Multitasking. On Wings and on Foot.

Hi everybody! I can’t believe I’ve been absent from here since mid August. Life has been overly busy since I returned from my summer vacation in Sweden. That doesn’t mean it’s been all work, not by a long shot. Lots of fun with family and friends too. But time has wings. And the faster they flap, the more difficult it becomes to slow down and pause.

After checking on our salt marsh friends this morning I decided it was time to sit down, pause and reflect back on my late summer adventures. So here it is. A long hodgepodge of birds, rhinos, sea creatures, travels and reflections.

Grandkids ud170I’ve been lucky to spend quite a bit of time, on several occasions, with ‘my girls’. They have an incredible curiosity and desire to discover – and the energy to match. So we’ve been on ‘safari’ in Busch Gardens observing the rhino family, mom, toddler and dad…

baby rhino and mama ud170

rhino ud170… lots of stripy zebras and numerous different antelopes …

zebra ud170

antelopes ud170…and several families of giraffes.

two giraffes UD170Even some beautiful flamingos.

flamingo UD170That was a full 12 h day of countless rides and animals! Fireworks at the end of the day, both literally and figuratively. Some of us slept already on the way home.

fireworks at busch gardens UD170On another occasion it was time to explore the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. To our delight they had tropical gardens where some ‘duckies’ and familiar shore birds could come and go as they pleased.

wood duck and moorhen ud170

male ruddy duck UD170

tri-colored heron ud170

adult roseate spoonbill UD170And the underwater world was full of wonders from sharks and numerous other fish species to sea turtles and other small and big creatures.

shark FL aquarium ud170

stringray UD170

sea turtle 16x9 ud170

florida aquarium ud170

jelly fish 2 UD170

giant lobster ud170A fascinating world of its own….followed by other adventures at the children’s museum and elsewhere. All these excursions provided welcome breaks from work that has intruded my world a bit more than I had bargained for…but it’s all good. Although I work mostly from my home office with a view of the ocean, the bayside and the salt marsh, I have also been traveling. Last week, for example, I worked in the Big Apple. Right in midtown Manhattan where the sun only reaches the ground in small spots between the skyscrapers.

Manhattan midtown ud170

Midtown manhattan workplace ud170

It is, indeed, a city that never sleeps. And it’s a city of travelers from all around the world. Convoys of carry-on pieces walk the streets intercepted occasionally by jugglers of larger luggage.

traveller NYC ud170

And the yellow taxis are still there. Racing up and down the streets alongside with Uber drivers in black SUVs.

taxis ny ud170

I didn’t have time for sight-seeing, but walking the streets to and from my meetings I observed the diversity of buildings lining the streets. Glass towers that reflected the skies next to older buildings with some character, intricate details and windows into the soul of the city…

manhattan midtwon skyscrapers UD170

new and old in NYC ud170

detail of old building in NYC ud170

window ny ud170

And I realized I could see it all captured on the faΓ§ades of the glass towers…

NYC reflections UD170

Is it all stone and glass? No it isn’t. It’s a melting pot of everything. People from all over, food and drink from every corner of the world and … dogs patiently looking for that little green patch. Or just happily posing for a photographer and making her smile.

dog ny ud170

In the coming months I’ll have a more opportunities to rediscover the spirit of this place, such a contrast to what I am used to here on the beach. Talking of home, I have to tell you that Dylan and I have discovered a new park, not far from home, to walk in. It’s been hot, but the other day we ventured there for a short stroll between thunder storms.

lake at Taylor Park ud170

This park has a beautiful small lake and you can walk around it. Even in the afternoon heat we spotted some familiar birds: a Great Egret, a young Little Blue Heron, several Moorhen and Anhinga.

Great egret at Taylor Park ud170

young little blue heron 2 at Taylor Park ud170

Moorhen at Taylor Park ud170

anhinga 2 ud170Once it gets cooler, we’ll visit this park more regularly, but for now we walk right here in the neighborhood.

I have to tell you that I’ve been worried about Mama Osprey. While I had seen Papa perching at the Sailing Center in the evenings, I hadn’t seen her since I returned from Sweden. So this morning I decided that we would go out soon after sunrise and look for her.

mama osprey at sunrise ud170

Because she has not been perching at the nest like she has done the previous summers, I decided to walk on the bayside. Right off the bat we discovered Papa Stanley on his favorite perch at the Sailing Center. He nodded a friendly greeting as in wondering where we’d been.

papa osprey at sailing center ud170

Then I looked around for Mama Sandy. She was nowhere to be seen….until I trained my camera on the small spot at the far end of the pier.

mama osprey at sailing center ud170

There she was! In the company of a pelican and some gulls. And I happily took her portrait in the golden haze of the rising sun.

mama osprey ud170From there we walked to the salt marsh and discovered it was quite lively after several months of little activity. I was delighted to see the Mayor in his slightly untidy office again.

mayor the older GBH in his office ud170He was proudly surveying his village. I noticed that Great Egrets were back from their summer vacation in big numbers and so were the smaller Snowy Egrets. The grass was so tall that it was difficult to get good shots of them.

