Life is good. Period.

I’m back from my self-imposed work exile! Phew. I survived, but that was something else. And the truth is I’ve missed you all. I have no idea what’s been going on, but now I’ll have much more time to find out. So hello everybody!

northern mockingbird ud58Thanks to Dylan, who wants to visit the dog park next to the salt marsh at regular intervals, I have some news to tell. But since you asked, I’ll first need to explain how the “dog stabilizer” works.

See, when we walk past Mama Sandy’s nest, I stop. Then I say “hi Mama”, and Dylan stops too. Unless a squirrel happens to be in the vicinity. If everything is good this far, I’ll check the settings and raise my camera. I say “wait for mama”. Dylan sits down and I can grab my camera with both hands while his leash is around my elbow. Performed like this, the “dog stabilizer” works about half of the time now. And we’re getting better. Like the other evening around sunset time when Miss Rosa was visiting the salt marsh.

miss rosa ud58That same evening we spotted the “Mayor” again, for the first time in a few weeks. I have a feeling he had some family affairs to take care of, such as feeding his young, on the bird island in the bay. It was lovely to see him again.

great blue heron mayor ud58When walking back from the dog park we saw both Papa Stanley and Mama Sandy in the nest – and two little heads peeking out. Dinner was over, but Stanley had stayed for a while. Maybe for some parental discussions.

osprey family at sunset ud58This morning we slept late. I mean I did, and Dylan let me. He sat on the floor next to the bed when I opened my eyes quite a bit after 8 am. Luxurious feeling after many late nights with too little sleep.

The first thing on the day’s program, even before a cup of coffee, was a walk at the salt marsh. And who flies in if not the Reddish Egret. The Clown of the marsh.

reddish egret 2 ud58But he was unusually calm at this relatively early hour. And I, of course, only had a few seconds of observation time. The “wait for mama” only works for so long.

reddish egret ud58The Osprey family had already enjoyed their breakfast. Only Sandy was visible from the ground. But when she started preening herself both chicks raised their heads. You can see how small the second chick is compared to the firstborn. But s/he is still hanging along, right under Sandy’s wing. The firstborn is already very curious about the world outside the nest and looked at us with great interest.

Mama Osprey with two chicks ud58We also spotted another baby, a young Little Blue Heron. She was really tiny, about 9-10 inches tall from top to toe. And there was just a first hint of blue on her. But she was brave, exploring the salt marsh all on her own.

Little Blue Heron in white phase ud58Just when we were leaving, we saw two other youngsters, Snowy Egrets. This one was really small too.

snowy egret 2 ud58So that’s the latest. Tomorrow I will start experimenting with my new camera gear. It’s time to have some fun. Life is good.

I wish you all a great week and look forward to catching up. Asap.


69 thoughts on “Life is good. Period.”

  1. Ahh….Such a beautiful post! Your photos are simply gorgeous, and I feel like I am touring the salt marsh with you! Thank you for sharing your beautiful slice of Heaven on Earth with us:-)

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Stephanie. I’m amazed that at least a few photos I’ve taken with Dylan in tow, have come out somewhat nice. The first weeks photos were all a big blur. Now I will have time to go on photo expeditions on my own too…I will not take on a big project like this last one any time soon 😀

  2. Welcome back! You were missed. And yes indeed “period”, life is good 🙂 Be well, my friend & I wish you a wonderful week as well. Xo

  3. Don’t know who I love more… Red Rosa, Stanley, Mama Sandy, the blue heron or Dylan.
    Yes I do … It’s Dylan for being there to support you and to be part of the evolving story of the Salt Marsh.
    I have a hunch he makes life even better 💛

    1. Oh, I think Dylan saved me from the worst stress during my work marathon last month. He took me out for over 3 miles of walks in the nature every day. A few pounds have rolled off and I can even jog with him now. Thanks Val ❤

  4. Dylan will sit for longer and longer as he gets to know how things are done. 🙂 Good to have you back my friend. You have been missed. ❤

    1. Oh I’ve missed you too! Wrote to you first thing yesterday after sending in my report 🙂 Dylan is a fast learner – and now I’m looking forward to a few photo expeditions on my own too!

