Halloween at the Salt Marsh. Everything Transmogrified.

A few minutes after midnight I stepped out into the cool night. As I approached the end of our driveway, the pale crescent moon suddenly disappeared in red haze. It was pitch black. Then, slowly, a sparkling full moon appeared. I thought that was strange. But knew it would aid me on my visit to the salt marsh.

halloween-moon-3-ud88The gate into the park was closed, of course. But unlike any other night, a mean looking bird was guarding it.  His long bill was sharp and his left foot was raised as in a warning.

nature-reserve-forest-and-snowy-egret-halloween-2-ud88No admission. But stubborn as I am, I decided to climb over the low stone wall a little further down.

salt-marsh-stone-wall-3-ud88Right away I could see some hunching shapes on one of the small islands in the distance. A gathering of the ghosts perhaps? Halloween party? It was impossible to tell.

wood-storks-and-great-egrets-halloween-2-ud88Bang! The ground shook and lightning struck from the clear sky. It illuminated the osprey nest. From afar, it looked deserted and seemed to glow faintly in the moonlight.

osprey-nest-halloween-4-ud88I was frightened, but there was no turning back. So I walked closer. Suddenly I heard heavy wing beats right above my head. A large bat? I saw a huge creature land on the nest. He looked right at me and I thought his eyes were somewhat familiar. He didn’t say anything, just stared at me flexing his enormous wings.

papa-osprey-halloween-3-ud88Just under the nest, I could discern a glowing figure on the ground. Someone else was observing me too. It was spooky. And eerily quiet.

yellowcrowned-night-heron-playing-halloween-3-ud88The silence was broken by a bone-chilling scream. An apparition with a huge bill drifted right next to me. I started running.

papa-wood-stork-halloween-2-ud88Further out, I saw more dark shapes starting to gather at the far end of the marsh. Curiosity won over fear and I decided to investigate. Walking along the water line, I spotted large glowing fish in the deep pond. Monsters over three feet long.

fish-tarpon-in-the-salt-marsh-halloween-ud88I sensed many pairs of eyes were following my every step from the deep shadows. It was unnerving. But I kept going.

muscovy-duck-halloween-3-ud88

great-egret-halloween-3-ud88

squirrel-halloween-ud88As I came to the far end, I noticed action on the water. Someone was running for his life!

mottled-duck-run-on-water-halloween-ud88The poor fellow was chased by a much bigger creature, who was flapping his wings as he ran on the water. I could feel chills go down my spine.

reddish-egret-hunting-halloween-ud88Suddenly I came to a halt. A creepy feathered being was blocking the trail. He was huge! And he was scrutinizing me from top to toe from the corner of his eye.

great-blue-heron-halloween-2-ud88I started shaking, but finally he let me pass. I took cover under some short palm trees next to the water. That’s when I saw her. Her pink skirt was flowing in the cool breeze as she performed her dance at the edge of the pond.

roseate-spoonbill-halloween-2-ud88All action stopped. No running, no chasing, no fooling around. Complete silence as if all the creatures were holding their breath. Then wings started flapping. Loud applause reverberated in the night. I tried to clap too, but couldn’t. Something heavy was weighing down my left arm. It didn’t move.

dylan-halloween-ud88I woke up. And Dylan turned to look at me. I must have been screaming because the hair on his head stood up. I had dozed off and been dreaming about my friends at the salt marsh. All transmogrified just in time for Halloween. I turned off the TV and the light, petted Dylan and went back to sleep. Who knows what the night might bring. Happy Halloween folks!

57 thoughts on “Halloween at the Salt Marsh. Everything Transmogrified.”

  1. Wonderfully fun and clever post Helen. May all your nightmares be haunted by the creepy creatures of the deep, dark salt marsh. 🙂 I’m guessing this is some kind of filter to create the night-like photos?

    1. It was really spooky! It will probably be a year before I will go there at night again 😎 Dylan is such a great guard doggy, always sleeping one eye open. Thank you dear Lorrie 💕

    1. I’m almost sure I was dreaming…my shoes were dry and Dylan confirmed I had not left the bed…he still wanted his late night treat. Unless he fooled me 😉

  2. You are amazing Tiny! Your Halloween version of the Salt March is fantastic! It’s fun to participate, Tyler had a party Halloween celebration with a School and wore a Robin’s costume (cartoon hero). He had so much fun that was exhausted when back at home. Happy Halloween my friend! 🙂

  3. What an amazing story Tiny, so well told, you had us going there for a while. We are not into Halloween over here, it is not an Aussie tradition, though many of the young ones have taken it on. Enjoy your week my friend:-)

    1. Thanks for peeking into the Halloween party at the salt marsh, Ashley. Halloween is not a tradition where I’m from either, but my feathered friends are from here…so they decided to put up a show 😀

    1. I think I captured the only moment when the Snowy Egret has ever looked mean, but then, it was Halloween 😀 Happy you came along for this night-time walk, Barbara.

    1. I am happy you enjoyed this goofy post! It was so much fun to transform the normally so peaceful characters that the story practically wrote itself 🙂 Thank you, Jet.

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