Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Great Day for Nature

On my way back from the recycling center, where I had dropped off 4 (count them 4!) phone books, I decided to stop at Yates Mill. For those not in Raleigh, it's simply an old mill on Yates Mill Pond that has been preserved and has a walking trail around the lake. Now that I've been there I can say it's a great way to spend an hour walking around and enjoying the out of doors. The thing that was particularly great about this stop was that my brain decided, for some odd reason, I should turn around as I was crossing the stream by the mill. As I turned I caught sight of a small turtle in the stream. This isn't too remarkable in and of itself but it was eating a crayfish (or crawfish or crawdad if you're from the south), and doing so rather viciously. I was completely fascinated watching this turtle eat its meal. I have never seen a turtle eat anything other than boring old vegetation. Much like a dog, it would hold its quarry out with its legs and then rip with its teeth. The neat thing about how it works is the turtle uses its retractable neck to do more of a straight pull than a dog, who is limited to sort of a sideways rip. Very cool. To the right is a not-so-great picture taken with my lame camera phone. It's low res so a little hard to make out but that's all I could do lacking a camera. The turtle is in the center and the crayfish is the white stuff around it.

The other sight for today occurred while I was out at Middle Creek playing disc golf. Coming up to the 16th tee I spotted a cardinal which had the most brilliant red I've seen on one. It was very deep, rich, and dark but at the same time extremely bright and radiant. It's very hard to explain, just trust me, seeing a plain old cardinal is not something I'd think is noteworthy.

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