Saturday, December 03, 2005

Mystery Bird

For all you folks from my book group waiting to hear about your dinner, don’t worry you’ll get your 15 seconds of blog fame eventually. Today I have bird mystery though. At least it’s a mystery to me. I took this picture yesterday on my walk around Fresh Pond in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My guess is it’s some kind of bittern or heron. Bitterns I’ve seen always looked hunched up and this fellow looks hunched. After looking through Peterson’s field guide I’m not sure what it is. The black at the bottom of the bird is confusing me. I’m thinking maybe a cold hunched up great blue heron, but this bird just looks different from the great blues I’ve seen while kayaking on rivers during the summer. Any ideas? I know the picture isn’t great. I wish my camera had more zoom power. You can click on the picture to get a larger image.

Today Fresh Pond is a reservoir of drinking water for the city of Cambridge Massachusetts, but over 100 years ago it provided ice that was shipped as far away as India. The ice cutting industry was one of the major business enterprises in 18th and 19th century Boston. At the center of this huge industry was successful entrepreneur, Frederick Tudor, better known as the "Ice King”. The invention of refrigeration eventually put an end to it all. If your library has the book ‘Ice King: Frederic Tudor and His Circle’, it’s worth checking out to read about a very successful entrepreneur and a once major industry that is virtually non-existent today.

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