Friday, March 2, 2007

Washing day

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The striking anhinga, black darter, snakebird, water turkey - whichever name you call this bird in your part of the world - is a frequent star on this blog. He might not be the most graceful looking bird but his personality makes up for it ;-). Check out my previous posts here, there and yonder.

The anhinga is a water bird, a close cousin of a cormorant. It does not have oil glands for waterproofing its feathers like most water birds. So after a quick dive underwater to get a fishy snack, it must spread its wings to dry in the sun.

"The cormorants
hang their feathers
out to dry -
black velvet rags
showing threadbare
in the wind.
Like old women
living in the past,
they tend their
tattered finery
with talon fingers
and black
remembering eyes."
Rita Summers Washing Day


Kate said...

Isabella, This is a keeper--lovely, clear photo!

Anonymous said...

I love this photo, I don`t know, but this bird`s figure is somehow so, so ??? I don`t find a right word :)

Nice, happy weekend to you!

freelancer said...

Nice sunbeam !

Gerald England said...

what a fabulous looking bird

isabella said...

Kate - the photo's clear except for his neck which he moved while I was taking this. Also you might be interested to know, that since I don't have a zoom lens, I was about 5 feet behind him...

Jilly said...

Stunning photograph. Even more impressive when I read you were only 5 feet behind him. Beautiful and as always, the perfect poem alongside.

Lachezar said...

Most beautiful!
thanks for Sade!


Oya said...

What a stunning photo. The bird is so graceful. Very good job Isabella. Btw, thanks for all your messages:)

Dsole said...

Oh, what an amazing shot, Isabella!
I love your nature photos!

Olivier said...

La photo est tres belle et merci pour le poeme (toujours agreable sur tes posts).

"The voice" chantait specialement pour toi sur mon blog.

Pourquoi le cormoran est noir ? si on en croit la mythologie biblique : le cormoran a été sale sur l'Arche de Noé, pour le punir Noé lui a retiré son imperméabilisation et lui a donné sa couleur noire.

Je te souhaite un bon weekend.

The photograph is very beautiful and thank you for the poem (always pleasant on your posts).

“The voice” sang especially for you on my blog.

Why the cormorant is black? if one believes biblical mythology of it: the cormorant was dirty on Noé's Ark, to punish it Noé withdrew his proofing to him and its black color gave him.

I wish you a good weekend.

Chris & Deb said...

what a fun shot. It almost looks like he's calling for a towel!

Frank said...

Why do I think that he is "flashing" someone across the water?

ruth said...

He's gorgeous, and the photo is great, and so is the poem. Love this post.

Linda said...

He's so cute, even though he's ugly.

Chuckeroon said...

Lots of comorants around here too. AND....getting this without a zoom...very are stealthy.

~tanty~ said...

Superb photo!
Well done.

james said...

still looks like it needs another splash behind the ears....

Tony Morris said...

Great Picture, do you know the real reason he's got his wings out?

He's trying to show another anhinga how big the fish was he just failed to catch!

isabella said...

Thanks for visiting, everyone!

Olivier - thanks for that explanation ;-)

Chris&Deb, Frank, James and Tony - you guys should go on a comedy tour together...So funny!

Nathalie said...

We have them here too, but they're a fraction less tame than yours. Never managed to get so close.

What a beautiful photo!!!

Lavender Lady said...

I did not know this bird did not have a coating on his wings. I love the extra information you always provide...helps me with my "learn something new every day" motto.

Helen said...

Awesome bird shot! I don't think we have those birds here!

kris said...

I remember him :) and this shot "reassured" he is a star ;D

richard said...

While we are on the subject....

The common cormorant or shag
Lays eggs inside a paper bag,
The reason you will see no doubt -
It is to keep the lightning out.
But what these unobservant birds
Have never noticed is that herds
Of wandering bears may come with buns
And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.