Nightly Adventures. And Some Spying Activities.

On the last evening of ‘winter time’, Saturday last week, Dylan and I headed towards the dog park for the first time in almost two weeks. My foot had finally healed and Dylan had overcome his tummy troubles caused by the anesthesia earlier in the week. I carried my smaller camera just in case I’d be able to capture a few moody twilight pictures. Although the sunset still colored the sky in the south-west over the bay, the almost full moon was already high up on the sky.

almost full moon 2 ud112Arriving at the salt marsh, we saw Papa Stanley fly away from the nest. Perhaps after giving Mama Sandy, who was patiently sitting on the eggs, a good night kiss.

mama osprey in the dusk 2 ud112Otherwise the marsh looked deserted for the night. Suddenly I spotted something bright and familiar behind the bushes. Miss Rosa, whom I hadn’t seen for several weeks, was out and about having a late night snack. I was happy to see her even if I couldn’t get a clear shot.

miss rosa hiding ud112There were no other dogs at the park, but Dylan wanted to run around for a bit. It was getting so dark I could hardly see him, but I got this funny picture of him ‘flying’ past me across the grass. Obviously I had not set my camera properly.

dylan at thye dog park ud112The park is not lit at night and the gate was about to close when we headed back towards the street. We could see Sandy’s head sticking up from the nest right next to the perch.

osprey nest at disk ud112I’m sure she was already sleeping. Suddenly something big flew low past us. First I thought it was a Night Heron as I have sometimes spotted them this late at night. But this bird was much bigger. I took a shot when I saw him between the bushes.

older gbh the mayor in flight ud112It was the Mayor, the older and larger Great Blue Heron. No doubt about it. Hmm. My old suspicion that he might have a nest in the middle of the marsh came to mind again. Why would he otherwise visit the marsh at nightfall?

We walked home through the darkening bay side. It was peaceful despite the fact that the ongoing spring break had brought thousands of visitors to our area.

bay after sunset 3 ud112Then this week hit me with tons of work. But I kept on spying on Sandy and Stanley from our terrace from time to time. During the windy cool spell earlier in the week, Sandy was sitting tight with her head against the wind and I hardly saw her moving. Yesterday afternoon the temperatures reached balmy 62 F/17 C and I spotted Stanley on the perch looking at Sandy who was sitting on the eggs.

mama and papa osprey at the nest ud112Suddenly Sandy got up and checked on the eggs for quite a while. Maybe she was turning them to keep them evenly heated. You see, she can feel the temperature of the eggs through the receptors in her brooding patches.  Once she was up and moving around, I tried to peek into the nest cup with my zoom. It is surprisingly deep. Even enlarging my pictures by 200% and lightening them, it was impossible to see how many eggs she has. In one picture, I thought I saw three, but can’t be sure. You know my lively imagination. But we will know soon enough, in just a few days, how many eggs will hatch.

Sandy checks on the eggs ud112Then last night, Dylan and I went to the dog park again to celebrate that my busy work week was coming to a close. The sun was still up over the ocean, painting the skies and our garden in flaming colors. What a difference one hour makes!

sunset over the Gulf ud112

sunset tonight ud112The bay was basking in the glow as well. And we found a Great Egret fishing next to the Sailing Center.

the bay at sunset tonight 2 ud112.jpg

Great egret at night ud112And two American Oyster Catchers were having their dinner on the top of the rocks bared by the low tide.

two Oyster catchers ud112Part of the salt marsh was still basking in the last rays of sun, here seen through one of my usual hideouts. And Dylan had a few friends to run with at the park.

saltmarsh at sunset ud112I am hoping to get in a long walk this weekend to catch up with the latest ‘gossip’ at the marsh and its surroundings. And to catch up on your blogs as well.

Have a wonderful weekend. Peace.

59 thoughts on “Nightly Adventures. And Some Spying Activities.”

  1. Stunning photos Helen. I love the sunset and reflections shots particularly. They remind me of the beauty and how much I enjoy being out in nature at sunset or later at night when everything is quiet and peaceful.

    1. Happy you enjoyed these late night scenes, Brad. After the cool spell when we were in the low 40s, this weather we have now is gorgeous – the sunsets are magnificent. I am tempted to carry my camera more often. When Mr. D. has ran enough at the park, he’s very lax about me stopping to take pictures 🙂

  2. I hope you will do more of these nightly excursions. I usually visit public parks at the state and national level, and they always make sure everyone get out at sunset, so your account is not only informative but also unique as well. Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Hien – glad you liked the darkish pictures. This park closes about 30 minutes after sunset to allow people to go to the beach to admire it. Once or twice Dylan and I have been so late coming back through the marsh that the gate has already closed…but I know we can get out sideways, flat, between the stone wall and the iron gate 🙂

    1. Happy you liked our nightly adventures, Tish. First I intended to trash the picture of Dylan, but then I thought it showed how happy he is just to run around – and he’s very fast – even by himself. You are right, it says quite a bit about him.

    1. Thank you my friend! I have felt bad for not being in touch for such a long time, but there was anything and everything between our health issues, doctors, vets, friends from abroad visiting, son visiting…and tons of work as a 3rd project suddenly popped up. But all is good and I will write shortly. Hugs ❤

    1. Thank you, Susan. Happy you enjoyed our nightly adventures. We are all good now and my work crunch is over, back to normal speed now. Have a nice weekend.