Great egret ud170

snowy egret ud170Suddenly we saw that the Mayor flew up to a higher branch and trained his eyes on something.

the older gbh mayor ud170We walked a bit closer…and noticed that Harry, the younger GBH, was walking towards a group of egrets exercising his self-appointed authority…

Young GBH and a great egret UD170He glanced at the Mayor and noticed he was under surveillance. He knew from previous experience how such a confrontation would end, so he stopped at his tracks, turned around and walked away. We walked home too. I was happy to have spotted both osprey parents and realized that the new nesting season is only three months away.

Dylan and I wish you all happy fall days.

64 thoughts on “Multitasking. On Wings and on Foot.”

    1. Thank you Karen. Dylan can tell that he’s been with his wonderful sitter quite a bit this year…but we have a wonderful time when we’re together, like tonight when he took me for a 4+ km walk. We are so happy that we spotted Sandy! I just wonder why she doesn’t seem to be ‘baby sitting’ her nest like she’s done previously…some mystery going on there πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Hien. The last two months have been “lively” and it seems to be continuing on the work front…so now I have to carve out time for photographing and blogging/reading because I really enjoy the creative effort and this wonderful community.

  1. What a lovely time you’ve been enjoying, Helen. I’m so happy that you found Mama Sandy and the other gorgeous inhabitants of the salt marsh, safely ensconced where they’re all supposed to be. Your photos are wonderful as always and I really enjoyed your shots of Manhattan. The smiling dog was one of my favorites. xx

    1. Thank you! I was missing Dylan and enjoyed seeing the amazingly many dogs walking their moms and dads in NYC. This particular one was too cute and I asked the owned if I could take a picture of him…the owned told him to sit and pose, which he did so nicely πŸ™‚ Happy weekend. XXX

  2. Thanks so much for the colorful array of photos, Helen. I enjoyed your Florida sightseeing, the NY city streets, and of course all of our friends at the salt marsh. A wonderful relief to see Mama Stanley is doing well.

    1. Thank you, Jet. It was, indeed, a relief to find both ospreys. I don’t know why Mama is not ‘babysitting’ the nest this year as early as she has been doing pervious summers, but happy she was close by that morning.

  3. Dear Helen, So happy to read this latest update. I am glad you are doing well, and despite being busy, could also spend some quality time with people who are dear to you, and of course some great photography too. Very glad to see Mama Sandy doing OK, along will everyone at the Marsh. Really enjoyed your introducing us to some new friends as well πŸ™‚ Take care and best wishes always. Autumn is finally here!

    1. Thank you, dear Takami. I am happy you enjoyed my hodgepodge catch up posting. I loved the new park we found and it is only a 15 minutes car ride away. I wish I could say that autumn has come, but here we are still experiencing summer, temperatures hover on both sides of 30C. But we are ready for autumn temperatures, hopefully towards end of October πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Brad! The Busch Gardens’ safari park is actually very nice, a huge area where all these African animals can roam freely…the challenge was to see them with a 4 and 8 year old. But we found that a ride on the open train through the park was a great way for them to experience these animals πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Sue! It was great so spend time with the girls…their energy is contagious πŸ™‚ One of my current projects will take me to New York a few time in the next six months and I hope to get time to see some of the attractions. You are right about the balance, I will need to pay close attention to finding enough time to play πŸ™‚

  4. My, my, Helen; your images are so good. I’m sure it isn’t my imagination. I do believe your skills are sharper; your eye even better!
    It really is lovely to see another post from you; it’s been quite a while, and I was wondering when you’d return.
    And return you have. The past month, or so, seems like a whirlwind of adventure with ‘your girls’ (a great image) work, pleasure and spotting Mama Osprey. Lovely to see. πŸ™‚ Hi, Dylan… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰
    xoxoxo

    1. Thank you for being here and your kind comment! I think whirlwind is the correct description of the last quite many weeks. Both Papa and Mama Osprey were at the Sailing Center tonight when Mr. D. took me out for a long (almost 3 miles/over 4 km) walk and we saw many old friends again at the marsh just before darkness. I took this weekend off for “play” and to celebrate my 39th birthday for the umpteenth time πŸ˜€
      Have a beautiful week ahead, my friend. XXX

    1. Aww, you are very kind, my friend. I hope to get more and better pictures from NYC next time I go up there. The dog made my day as I was missing Dylan. But I have to tell you that I got a picture message from Mr. D. right in the middle of an important meeting, he has a great sense of timing πŸ˜€

  5. Great to see you here again Tiny we missed you. I thought you
    Might be having some extra vacation😊 it was great you had time with your girls as they explore their world and hopefully share your creative love of natural heritage. It is good that the salt marsh flourishes as you go into fall, and Osprey parents are doing well, possibly missing their children or the busy sense of purpose that role held for them. Enjoy you week my friend it is great to hear from you again😊

    1. Thank you dear Ashley. I did not plan to be away at all, it is just that I don’t want to have any stress about blogging and when other things get too much…I can’t add to that and be creative. I was happy to see that the salt marsh is lively again after very few birds over the summer…and that Mama Sandy has returned. We saw her last night as well. Soon, after I finish my coffee, Dylan and I will visit the new park to see what birds will be out in the morning and if we might spot an alligator or two πŸ™‚
      Have a wonderful week, my friend.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Miriam! I agree that there is beauty in most places/things if we look carefully…although I prefer the pure beauty in nature.