      1. You are going to have fun experimenting with the new toys. 😉 Dylan looks like a super smart dog. I’m sure you both will have plenty adventures this summer.

        1. Yes, I look forward to “playing” with my new toys! I’m still also catching up on chores and blogs and…you name it 🙂

    1. That sounds great, Hien! The walks with Dylan (3-4 miles/day) saved my sanity in April, and now I can jog/run again with him. The first weeks pics were all blurry, then it has gotten better and better 🙂

  5. So happy to see you back, Helen, and to know you survived the work load. Dylan allowed you to get some really fantastic shots, so give him a pat from me. Love those baby osprey and the other cute juveniles in the marsh. Miss Rosa is looking so spectacular, and the Mayor really looks the part. I’m sure he commands great respect from the other inhabitants. Loved seeing the reddish egrets antics, as always. Thanks for a wonderful post. 🙂

    1. Thank you my friend! Taking pictures and writing/reading blogs feels like a great vacation 😀 after these five months, the last one being far too stressful. Walking with Dylan every day saved my sanity 😉 I am so happy to see the old friends and new juveniles return to the salt marsh. Most of these guys nest on a little island in the bay where people are not allowed, and as their nesting season is over they return with their kids. The Little Blue Heron was the smallest and whitest juvenile I have ever seen.

    1. I agree! I was so happy to see her back! And she was there last night as well, maybe sleeping at the salt marsh now. Even Dylan was full of admiration 😉

    1. I am already having fun! Feels like a vacation just to take pictures, eat, walk, read blogs and write…and sleep! I think I will avoid taking on such “big stuff” from here on 🙂

  6. It’s always nice to hear how the salt marsh family are going and you Helen. Coming home helps us all nurture and find balance again. Have a lovely week ❤️💚

    1. The salt marsh is now my “vacation destination” as the nature brigs me back to balance 🙂 Thank you Karen, and I too wish you a wonderful week ❤

  7. Wonderful to catch up! It’s been fun to see the little ones, again. 🙂
    What wonderful images you take; even the Dylan de-stabilizer can’t detract. And on that subject – What a luxurious life he is now living; quite the opposite, I’m sure, from his beginnings… Lucky little pooch. I know, I know… Lucky you, too… 🙂

    1. I’m hoping even the little chick will make it. It’s a mystery to me how they were born so far apart, usually it only 1-2 days. I have to tell you Carolyn, that it is amazing to see Dylan adapting to his new home. He is no longer saving food for later (he was found on the street) or looking for people with strollers or small kids on the sidewalk. I believe people who abandoned him had small kids. Now, after one month and three days at home, he is completely calm, cuddly, trusting and not wanting to go anywhere or look for anyone in particular. But we are the lucky ones. Definitely 🙂

      1. Yes, here’s hoping the littlest fellow will be OK.. I haven’t heard of this, either..!
        That is wonderful to hear, Helen. Our little ‘Beau’, who we’ve had now for 3 years, was rescued at 2 years. He had Parvo. Four of his siblings died. He was malnourished and generally very poor. He remains a little ‘scaredy cat’; though, he now knows he’s loved, and can be seen protecting the yard when another dog is out walking, etc. It’s wonderful to see him now, well fed and happy! And great company for our other little dog, Sweetie… They bring such joy!

  8. What magic you have given us here, Helen. Magnificent birds. And we’ve missed you too. And now you have a new companion as well. Life is indeed good.

    1. I have my new companion to thank for my sanity while working on the marathon-like home run on this project. He took me out so I could breathe, and late at night when I had put in more than 12 hours of work, he came to usher me to bed. We are happy you visited, Tish.

