Last Sunday was my birthday. Not that I need to be reminded of the years piling up, but it was a great day. A balanced affair of spectacle and peace. The spectacle was provided by the annual Clearwater Speed Boat Race, and the peace by the birds … and other good friends and family.
After a night of torrential rains, the morning was beautiful.
I took a long walk on the beach, where the birds were getting breakfast and people of all ages were preparing to watch the boating event of the year.
Some were more interested in other explorations, of course.
On the ocean, thousands of boats were lining up along the 2.5 miles long race track. And helicopters were circling overhead. Quite a spectacle!
I decided to seek my peace in the nature reserve. On my way there I saw something remarkable. Papa Osprey was flying in after a swim in the ocean. When he approached the nest, he shook himself in mid-air, almost like a dog would do, to get rid of excess water. I had read that ospreys do this, but never seen it before. Unfortunately my camera was in its bag as I tried to negotiate a path to the park that wouldn’t require a swim suit.
When I reached the nest, Papa Osprey was there. All spread out under the natural hair dryer. He was still wet and held his wings up to dry his underpants. He gave me a friendly birthday nod, but it’s difficult to say if he smiled.
I also spotted a Great Egret perched on a tree near the osprey nest. After posing politely for a photo, she flew away over the water.
It was getting hot and the Great Blue Heron, whom I’ve named the Mayor of the Marsh, was seeking shade hunched down in the bushes.
I stayed in the park for a while receiving calls from family abroad, and snapped another picture of him little later.
Herons were out in force that morning. I saw a Yellow Crowned Night Heron and a Green Heron too. While the latter is most often perched on a tree looking like he’s dreaming of some faraway place, now he was hunting and all stretched out.
And what would a birthday be without a Tri-colored Heron showing off his beautiful colors. This time I saw him hunting, diving right into the water.
And then shaking his feathers. The gracious little bird was all buffed up.
So after getting my peace in the morning, I came home and we watched the speed boat race from our terrace. Luckily they raced at some distance. No water spray on our lunch, but the engine roar was clearly audible. I’ll put a few pictures here for the boat enthusiasts in the readership.
The rest of the day was lots of fun, culminating in a sumptuous seafood dinner with friends and family. Bang Bang Shrimp, Rainbow Trout, and chocolate… I could do it again. Any day.
I will probably be posting/reading a little less than usual in October as I’ve a few travels planned before NaNoWriMo hits in November. I hope your week is going well.