  3. Great nightly outing with you, Helen. Love the photos you bring home. ❤
    We are very happy to see that you and Dylan are doing so much better now! 🌹😊

    1. Thank you dear Dina ❤ Happy you liked the darkish evening pictures Dylan and I took jointly. Once he gets to run, he is very patient with me when I stop to take pictures 🙂 It is good to be back in the books of healthy again, and otherwise in a much more 'normalized' situation at work.

  4. Hello Helen,
    I feel your pain re: work getting in the way of everything. I’m glad the long week is behind you and you could catch up with your Marsh friends. Wishing you a restful weekend 🙂

    1. Thank you, dear Takami. I’m always trying to balance work and life, but sometimes work just takes over life and one cannot do much about it. I did get a good opportunity to catch up with marsh friends yesterday…and might be able to sneak in a visit to the beach today. Have a wonderful week, my friend 🙂

  5. Gorgeous photos, Helen. I love the one of Dylan flying past. How exciting that it will soon be time for the eggs to hatch. I love the idea of Stanley giving his wife a goodnight kiss. 🙂 So glad that you and Dylan are now recovered. xx

    1. Thank you, Sylvia. Yes, we are finally fully recovered…and I am trying to avoid work crunches like the one last week, which of course was partly of my own making. The hatching of the first egg should happen this week…so I am going to hang out on my terrace to see if I can spot a small mouth waiting to be fed 🙂 Exciting times. XXX

  6. Often when we are busy and tired, we forget to rejuvenate and connect. Your photos and blog always remind me to reconnect and make time for me. Thankyou Heken. Have a wonderful week.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Karen. Somehow I feel the evening walks, when Dylan and I have the park almost for ourselves, are very peaceful. The only ‘con’ is that it is so difficult to get good pictures …handheld and with Dylan in the tow 🙂 I wish you a beautiful week.

  7. Great photos my friend! It should be matter of days and you’ll have little ospreys to make you happy. Have a great weekend Tiny! 🙂

    1. Yes, I am looking forward to spotting little mouths waiting to be fed. I hope the hatching will be successful…maybe more than one, I hope. Thank you, my friend 🙂

  8. Loved your post, especially how you captured the dusk light. It is such a credit to you to see Sandy and Stanley nesting peacefully, you made it happen for them my dear friend. It is always a delight to take a trip with you through the salt marsh, as Dylan would indisputably agree. Loved your Oystercatcher photo most of all, they look so much like our Australian Pied Oystercatcher, which an endangered status in our state. Have a wonderful week Tiny!

    1. Thank you, Ashley. The new nest looks so shallow, but I think it is an illusion. It is actually fairly deep and nothing has flown out in the storms we had early last week. For a couple of days the cold wind was blasting at 25m/s and gusting up to over 40m/s at times, but the nest is completely intact. Now I am just waiting…if my calculations are correct and everything goes well, we should see a hatchling this week 🙂 I wish you a wonderful week, my friend.

    1. Yes, always something going on, even in the darkness 🙂 I am sure your spring will be gorgeous. That change is something I kind of miss here. Thanks Stephanie!

    1. That picture of Dylan was a ‘fortunate mishap’ 🙂 I am watching the nest carefully several times a day now from my terrace, to see if I can spot a little head. Sandy moves around much more now, so either there is one hatchling already or just about to be.

  9. Good to read both you and Dylan are recovered. Daily walks and beautiful sunsets; Miss Rosa and The Mayor; all is peaceful and calm!
    Looks like we’ll be celebrating soon the arrival of a mini Sandy and/or Stanley. What a great difference their new home will make for them. No concerns about rickety building standards, or lack of space…
    A pleasure to visit, Helen. All is well with the world at the Salt Marsh! 🙂

  10. Thanks for being here, Carolyn. I was so happy to note that despite strong winds last week nothing really flew out of the new nest…and now I’m going onto the terrace several times a day in a quest to find out if there’s a new little mouth to feed 🙂 Any time now…

  11. Gorgeous, detailed moon image, Helen! Sandy must have an eye for color, I thought it was interesting to see all the ‘colors’ in her nesting materials. 🙂 Glad you and Dylan are back up and walking!

    1. Sandy really likes color. She brought a piece of blue nylon rope into the (old) nest 2 years ago and it’s still there. And later in the spring she usually brings in flowers. I was surprised how well the moon came out because I took the image handheld with Dylan’s leash around my elbow. Have to have luck sometimes 😀

    1. Thank you, Otto. I am not that good at night pictures, but practice improves the skills – as always 🙂 I think that the time just before dark is very peaceful.

  12. Sweet Tiny no matter how many times I come and view your wonderful pictures I am in awe. That moon shot is amazing. I love all of these shots. The one of Dylan gave me a smile I think it is cool, he was going full speed ahead it appears. Hugs and give Dylan nose kisses for me.

    1. I took the “Dylan flying by” shot on completely wrong settings, I had forgotten I took the moon picture 🙂 But I kind of liked that mishap. Thank you for being here, Mags! Dylan is completely fine now and send nose kisses to you, Chancy and Pooh.

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