Fish Spawning Bed, Waterbird & Home

Fish wallowing out a spawning nest in the mud

Fish wallowing out a spawning nest in the mud

I had been anxious to get home to deep clean the Casita and let the dogs run.

waterbirdBut this morning, when I walked out on the deck, I did not want to leave.  We had our whole loop to ourselves and the entire campground was almost empty.

While I was sipping my coffee, I heard a tremendous splashing in the lake.  Then another.  Then another.  I took a closer look and realized that fish — what kind I didn’t know then — were fanning the mud at the edge of the lake to make depressions in the mud for spawning beds.  They would work furiously for a short time, then swim off — I guessed to rest — then they would be back to furiously wallowing out their nest.

I tried several times to catch them in the act, but was never fast enough at getting my camera aimed and focused.   But right before we left, I thought, It must be about time for them to come back for another digging session.  So I had my camera ready — and, this time, caught a photo.

A fuzzy photo of one of the fish who was working on making the bed

A fuzzy photo of one of the fish who was working on making the bed

Another camper walked by while I was taking photos.  He told me that the fish were carp.

I also had wondered why I hadn’t seen any waterbirds while we were here.  Then I noticed one, just one, probably attracted by all the splashing the fish were making.  So I got a shot of that, too.

I felt like I had been given a gift to make leaving easier.

We were only an hour and a half from home.  When we got home and I saw the yard, I was just sick.  Our grass is knee high, and the place looks like it had been abandoned for months!

We definitely have our work cut out for us.  But it was so worth it to get away, visit family, feel sea breezes, get a Florida sunburn, then relax by the lake for a few more days.

Another bed-making photo

Another bed-making photo

 

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12 Comments

  1. How exciting to witness the fish making there breeding beds.
    I am so lucky that my daughter keeps my yard cleaned, Of course I don’t have grass but the weeds make their way in from under the gravel.

    • That was one of the most exciting things I’ve seen lately. I was so thrilled I was able to get a photo.

      The next time we plan to be gone this long, I think I’d better make arrangements for someone to mow at least once while we’re gone. I think one of our neighbors has a teenage son who might be interested.

      You are blessed to have a daughter to help out!

  2. EmilyO

     /  April 30, 2013

    I, like you, was facinated by the fish splashing around in the creek that runs thru town and by daughter’s house. When I would hear that splashing I knew for sure spring was here for sure. Now the creek is dry, due to our drought situation – still, so no splashing this year – hmm maybe that’s why spring is having a hard time coming. We have been warned that we might have snow tomorrow.

    • Oh, Emily. Dry creeks are so depressing. We just recovered from a multi-year drought. At one point one of our large lakes was mud flats. The low water levels everywhere was scary.

      And you are expecting snow! I was really starting to get depressed by the endless gray skies and cold weather here. Only our trip to Florida snapped me out of it. Now spring has finally arrived here for us.

      I hope yours comes soon… with lots of sunny skies interspersed with spring showers to make the creeks run again.

  3. I was sorry you had to leave, also! It looked like such a great spot, and all to yourselves!
    Then the reality of the yard work! But before you know it, you’ll be off to another adventure! Sounds like the dogs are settling down into a good routine on the road. Great photos and stories, as usual!

    • Kathy, having all that beautiful place to ourselves was such a gift. Sometimes I love having other campers around to interact with. And other times the solitude is priceless.

      Yes! Sheba amazed me on this trip. She almost drove us crazy at Ft. Pickens, but there were so many animals that would approach her so closely, especially armadillos, that she was just dying to chase them. But aside from that, she is content to stay penned and watch her surroundings as long as she gets at least 3 good walks a day. And if the sun is not beating down so she can ride to town in the truck with Ron, she is in absolute doggie heaven!

      She still doesn’t want to come into the trailer until bedtime, though. If it’s raining, she would rather we leash her under the trailer and leave her outdoors than make her come inside.

  4. The mystery of Mother Nature…those are some active fish! Ahhhhh the yard clean-up…this time of year it’s hard to keep up with it. Hoping you get to take off again REAL SOON!

    • I am happy that I am so easily filled with wonder at the natural world around me. I don’t have a lot of knowledge about some of the things I see, but they fascinate me.

      Ron has already started preliminary yard work. I’ll be joining him outside in a few minutes. My doctor told me I needed more exercise. This should make her happy! 😀

  5. Marcia GB

     /  May 1, 2013

    It can be hard to know where to start on the Spring yard work. Just pace yourself, maybe 2 hours a day until it’s done. Before you know it, your yard will be beautiful again!
    I got my daughter and son-in-law to help this year and it was amazing how much we accomplished. I’m so grateful they helped us. There’s only a little left and I hope to tackle it tomorrow 🙂

    Glad you had a good trip and look forward to your next one.

  6. Thanks for the tip, Marcia. It’s an overwhelming job unless I can break it down into smaller jobs. Two hours a day sounds like just the right goal to shoot for.

    So glad your daughter and son-in-law helped. What a blessing!

    We’re already looking forward to our next trip, too. I’m not sure exactly when it will be, but it will probably be someplace close to keep the gas costs down. But there are plenty of beautiful places within a two hour drive from us.

  7. Knee-high grass! Must be a healthy yard! We have gotten so much rain, the grass has been a chore…..David’s out mowing now.

    Our yard is a mixed pleasure and chore! Love it this time of year with all the new growth and greenery but it’s becoming impossible to maintain.

    Glad you were able to have such a good time! Now it’s time to pay the piper.

    • I did find out that Erma Bombeck was right. The grass really is always greener over the septic tank. 🙂

      I love coming home, but it is so much work. Wish I could be happy fulltiming. Would love to run away from all the maintenance and upkeep.

      But it sure did do wonders for my attitude and perspective to get away for 3 weeks.

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