She saw me. Looked twice. And sang a short welcome-home-song for me. Loud. From the heart.
Then she looked at me as in asking whether I liked it. Miss Rosa made me smile. And I felt welcomed back to the salt marsh.
I had finally managed to make the time for a walk to check on my feathered friends. And there was no doubt I was back in Florida. The salt marsh was blooming in all possible colors, delicate and bold.
I found the Mayor at his favorite spot on a small islet. He was in deep thought. Maybe pondering about the upcoming holiday party. It’s always a lively event at the salt marsh.
I noticed the herons and egrets had already started changing into their festive breeding plumage. Demonstrated here by the Snowy Egret, and the Great Egret little further away.
Mama Sandy was at the nest when I arrived. But she was scanning the skies where another Osprey was circling high up at a distance. She nodded a brief hello and flew away after a couple of minutes.
I was trying to get a picture of a Yellow-crowned Night Heron, who was hiding in the high grass, and a juvenile resting in the bushes right below the nest, when I heard Osprey speak.
I looked up, and saw Sandy fly right over the nest with Stanley following close behind. Courting behavior. And by flying right past the nest, I thought, Sandy gave Stanley a hint about the proposal gift and the customary dance expected to take place shortly. A strategic reminder that the time for Stanley to come back to the nest was getting close. Three weeks tops.
They flew together for quite a while and I decided to check who I could find on the bay side. On my way there, I saw this beautiful Northern Mockingird.
And was offered a demonstration in magic when a leaf on the ground suddenly started walking. One of nature’s little miracles.
On the bay side I was greeted by a flock of White Ibis feeding on a patch of grass. And then strolling back and forth on the sea wall.
Close by a female Red-bellied Woodpecker was working on a thick palm trunk. Most of the time only half of her body visible.
I was just leaving to go home when I spotted Stanley at the Sailing Center. He was not scanning for fish, instead he was staring intently at something in the direction of my home.
Walking back home, I spotted the object of his interest. Sandy was perching on the holiday decorated lamp-post closest to our driveway. Love is clearly blooming between the two of them. He couldn’t take his eyes off her.
When I reached our front yard, I noticed Sandy was watching me. She clearly knows where I live, and I hope she had missed seeing me when I was away. At least a little bit. It will be a privilege to witness their upcoming nest renovation project and hopefully get pictures of the chick(s) when the time comes.
We all wish you a great week. Cheers from the salt marsh ~
66 thoughts on “Homecoming. And Little Miracles.”
Tiny, all of these photos are so clear, sharp, and beautiful! You should travel and come home more often!
Smiling. I will have to travel a bit more now that my newest client is overseas, but that said I will try my best to uphold the standards anyway 🙂
I thoroughly enjoy your posts Tiny. It’s clear you have a passion, and knowledge of your local residents. It makes me wonder about living in FL. I’ve visited many beaches, but not lived at one. Do you ever get tired of the heat and humidity or lack of four distinct seasons?
I love living here, completely used to the summer heat and humidity. It’s funny that now, after 5 years, I feel there are clear seasons here too, but not as extreme. Fall and spring bring wonderful weather, winter is cool to mild, and summer is hot and humid. When one lives on the beach the heat and humidity is eased by the sea breeze – it feels much cooler than inland.
Thanks Tiny. What part of FL are you in?
I’m in central FL on the Gulf Coast.
What a glorious return to the Salt Marsh and wonderful start to the week! 🙂
Thanks Joanne! It was wonderful to see all the residents again – and Rosa was too cute 🙂
Another wonderful post Tiny, and such a home warming return from your salt marsh friends. I think they do look out for you, as you frequent their areas. I have had birds do this to me also a White-bellied Sea eagle and now at the moment a Grey Butcherbird, who greets me each morning, even though I never feed him. I love your clever yet simple story telling, and the beautiful clarity of your photos, it always makes for a most enjoyable read:-)
Thanks for your kind comment Ashley! I’d like to think these birds learn to know us. And it was so much fun to see them again, to find everyone in good health 🙂 I would love to see a Sea Eagle again…the last one was in Africa. We only have Bald Eagles here locally, a couple usually nests on the other side on the intra-coastal bay. Have a wonderful week, my friend.
Thanks Tiny, I am hoping that I will get to visit my Sea Eagle friend on New Years Day when I visit my previous home town, to visit my daughter’s family, we will see how it works out:-)
Welcome back to your colorful home!
Thanks Nancy. I was hit by the colors after the less colorful nature up north 🙂
Incredible photos, Helen! Glad you were able to re-connect with your salt marsh pals!
Thank you Kathy! They were all there…preparing for the courting and nesting season.
Of course they recognized and welcomed home their human! 😉
Wonderful pictures as usual my friend.
I got a much better reception than I deserve 🙂 Thank you my friend ❤
Kindred spirits. I’m sure you were missed and noticed. ❤
I thought I felt that too 🙂 Thanks for joining the walk, Cyndi ❤
What a blissful homecoming for you, Tiny. I sure enjoyed walking with you around the salt marsh, and oh, how truly wonderful each photo was. 🙂
Thank you for joining me for the walk, Jet. Much appreciated. And yes, it was wonderful to see everybody after almost three weeks 🙂
What a warm welcome you got from everyone, Helen. It’s always such a pleasure to read your narrative and see your amazing photos. That Walking Stick insect really does look like a leaf. I especially loved Miss Rosa singing her welcome-home song. 🙂
Yes, the welcome was wonderful, so much fun to see many of our friends again. Miss Rosa doesn’t have a great singing voice, but boy didn’t that song come from the heart 🙂 She always acknowledges me, and sometimes I think she poses for the photos. The Walking Stick fellow was too funny. Total camouflage!
