windy beach sand key clearwater

A Wild Dance Just Because It’s Summer.

This morning when I took a quick walk on the beach and in the nature reserve, I witnessed something really funny. A Reddish Egret, not a permanent resident in the salt marsh, was walking frantically back and forth in the shallow water. Fast. Like he was crazy busy. That’s what Mondays do to you, I thought.

reddish egret bird 728
A Reddish Egret walking fast…

Then, suddenly, he went into a wild dance. Feathers stood up on his head and he flexed his wings vigorously, one at the time. Swinging like he was hearing an inner tune.

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A wild dance (check out the eyes!)

Right after the brief dance, he turned around with lightning speed and picked up something eatable from the water. I wonder if the dance was to put the prey under his spell?

reddish egret fishing 728
Gotcha!

I have not seen anything like that before. I was laughing, LOL’ing in fact, if you know what I mean.

I had to do an extra 1/2 mile swing to see if Papa Osprey was still hanging around on his favorite palm trunk.

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Papa Osprey on his palm trunk seat

And there he was! Handsome as always. It’s nice to see he didn’t move very far. He didn’t talk today, just nodded a greeting. I guess it was getting too hot.

I hope your week has started well. Maybe with a wild dance just because it’s summer?

Luangwa River View Zambia

Throwback Thursday: Lions out of Focus

Generally speaking, focus is the central point of attention or activity.  We may agree that it’s important to focus on whatever we want to get done. I’d like to add that how we focus on something may actually determine whether or not we’ll live to tell the story. Seriously.

I learned this lesson many years ago in South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Before dinner on our first day at the safari lodge we opted for a sunset game drive. We climbed into a typical “safari jeep” ready for an adventure. Our guide drove us around the park and we saw many different types of antelopes, zebras and water buffaloes. Very exciting! But more excitement was to come.

antelope in Zambia
A large antelope in South Luangwa National Park

About an hour into the drive, our guide told us that before we’d return to the lodge for dinner, he would drive us down to the Luangwa River to see the sunset. It was spectacular, he said, and we might spot animals who come there to drink in the early evening hours.

A few minutes later we approached the river banks. Already from afar, we could see a herd of elephants crossing the river.  We stopped on the high river bank and the driver left the engine running (we were in the wild). My hubby, who sat in the front passenger seat, rigged his camcorder.

Elephants crossing Luangwa River Zambia
A herd of elephants crossing the Luangwa River (click to enlarge)

The view was magical. On the left side of the vehicle we could see elephants of all sizes: large adults, youngsters and adorable babies.  And on the right side a gorgeous African sunset. My hubby was recording for dear life.

Luangwa river Zambia
Sunset on Luangwa River

That’s when we spotted a group of female lions. They were basking themselves in the last rays of the setting sun, probably strategizing about the upcoming hunt. They were very close and very calm.  We watched them breathlessly from the relative safety of our vehicle.

A lioness on the banks of Luangwa River
A lioness on the bank of Luangwa River

Suddenly my hubby moved. His eye still on the viewfinder he stepped down from the open jeep to get a better view. And landed right in front of the lions! He was so focused on capturing the sunset that he had not seen what all others saw, the lions. In an instant, he was the easy catch, a free meal, so to speak. I was about to scream, but the driver was faster. In a fraction of a second and without a word he grabbed my hubby’s arm and pulled him back into the vehicle. Then he backed out of there, slowly and calmly.

Luangwa River Zambia
Luangwa River at sunset

That was a close call. My tiny lesson was that how we focus on something matters. Of course we should focus on what needs to get done. But not so narrowly that we lose sight of what is going on around us. Things can change fast.

 

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Summer on the Beach. Water Fun and Guard Duty.

It was a fairly stormy week. On so many levels. Sun and the blue skies returned just in time for the weekend. It was soothing to sit on the sand and listen to the ocean waves rolling in.

Sand Key Beach Clearwater Florida
Brilliant summer day on our beach

When it’s sunny it’s hot. Lots of people were having fun in the water and on the water too. Birds were taking frequent baths.

Fun on the water Sand Key Clearwater
Fun on the water

This “new-guy-on-the-block” osprey had just been taking a cooling bath and sat under nature’s hair dryer next to the bay. He was shaking his wings and airing his feathers. And keeping an eye on me in between.

osprey drying himself Sand Key Clearwater
Hi Tiny, it was a good swim!

I also spotted papa osprey again! He had taken over the coveted curved “seat” on a dead palm tree. He had been swimming too, but was already almost dry. Still preening his feathers when I arrived. He discovered me soon enough and said his hello :) Lovely as always.

Papa Osprey preening his feathers
Papa Osprey preening his feathers
male osprey Sand key Park Clearwater
Papa Osprey on a nice “seat” up in the palm tree

In the nature reserve, the ducks were having a family reunion. On the water, of course. They were taking turns in soaking their heads in the water. Or maybe it was a diving competition?

Mallards in the salt marsh of Sand Key Park Clearater
Mallard family reunion

One mallard was not playing. He had guard duty. The spoonbill was sleeping. Too much sun makes you sleepy.

mallard and roseate spoonbill clearwater
On guard duty…

I think it’ll soon be the time to put Bumble on guard duty too and call it a day.

Have a wonderful week ahead. ♥ Tiny

 

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My Dream. A 33 lb Bag of Dog Food.

Tiny:

How much is 99 cents? Bumble provides a short piece of economic theory…and reminds that today, Sunday, is the LAST day to get the Kindle Edition of his book for 99 cents.

Originally posted on Firdemonte Press:

Hi there! This is Bumble again. The rescue dog with a blog and wry humor – according to a recent Editorial Review of my book. I admit my humor is a bit dry, or wry, but that’s me. You get what you see. I wish all humans were that way too. But I’ve learned that some people have many faces, like the woman in my first house. She could be so mean to me and my sister when we were alone in the house with her, but when she took us out or to the doctors, she put on another face. A loving human’s. And she lied out of her ears to always look good to others. Oh, well. With 20/20 hind sight, as mom always says, I’m happy the woman left us at the shelter that Christmas Eve many years ago. We both found our loving forever homes with the help of their wonderful…

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