Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Great Pruning: Joe Neal names the ice storm of 2009

I have a name for our now, just-about-all-gone northwest Arkansas ice
storm: the great pruning. It has pruned just everything. I went to the
old Lindsey Prairie today at Siloam Springs. The old former prairie is
covered with melted ice water. All the low places are playas. Saw 7
Bald Eagles in a field, gathered around remains of a small carcass --
maybe an ice victim -- seemed to be taking turns picking at what was
left. Tall prairie mounds north of the Siloam airport offer refuge
from the ice melt -- saw 2 coyotes enjoying themselves on the east
side of a big mound, in bright sunshine. One of the them was darker
than any coyote I've seen. Just down the road -- a fine Harlan's Hawk,
perfect blotches like the cover image on the current issue of Birding.
Hailing from the Far North, you know a big hawk like that probably
wasn't too inconvenienced by the ice or the great pruning. The great
pruning laid down the tall grasses at Chesney Prairie Natural Area.
Swamp Sparrows there probably appreciate more water. I was watching
them, then overhead heard a familiar gabbling overhead -- a flock of
maybe 100 Snow Geese (blues and whites), heading north. What the heck,
it was 60 degrees and the sky was pure blue -- maybe they were missing

JOSEPH C. NEAL in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

1 comment:

  1. Does Joe Neal go birding every day of the year? Amazing guy!