I just had to go to the salt marsh on Christmas Eve while my turkey was cooking. Needed to wish Happy Holidays to all my feathered friends, and deliver the greetings many of you sent to the “team”.
Upon arrival I was greeted by a dragonfly in full holiday attire. She was busy, just posed quickly for the photo shoot and then flew away.
A Great Egret was playing Santa and delivering Christmas gifts. No reindeer needed. He left a small package in the grass, not far from the osprey nest. Maybe a treat for Papa Osprey?
In a tree next to the deep water, a Green Heron was happily guarding his stocking. It had already been filled by Santa, and was now hanging securely next to him.
Then I heard music! An Ibis was singing carols, accompanied by bells in a nearby tree. His deep baritone entertained everyone in the salt marsh for quite a while. Including me.
When I arrived at Mama Osprey’s nest nobody was home. I sat for a while on my usual bench admiring her decorations. Suddenly I saw her fly in with a huge branch! She has started restoring the nest on her own! She worked hard before she was happy with the placement of this large beam. I was impressed. Again.
After wishing them all Happy Holidays, I hurried back home to check on my turkey. It was a nice little walk before all that eating 🙂 Many more walks are needed, however, in the next few days.
PO, Bumble and I say thanks for the many beautiful cards received from blogging friends thanks to Jackie’s Great Christmas Card Exchange! And we thank you all for being such an inspiring part of our year. ❤ Tiny
Ps. This post has been edited after publishing when I discovered that Papa Osprey (PO) actually was Mama Osprey.
I like the sentiment of a quiet eye. An eye that not only sees the blessings we have, but also the blessings we can give to others. An eye that appreciates the message and the joy of the Season. And sees into the life of all things, much beyond the hubbub going on around us.
The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. – Christopher McCandless
Last night was gorgeous, clear skies and calm waters all around us. The lights from the beach establishments reflected beautifully on the strait between the ocean and the bay at the north end of the nature reserve.
And the bay side did not disappoint either. With the lights from the city dressing up its calm waters, the bay looked somewhat more grown-up and sophisticated than the laid back birds’ paradise I’ve often pictured.
Approaching home in the cool night after a walk with Bumble, the lighted palm trees brought a warm feel of the approaching holidays.
That was last night. This morning was a different story. We woke up to an eerie landscape. Only a builder’s crane stuck up from the fog on the beach side of the strait.
Then, gradually, we could see the tallest buildings, the nature reserve and the ocean emerge from the fog.
I was on my second cup of coffee, when the fog finally drifted on to the ocean like a long snake on the water.
As the salt marsh was clearing from the fog, I had to check on Papa Osprey. He was in the nest, perched on his favorite spot enjoying the first rays coming though the fog. But he had no breakfast. I was happy the visibility was rapidly increasing, PO could finally go fishing.
I hope you enjoy your fishing today, wherever it might take you. May your horizons be pleasant and your suns bright.
It’s been a busy week for many of us. But for the birds in the salt marsh it’s been a cool and quiet week. Lots of hunching and huddling, rain and winds early in the week, then cool temperatures throughout.
Walking into the salt marsh the other day, however, I was in for a surprise pre-holiday sing-out. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a beautiful song performed flawlessly by a Northern Mockingbird.
Next, I approached Papa Osprey’s nest. Eyes half closed, and looking like an opera singer, Papa was singing his heart out! It was a long and beautiful song. The chorus repeated twice. I wish I understood the lyrics, but I have a suspicion that he was singing for Mama Osprey. “It’s almost Christmas…Darling come home!” Or something similar.
Nearby, a beautifully dressed Snowy Egret was singing too. The subject of his affection might have been a shy-looking lady on the other side of the water.
Little further out an Ibis was serenading…someone. I’m guessing it was one or all of the girls in a tree nearby.
Then I heard another Osprey calling. And singing. It proved to be Papa’s friend Steve. Maybe he was calling for Mrs. Steve, whom I haven’t had the pleasure to meet as yet? Or just getting into holiday spirit? I have no idea, but he was certainly participating in the sing-out wholeheartedly.
A slow warming trend has been promised for the weekend and into next week, so the birds have something to look forward to even before the holidays.
I hope your weekend will be warm – in the home and in the heart. ❤ Tiny
I came back home last night to the tune of strong winds and a passing cold front. By this morning, the wind had calmed down a bit and the skies were blue again, but it was cool. I would say cold, but I don’t want to offend anyone. Anyway, I felt the need to get moving again this afternoon so I went out for a walk to check on my feathered friends.
The beach was quite stormy. And completely empty, apart from a few Willets. When passing the salt marsh, I found the birds hunching in the grass or hiding in the trees. Even Papa Osprey and his friend Stanley were not perching upright as they usually do. That’s what a cold front does to you.
The birds were clearly feeling the chill. Winter has arrived to Florida. And that means the start of the nesting season for many residents in the salt marsh.
Speaking of nesting, I have to tell you something I discovered later this afternoon. I saw Papa Osprey flying together with another Osprey. And singing. I took some pictures of them on the run and when I enlarged them, I saw the other Osprey also had a “necklace”. Stanley and Steve don’t have one, but Mama Osprey does. Couldn’t be sure though it was her so I leave it like that. We’ll see soon enough.