The eagles that live around Juanita Bay are busy hunters. However, hunting requires a load of effort and it is surely easier to steal someone else’s meal. An otter had caught a fish and climbed on to one of the buoys that mark the protected area of the bay to eat it. As it got close to finishing, one of the eagles swooped in and grabbed the remainder of what it had. The otter didn’t seem too bothered so maybe it had eaten the best of the meal and was okay to let the eagle take it without a fight. The eagle went to the osprey perch and then ate whatever was left.
It is possible to spend a lot of time watching a heron hunting without seeing anything happen. Their ability to stay still for extended periods of time awaiting prey is impressive. You hope you will get some catch at some point and that it won’t happen behind something that stops you getting a shot. One of the herons in Juanita Bay was having some good luck catching sticklebacks. The only problem was that it would often get other debris at the same time.
After the strike, the bill would have a fish wriggling around in it and some leaves or twigs alongside. The trick was how to release the surplus material to allow the fish to be eaten without giving the fish a chance to head for freedom. Clearly this is a regular feature of a heron’s life and the technique has been practiced but I watched with anticipation as it got rid of what it didn’t need and allowed the fish to be swallowed. The stills don’t give you much idea of how much wriggling was still going on as the fish went down the throat!
Trying to see the wolves at a zoo is not always an easy task. They tend to like to find a place to relax that is out of sight so, unless they are active, you might struggle to even see them. We got lucky on our last visit to Woodland Park Zoo as we came past the wolf enclosure (the second time as it happened) just at the time they were being fed.
I’m not certain what they were being fed but it looked like rodents of some sort. They would toss the food to the wolves and they would grab something and then head off somewhere away from the others to eat in peace. That included one that came our way. It was making quick work of its snack. The sound of the food being bitten through was slightly unnerving but, thankfully, the pictures don’t convey that so you only have to look at the outline of whatever it was they were eating!
The Wild Bites food stands were scattered around the zoo. One of the restaurants was serving a salmon dish. They were set up right next to the bear enclosure. The two brown bears in the enclosure seemed to be very interested in the food. The smell of the fish was wafting in their direction and their noses were twitching like crazy. They had been given their own food at the same time but I think that they were a lot more interested in our stuff than theirs. I can’t say I blame them because it did taste great.
A day trip to Kamakura was tagged on to the end of my visit to Japan. It was a train ride of about an hour south of Tokyo to a coastal town. We were heading there because of a large statue but that will get it’s own post in due course. Coming out of the station, we are immediately on a narrow street that is filled with food and shopping.
Kamakura is known for little fish called shirasu. They can be eaten raw or cooked and everywhere we went on this street, you could have shirasu added to your dish whether it was a hot dog or pizza. I chose not to try it out. Given the intense heat and humidity at this time of year, a lot of the food stands were devoted to ice cream and frozen foods. Not a bad idea. I wonder what they sell at cooler times of year.
The Morton Arboretum schedules some pleasant evening events at this time of year. Last year we went to one of these and I blogged about it at the time. In that piece I was a little annoyed with myself because I hadn’t taken my camera with me and had to make use of my phone in a situation that really would have merited something a little better. This time I made sure to be a little better prepared (although I was out of the door before I realized the bag with the camera in it was still in the spare room!).
The evening consists of a jazz quartet, a bar (several actually) and the chance to order some tapas from the countless staff taking care of things. As the evening comes in, sitting out in the fresh air with the lake in the background, listening to jazz and enjoying a pleasant glass of sauvignon blanc while snacking on some tasty morsels is certainly not the worst way to spend some time.
As we headed out to the arboretum, it started to get quite cloudy. This was not what I was hoping for but it was higher level cloud and the temperature was not dropping much so being outside should still be okay. Indeed, that was the case and, as the evening drew in, the clouds drifted away and we were left with some really lovely conditions. We munched and slurped and listened to the jazz. I am not a huge jazz fan to be honest. However, after a glass or two, I became a lot more appreciative. Did they get better, did I get more attuned or does jazz always sound better with a gentle buzz?
As the event was getting closer to the end, we decided to take a stroll around the lake. It was amazing to see how much activity there was from the local wildlife. Normally this is the busiest part of the arboretum so I guess everything gets scared off. In the evening, it felt alive with wildlife – particularly the birds. (There were plenty of bugs in the air so the swallows were feasting!) As the sun got low, the scenery glowed with the evening light and it was a great way to finish off the visit.