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  • Writer's picturekaydee777

Witnessing transmutation

Today's witness of the transmutation of night into day at Caballo Lake is all about birds.

I launch in a rosy numinosity of almost cloudless dawn light.

The water level has dropped over two feet since last week's paddle, leaving a fringe of slimy rocks which appears to be a desirable playground for shore birds.

A busy roadrunner lures me south.

Hummingbirds are enjoying the exquisite Seussical blooms of a native Polanisia dodecandra which apparently goes by the delightful common name of Redwhisker clammyweed. No there are no hummingbirds in the image. They flew away while I wrestled with a paddle and camera strap which somehow became entangled in one of those "do not try this at home" moments which I sometimes find myself having on the water. Grateful always that there are no witnesses to my goofs.

Roadrunner continues to bekon ever southward and is eventually lost to the glory of a tree where a richness of swallows gather between swoops and dives over the lake.

After breathing a while under a canopy of swallows I paddle further to find several glorious heron preening in the first golden sunlight.

I head northward again. Cliffs toss their bright sunlit glow into the water making of it a fluidity of blue, green and gold as I dip my paddle.

Sometimes I think the main reason I paddle is to lose myself in light reflected on water.

Apologies for quality of many of these pictures, especially the Roadrunner: bobbing kayak, current, because the heart of this man made lake is the strong brown god of the Rio Grande, and fast moving winged critters are my excuses. I have struggled to photograph Roadrunner for all of my almost ten years in this enchanted place. Though I meet them often on my wanderings, these ground cuckoos (yes they are cuckoo family) are very fast moving and hyper-alert birds making them extremely challenging subjects for photography.

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