American white pelicans returned over the weekend to the east marsh pond, snow birds headed south from their usual nesting range in northern Minnesota, southern Canada and North Dakota as autumn approaches, bound for the Gulf of Mexico.
Since there's no way of telling when they'll decide to move along, it seemed more important Monday to take a look --- rather than to fuss about inconsequential stuff.
It's one of the few times I'd enjoy having a better camera, since photographing these big birds from across the water pushes the tiny Nikon beyond its potential.
And I'd really like to have had a good clear shot of of this --- an eagle pretending that he doesn't notice that his perch has been surrounded by snow-white intruders.
Elsewhere at the marsh on Monday I found bottle gentians, a sure sign that the prairie and wetland bloom season is drawing to a close.
The asters in various shades of pink, blue and purple are at their best right now.
And sunflowers, too, are at their peak along the Pin Oak trails. It's a great time to take a hike --- or just drive down to the parking lot, point your vehicle toward the water and look for a while.