Today is the 4th of July at Lake Murray and, usually, they have a big music fest and fireworks on this day. However, this year, the entire event has been canceled. An environmental group's lawyer is forcing venues that have fireworks to get an environmental impact report and other permits before they hold more fireworks shows. Unfortunately, the people running the show and the Friends of Lake Murray feel that the fees are too large for them to afford, so they have canceled the entire event including the Music Fest and Fun Runs. They are hoping to hold the event next year. Last year, the Music Fest was canceled due to lack of funds.
I have attended just about every Lake Murray Fest there since 1994 except for a few around 1999-2002, I think (They used to be held in June in the beginning). I stopped going to the fireworks in 2008 because it just got too crowded with rude people and I couldn't enjoy it.
In the meantime, I found Miracle and one of her chicks running around right exactly where they usually set up the fireworks, yesterday. In normal years, July 3rd, this area is closed off to the public and all the pyrotechnics are set up for the fourth. So, I was lucky to see them this year. Usually, I don't see them in this area this time of year.
I only saw the one chick, but I think the other chick was hiding. There were grackles everywhere and the chick even ran up close to them, but they didn't bother her.
Here is one with Miracle, her mom, in the background.
She ran across the road a few times, too! I tried to watch and make sure she didn't get run over by bikes or the worker's trucks, but decided to leave because I think I was making things worse. Plus, there was a Cooper's hawk nearby and every time I was there, the parents would start doing calls that the hawk could hone in on.
I sure hope she made it back to the lakeshore OK and that no one bothered her yesterday or today.
Nice and secure under Dad's wing:
Someone thought they could sneak in a couple of rouens there. These are are newest dumped domestic ducks. I worry about the female because she can't fly. Hopefully, her boy will protect her:
We had an unexpected visitor today, a willet:
He seemed very sad, I think he was lost. He has most of his breeding plumage. They're supposed to breed up around Montana, Alberta, or Idaho this time of year.
Fish Food Mama's ducklings are two months old now and getting more independent. However, I think Indy still loves his mama and sticks close to her.
The other four ducklings went off on their own, here is one in the background. They all got together again, eventually.
They're starting to get their speculum and flying feathers now. They should be flying in a few weeks.
No sign of the mom who had only four ducklings. Not only are ducklings having a hard time surviving, but we have lost a good number of coots and baby grebes, too. I suspect gulls and herons for most of those being missing, but also large fish. I've been seeing a lot of large bass lately.