What a lovely homecoming! I think they do know you and miss you. The picture of the northern Hummingbird is just beautiful and so clear!
It was a great homecoming! That Mockingbird on the fence was truly beautiful, there was something soulful about her, I thought 🙂 Can’t wait to get time to visit them again!
Thank you for the update with some great shots! A lovely welcome for you … And a budding story of romance for your readers. Good stuff!💛
Oh yes, definitely a budding romance going on. And I can’t get over the fact that Stanley proposes to Sandy every single year with a special gift and a sky dance…that’s royal treatment 😀
Indeed it is 👑
You are part of her world. It is wonderful isn’t to be accepted by the important ones. Your photos are wonderful and intimate.
It is truly wonderful to be accepted at some level by these beautiful creatures. Thanks for your kind comment, Cindy.
Gorgeous shots just beautiful! I lived in Florida for 3 years..not long enough I miss it every day!
Thank you Stacey. I’ve lived in many places across the continents, but this is one of the most beautiful ones…and so perfect for a nature lover.
Just gorgeous! Thanks for a great share.
Happy you enjoyed the neighborhood news, Nancy!
I love birds and I love your posts and I love miracles! So this was a wonderful post and such a blessing on this the Sabbath. Thanks. Love and hugs, N 🙂 ❤
Thank you, Natalie, for taking a walk with us in the salt marsh, and your very kind comment. I see more miracles now that I expect them and look for them 🙂 ❤
She’s baaaaaack. With a color extravaganza!
Yes. Back and delighted by all this color. Happy it pleased you as well, David.
What a welcome back you had. I loved the leaf that came to life, what a good picture.
I had seen a similar “Walking Stick” insect in Africa, but this was my first time to see it here. It looked just like a leaf on the walkway, then it rose up and walked away.
Simply glorious. What a homecoming.
How happy I feel I managed to join you and share with you this warm homecoming,dear Tiny!I’ve arrived here after hiking with you and the white doggie around childhood-homeland,I was spied by a “one-eyed Cyclops in the forest,I crossed over the the realms of the clouds and here I am listening to the welcome-home songs of your feathered friends!What a nice feeling to be with them again!Miss Rosa,the beautiful Herons and Egrets,Ibis in his pure white plumage and the eternally in love couple performing courting antics.Wonderful bird portraits once again and lovely floral composites!Have a brilliant day,my friend and enjoy more salt marsh walks 🙂 xxx
Thank you dear Doda for walking with me from the northern lands (and England) all the way back to the salt marsh 🙂 It was a beautiful homecoming! Right now I’m too busy with work, but try to free some time to take these walks – they are the best medicine for stress. Have a beautiful week, my friend 🙂 XX
Yes, The Mayor does appear to have a sort of ‘mid-space’ thinking stare going on doesn’t he Helen? A great collection of images, as always. 🙂
Happy you enjoyed the company of our friends, Hariod. I have often found the Mayor in a contemplative mood. I think he is good at “just being” 🙂
The gang definitely seemed glad to see you. Nice set of photos. 🙂
Thanks for coming along Kathy! I hope they were glad to see me, at least none of them flew away when I came. Apart from Mama Osprey, of course, but she had more important priorities to attend to 🙂
I love these pictures and I do truly believe you are as much a part of their lives and routine as they are a part of yours.
Thanks Holly! I hope you’re right, but in any case it was great to see them again after a few weeks.
Ah, Miss Rosa, so lovely and such a sweetheart to sing a song of welcome to you! The shot of her looking at you is priceless! You have so many colorful plants and creatures down there – it’s a wonderful treat for my eyes. The picture of the northern mockingbird is gorgeous. Looking forward to following the coming chapters of Stanley & Sandy’s love story.
These bird friends are so generous with me, like Miss Rosa who always poses for a photo. She looked at me immediately after her song and I was thinking she either wanted to know if I had liked it, or if it was too loud 🙂 That Mockingbird was very beautiful with “soulful” eyes. I look forward to the Osprey nesting season as well…and although I’m overly busy with work right now and until late spring, I hope to carve out enough time to go see them regularly.
Welcome home and thank you for sharing your walk with us. You certainly know where to find the most photogenic birds.
Oh, I spotted some other birds as well – and felt bad they didn’t make it to this post. Next time. Thank you for coming along.
Always a pleasure.
Welcome back. As always, love the pictures and commentary. I really liked the shot of the little bird (Northern Mockingbird) with the green fan-shaped leaf behind it. Really striking that one.
Thanks much! I thought that Mockingbird was beautiful too. It was quietly waiting for its picture to be taken.
My goodness – I am so excited for the up-coming Osprey generation. It’s going to be an exciting story watching it unfold with you.
I’m also looking forward to it. They were flying together again today when I was out with Bumble. I heard them talk, and if I’m not mistaken, it sounded like Sandy asked for fish.
Wow Tiny – was it REALLY all in one day?!?!? Great shots and beautiful wildlife. I saw spoonbills for the first time on Kiawah this year and was SO excited. We too have salt marshes and similar birdlife and I never get tired of seeing them. How lucky are we???
Yes, we are really lucky…and I love to follow some of these birds that I have learned to distinguish from others in their species. To be honest, I think I took the spoonbill pictures on the day before when I attempted a walk, but it started raining and I had to run back home. When I participate in the global bird count mid February every year, I have counted 21-28 different bird species per 1-2 h walk just around this area. Last February the total count for three days was 44 different birds that I could identify for sure. The north end of this barrier island is quite lively 😀
beautiful captures and captions, thank you for sharing my friend 🙂
Thank you dear Neha! Have a wonderful week ahead 🙂
Thank you! you too ❤