

A stalwart neighbor fell on September 10, 2012. In the twenty years I have lived at my home, a Tulip Tree, has stood through all seasons on a point at the lake. I named it The Perch. All through the years, it persevered as the soil around its roots eroded away. Its posture changed as more and more soil disappeared through ice, snow, waves, and yes, the 2008 Flood. After 2007 (and likely the result of the flood), instead of standing rather upright on the lake point, it began to lean outward over the water.

From 1993 (and I am sure before), to September 9, 2012, the tree provided a safe and efficient location to perch for many birds. The birds used its branches for resting, preening, safety, and hunting. Bald Eagles, Double-crested Cormorants, Red-tailed Hawks, Red-shouldered Hawks, Green Herons, Great Blue Herons, Ospreys, American Crows, owls, and numerous species of songbirds enjoyed its branches for an unobstructed view of the lake. 

Each time I looked out my window, I always checked The Perch for the presence of interesting bird species. The majority of the time I was rewarded with a view of an eagle, heron, or hawk. The tree was most beautiful in the early morning as fog would hover magically throughout the lake. As the sun would crest the treeline, The Perch would be backlit by sunlight resulting in silhouettes of perching birds.

I already miss The Perch. When one lives close to Nature and attends to the seasons, the land, and its creatures, you appreciate the presence of non-human neighbors.They are a part of my home. Once again, bearing witness to my local wildness. 

The Perch before leaning              ©Joni L. James             

Bald Eagle Flying from The Perch                                     ©Joni L. James

Two Great Blue Herons Perched                                               ©Joni L. James

Great Blue Heron on The Perch       ©Joni L. James
The Perch-- Fallen (on right)                                                ©Joni L. James
The Perch-- Fallen                                                                         ©Joni L. James


Marcie said...

Your herons are gorgeous!!!

Deb Crecelius said...

Your photography shows the tree as beautiful, even after falling.