Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 24, 2010

 The big news on Lake Wicwas this week was a visit by a bald eagle.  At the start of the Lake Wicwas Association on Saturday morning, someone noticed a very large bird “swimming” across the lake just south of the inlet by Route 104.  It was using its wings to row itself towards shore.  When it reached shore and perched on a rock on the shoreline, it was clear it was an eagle – though an immature one, without the distinctive white head.

As it stood on the shore, water kept splashing up into the air around the bird.  We then realized it had a very large fish (sorry Chuck) in its talons.  The fish was large enough that its thrashing tail was hitting the lake and flipping streams of water into the air.  After few minutes, the eagle started to tear into its prey, enjoying its breakfast of fresh fish.  If anyone had other sightings of the eagle, please leave a comment.

There was also an immature eagle on the lake last fall, though a little earlier.  It visited for several weeks in early October.  I saw it on the lake several times, as well as once up on the White Mountain Ledge on the red trail.  These pictures were taken on October 4th; I added them since I wasn't able to get any pictures this year.
Bald Eagle - Oct 4, 2009

There was a killing frost this week (the temperature got down to 28.6F), and we had an early sign of winter on Friday: snow flakes in the air.  Not enough to even call it a flurry, but snow nonetheless.  The fall foliage continues to be spectacular.  The oaks are unusually bright this year, adding to the beaches to provide brilliant yellow expanses on the hills around the lake.  The view from Crocket’s Ledge on Sunday, with the deep hues on the wet day and with mist rising out of the hill across the lake, was particularly nice.  (Sorry, no camera when I’m running in the rain.)  But I did take some pictures of  a stand of yellow Beech trees in the lower story of a stand of White Pines.

I also took this picture the prior week, which is a just a classic autumn New England sight.

I was surprised to find a new batch of mushrooms sprouting this late in the year, but there they were, right next to a flooded area on the lake, which is still very high from the prior week's rain.

The wildlife know that hunting season is upon us;  I saw no deer or turkey this week, but I did see the loon on the lake.

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