Thanks for sharing, Steve.  I can't match that holiday sweep!

Independence Day Observation Observations:  

I celebrated today by visiting one of my favorite conservation areas--Prairie Home in Cooper and Moniteau Counties.  There was a fine selection to enjoy.  Among them was a hen turkey with 2 young ones struggling awkwardly to keep up as she ran from a roaring truck.  I still think Ben Franklin was right about the better choice for a national bird!

What a pleasure to be able to drive and walk freely in natural beauty, listening and watching birds, deer, rabbits, squirrels, butterflies and flowers.  What a wonderful heritage we enjoy.

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO

On Jul 4, 2015, at 7:55 PM, Dianne & Steve Kinder wrote:

> This fine Fourth of July morning I exercised my Freedom and Independence by walking the length of the Zell tract on the west side of Pershing State Park.
> A flock of 40+ White Pelicans soared overhead celebrating the beginning of the second half of the New Year.
> I didn't see any Groundhogs today but I did see a Whitetail Buck Deer with velvet covered antlers,that toasted the sight of me by snorting, throwing it's tail up, and running away. Several others had similar reactions. How Rude!
> The "wearing of the green" took on a new meaning as i walked through thick, chest high, vegetation.
> An Independent [ Solitary] Sandpiper was the only shorebird I saw except for Killdeer.
> Saw a total of a dozen Hooded Mergansers, several dozen Wood Ducks of various size and age, couple of Mallards, and a Surprise of a rare Summer male Northern Pintail in eclipse plumage. No Foolin!
>  There were a bunch of Canada Geese looking Thankful it's not Hunting season!
> A Belted Kingfisher was a nice gift, as were a Least Bittern, calling Pied-billed Grebes, and singing Marsh Wrens from the stands of Cattails.
> Catbirds, Cuckoos, Indigos,Yellowthroats, and Bell's Vireos kept me company along the way. 
> Dragonflies and Butterflies decorated the scenery.
> Lots of Redwings and Common-tailed Grackles snacked in the mucky marshes.
> A female Dickcissel announced little ones with a beak full of small yellow Grasshoppers.
> Fishy-sounding Crows bade me good-bye as I left the area.
> No Tricks, just more Treats, on the way and through Fountain Grove CA.
> Brown Thrasher taking a gravel dust bath.
> An- almost - Patriotic - Red, White,and Black Woodpecker.
> Yellow-breasted Chat Hooting & Hollering form a thicket
> Mr. Quail marching across the road. Then BOB WHITE ringing in my ears!
> An Eastern Kingbird Sentinel on a barbed wire.
> Crazy- sounding Gray Catbird making a fool of himself in a Blackberry Patch.
> Lark Sparrow flying off flashing it's white tail-lights.
> Couple of six-packs of Great Egrets surveying the muddy, after the flooding, mess.
> Wildflowers lighting the roadside. A bouquet for my Wife!
> Heading Home short on Time and Gas!
> Happy Holidays!
> Steve Kinder
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