    1. He is getting there. He now knows not to chase birds, but instead to sit down and wait. But when there’s a squirrel I have to let him go …slowly…towards the tree where the squirrel by then had climbed up. The we both say “where did he go?” 😀

  9. Great to have you back Tiny, and to enjoy more of your great salt marsh pics! It is lovely yo look into the nest and see the babies growing, what a privilege. I love all the different colours your birds display, you have captured them so well. Dylan and you are doing fine I can see, I am so pleased for you, that he has become a good friend:-)

    1. Thank you my friend. I am happy to have more time now to enjoy the beauty nature has to offer, and I am happy Dylan lets me stop and observe the birds, at least for a few seconds 🙂 I love seeing the babies growing and so happy number 2 seems to be thriving too. It is a mystery to me why s/he was born so far behind the first one.

  10. Miss Rosa is looking especially lovely today! Love the expression on the firstborn osprey’s face. He’s probably starting to catch on that life is good and that there is a big world out there.

    1. It was no nice to see Miss Rosa. She was there last night too. And the firstborn is definitely interested in the outside world now – and also flexing his/her little wings already 🙂

  11. Life looks really Good there, Helen. Great captures! I so envy you… Look forward to see your photos via your new camera. 🙂

    1. Thanks Amy! It’s been too hot for the season here the last few days, feels like July! My new gear will require quite a bit of experimentation 🙂

  12. It’s so nice to hear from you again Tiny. Your marsh friends look so healthy and beautiful. Thanks for the post! 🙂

    1. Yes, everybody seems to be fine here! It’s been a bit quiet the last month or so at the marsh, but now everybody and their kids seem to be returning 🙂

    1. Thank you dear Hariod. the Egrets are beautiful birds, and the Little Blue Heron baby was so gracious in her almost white gown. She will be blue in no time 🙂

  13. I can’t imagine how you are going to take better pictures with your new gear as your present ones are already wonderful but I await the revelation with great interest.

    1. I’m hoping the revelation will be different types of pictures, such as macros or landscapes/seascapes or even long exposures. Bird pictures from the salt marsh are likely to be taken with my old “birding gear”.

  14. Glad your life is settling back into your usual routine, again. Although I must confess I’ve not been blogging until recently. My daughter marries in June so I’ve been very busy helping to plan her wedding. I’ll return to my normal routine after that. Looking forward to both…the wedding…and afterwards. hugs…

    1. Yes, I am happy to be back to my routine again. Wedding! How exciting for you! I still remember my son’s wedding and how busy I was, but his MIL was even busier 🙂

  15. What a difference in the two chicks, they do have quite a few days apart between births! With such a size difference, I’m glad bro/sis is cooperating in letting the little one get his/her share of meals. I’m sure food is plentiful, so no need to fight! 🙂 LOVE the shot of Miss Rosa, gorgeous!

    1. I think there might have been a couple of eggs in between that didn’t hatch for some reason. Papa Stanley brings in so many fish each day that there should be no need to fight for food 🙂

  16. I’m reading your blog backwards! I’m on my cell phone and navigating on this is not as easy for me as on my laptop! Hahaha. I wonder why the second hatchling didn’t make it? Were the ages too big? Did the first one trample the second one? It’s unfortunate either way and my heart is heavy still just thinking about the whys. You are a wonderful mommy and trainer to Dylan! Sounds like the dog stabilizer is coming along nicely. He is a very smart pooch for sure and so lucky to have you be his forever mom! Miss Rosa is a stunner. Her coloring, I’m sure, gets her some attention! Welcome home Helen! We missed you! Hope the weather is wonderful for you so you can have lovely walks! 🙂

    1. I now think that the there was something wrong with the second chick. S/he was born far too “late” after the first one, but I didn’t see any trampling by the first born. Mama Sandy would simple not have allowed it – I saw that last year when the oldest tried to “hack” on the youngest. Sandy punished him and he didn’t get any lunch at all that day. Sandy was now very sad for a couple of weeks, but she seems to have moved on now. Thanks for keeping us company, dear Koko! Hugs!

      1. It is amazing how they have the same kind of feelings as humans. Following them through you, I have learned their family unit is so similar. It’s wonderful to see. I can’t imagine how she must feel. Such a heavy heart. So happy she has a healthy babe to look after. I will not stop saying how you need your own National Geo show! Your observation and story telling is magical! Hugs to you and cheers for a happy day! Koko 🙂

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