Welcome to my first blog post!  I hope to post on many, many topics of interest here: from observations in nature, to artists of note, to people doing amazing things, to topics in science, to recipes.  Who knows where this will lead, but I am going to try to have some fun doing this and hope that you will enjoy reading these missives.

Things are getting really busy around here due to the impending radio release of my next album, REACH FOR THE STARS.  It already has already received an awesome review by Victoria Parks (Folkin’ Around with Victrola, WGRN Columbus.) Thank you Victoria!   I’ll be posting that soon enough, but right now I want to talk about what happened this afternoon.

I spent a good deal of the morning trying to focus on how to develop my artist page on Facebook only to become totally stressed and spent. This is not my cup of tea, but I am going to try to make it into something more palatable, and maybe even fun. That said, I would like to invite you to visit my artist page at facebook.com/elainemahonmusic.  I’m going to be spending more time getting that up to speed, and less and less time on my personal page. I will put a notice there whenever I post another blog. Since posts on my FB artist page are often not seen due to FB policy which wants you to pay real money to get your posts seen, you can be sure to stay up on my doings as a musician by clicking here to sign up to get my newsletter through email.

BACK TO THE STORY!  After a couple of hours spinning my wheels at the computer I felt the need for a break and so decided to go for a hike. Luckily I live only a short distance away from Paynes Prairie State Preserve. My husband and I drove over to the La Chua Trail on the East end around 4:30 PM.  As soon as we arrived we could hear the sandhill cranes in the distance. We’ve been going here quite frequently, but this time of year is especially exciting due to the diminishing water on the prairie, the increasing concentrations of migratory birds (especially sandhill cranes), and the abundant wildlife.

Today was not a disappointment!  Walking down the berm, we saw hundreds of alligators of all sizes sunning themselves in the muck and along the sides, some bedecked with crowns of hyacinths.  It was so warm that the great blue herons were standing with wings akimbo and their necks undulating.  The sandhill cranes were feeding very close by in great numbers along with greater yellowlegs, shovelers, blackbirds and grackles.  Soon we passed a small group of wild horses, and with them the most beautiful foal with a lovely brown coat and a bright white forehead –  white all the way down to the tip of his nose!  They were grazing within a stone’s throw of the cranes.  Further off in the distance were dozens of wild horses and cranes as far as the eye could see.  What a wonderful cacophony – I call it the lullaby of the prairie! Suddenly in the distance large flocks of shorebirds took to flight wheeling this way and that.  Through my trusty Eagle Optics binoculars I saw a bald eagle stirring up a cauldron of smaller shorebirds. Wheeling and banking in droves, the shorebirds careened this way as the eagle skimmed the water’s surface, and all the while the cranes looked passively on.  It was quite a spectacle.  As we approached the tower a group of about six bison traversed the area across from us, the water reflecting the bison, the setting sun and large flocks of sandhill cranes flying over us to their roosts.  At the tower we spotted one whooping crane aggressively feeding in the muck among the sandhill cranes. Off in the distance was what looked like a flock of white pelicans.
A few years ago I remember seeing hundreds of white pelicans here; but  this is the first time I’ve seen any here since them.  They are beautiful birds up close, but too far away this time to identify with 100% certainty.  Last but not least, at the end of the hike the resident Great Horned Owls serenaded us from the crowns of the live oaks across the sink.  I look forward to hearing them every time I come out, and they kept their appointment!

Needless to say, during the hike all my frustrations diffused, I felt renewed and refreshed.  We had a nice meal out on the way home, after which I sat down to write this first post.  So the lesson for the day?

Breaks are great, especially when they involve hikes in nature!

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to composing the next post!

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