Earlier this week, I decided to go look for signs of fall here in my neighborhood. Even in nature that’s mostly evergreen, there should be some signs of the seasons changing. Other than somewhat cooler temperatures with occasional cold fronts, shorter days and migrating birds.
When I looked carefully, I found some seasonal colors in our garden, on the beach, around the bay and the salt marsh in the park. We don’t see the type of stunning color palettes you have up north, but I found a few small spots of eye-popping color. I hope you like the Florida fall colors I picked up on my walk.
Sending warm thoughts and prayers to those blogging friends who experienced the epic snow storm this week, and are now expecting flooding. Please stay safe. You can read about their struggle on Amy’s blog.
This past weekend was a delight. The weather was gorgeous between two cold fronts, but even more importantly our son popped in for a short visit. After all the good eating, I took him on a walk to enjoy the beach and to introduce him to my winged friends in the salt marsh. I hoped they would behave. Or at least not go into hiding.
The ocean was sky blue and calm. Sailing school students were gathering for a class little further out.
Pelicans were flying back and forth close to the water, tiny Sanderlings were running around on the sand picking food, and to my surprise a Snowy Egret was fishing in the calm waves rolling in. A welcome committee already on the beach.
When we reached the north end of the beach, Mister Blue Heron had courteously come to welcome us to the park and the salt marsh. I made introductions and we got some nice pictures.
As we walked through the park, we spotted a beautiful Mourning Dove in the grass. And reaching the salt marsh we observed a Tricolored Heron fishing in the shallow waters. I was happy to see we still had some visitors. A team of Wood Storks was guarding a sleeping Spoonbill. He was taking an after lunch nap, I assumed.
I made some quick introductions again, but was in a hurry to see if I could introduce my most cherished friend, Papa Osprey. And he didn’t disappoint.
He was having lunch. He saw I had someone important to introduce so he interrupted his eating for a while to say hi. So very thoughtful of him. After saying our goodbyes to him we walked back home. And saw a new guy on the block circling high above the beach, a Turkey Vulture. I have no idea whether he’s moved in or was just visiting over the weekend.
It was a great weekend, but now we’re all back to work. Mine being to finish the first draft of my second book before the end of the month. I’ll need to catch up on my word count as writing was not a priority over this particular weekend. I’ll try to catch up on your blogs as well this week.
Earlier this week, I went out for my usual greet-papa-osprey run around the salt marsh, and landed in the middle of a migration conference with over 100 participants! The place resembled a luxury resort, with guests sprawling around every table at the lunch buffet.
I’ve never seen so many birds in this salt marsh! Dozens of migrating Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Wood Storks were visiting. I was delighted, but the permanent residents didn’t quite share my enthusiasm. The crowd was a bit unruly at times. Tempers flared, voices – and hairs - were raised.
There were a few really loud exchanges. Followed by rearrangements at the tables. Or maybe I should say, adjustments in the pecking order.
But for the most part, the conference luncheon went smoothly. Everyone got their pickings, big or small.
After lunch some quests embarked on their exercise routines, while others chatted with their peers. Exchanging the latest. Some paraded the calm waters, showing off their beautiful gowns.
I noticed that some permanent residents tried to keep away from the hubbub, seeking calm corners to hide in until the conference would be over. Some stayed out of sight altogether, like the Night Herons.
A few elected to let it all pass, and moved to the relative calm of the bay side.
That included the “Mayor of the Marsh”, Mister Blue Heron. I assumed he got tired of policing the crowd.
But Papa Osprey wouldn’t be moved. He’d been there, done that. He knew peace would return in a couple of days.
And it did. This morning the marsh was calm again, and the twenty odd residents were able to enjoy their home in peace, like the Great Egret does in the featured image.