    1. I was so glad to spot Mama Sandy! I have no idea about her adventures that lasted many weeks, but she is back here now. Dylan and I saw her and her hubby last night too just around sunset. We wish you a happy week!

  6. Welcome back Helen and thank you for sharing these fabulous photographs! I love how you captured the reflections in the Big Apple and saw a friendly dog there too. It is great to see Mama Sandy, Papa Stanley and The Major again. Hope you are all keeping well and much love to you and Dylan from all of us here :o) xxx

    1. Thank you for your visit and kind words, Xenia! The Big Apple will see me a few more times during the next 6-8 months, but I hope I can do some sightseeing there too as I had not visited for over 15 years. I loved all the dogs (missed Mr. D.) I saw walking the streets with their mom or dad. This one sat down and posed when I asked if I could take a picture of him…so sweet πŸ™‚

  7. Wonderful that you found Stanley & Sandy. Nice new park you found. I’m sure Dylan would enjoy any place with you. πŸ™‚ Spectacular pictures of all the animals and architecture. THanks again for sharing…. RS

    1. Thank you Robin. I was so happy to find Sandy! She is definitely back in the area and we saw her last night as well…next to Stanley at the sailing center πŸ™‚ Hope to see you guys soon.

    1. Thank you Tom. I made an interesting observation: the longer I waited to edit and post pictures to more difficult it became to get the time to do it. I will try to learn from that experience πŸ™‚

  8. Wow! Helen, you weren’t kidding about keeping busy! The photos are stunning, the descriptions vivid and detailed. The baby rhino is so cute and I loved the iridescent colour of the flamingo, it almost looks unreal. I loved the skyscrapers of New York and you capture them beautifully here, they are marvels! Finally, lovely to see Papa Stanley, Mama Sandy et al back in place … revisiting old friends! Wishing you a wonderful autumn! Xx

    1. It’s indeed been a busy late summer for me, most loved memories of course are from the time spent with my two grandies. Their energy and exploring mind set is contagious. It was a bit challenging to see all the animals with the kiddos in the huge “Africa safari park” so we took a train ride…all my pictures are taken from a slow moving train, but it was a great way to see as many animals as possible. The baby rhino was a typical happy baby…running around mom and dad just for the joy of it πŸ™‚

  9. The older you get, the faster the days and seasons fly. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. πŸ˜‰ There are never enough hours in a days for all the wonder we want to experience. Your photos just show that there is beauty everywhere you are, if you look for it. Love them. Still partial to dogs though.

    1. Thank you Marlene! I have also noticed that days, weeks, months and years go faster now. I also realize that it is up to us to decide how to use the time available to us. Every day is a new journey and an opportunity to find beauty…just need to remember that. On a different note: I was amazed by the number of dogs walking up and down the streets in New York. When this particular dog appeared around the corner, I asked his dad if I could take a picture. His dad told him to sit and pose and that’s what he did πŸ™‚ Dylan and I wish you a wonderful week ahead.

  10. What breathtaking photos! I love how you found the beauty in the city, and the striking contrast between the new and sleek and the older architecture. Especially loved the portrait of the Mayor on a higher branch. β™₯

    1. Thank you Barbara! I enjoyed visiting NYC for a first time in 15 or so years. One of my current projects will take me there a few more times and I am eager to see more. It is such a unique place. On the home front I’ve been happy to see life returning to the salt marsh…and to have spotted Mama Sandy again, including last night. Have a beautiful week ahead!

  11. What fun that must have been for you and those sweet girls. Glad to know that you found Mama Sandy. The new park sounds like a nice place for you and Dylan to enjoy walking in. It seems the Mayor has taken good care of the Marsh while you were away. These pictures are fantastic sweet Tiny…thank you so much for sharing them. Hugs and nose kisses to you and Dylan from me, Chancy and PoohGirl.

    1. Yes, I had such a good time with them! And was happy to see them three times within 6 weeks. That’s a rare gift as both of them are busy school girls, one in pre-K and the other in 3rd grade already. This moring Mr. Dylan and I took a long walk in the new park before it got too hot and saw so many birds. It is a truly beautiful place hidden in a neighborhood that I was not aware of previously. Last night we also saw both osprey parents again, Mama is definitely back in the area now πŸ™‚
      Dylan and I send you, Chancy and Pooh our love with many hugs.

      1. The park you and Dylan have discovered sounds so nice and a perfect place to enjoy and see birds. Glad to know both Sandy and Stanley are in the area. Little ones grow up quickly and every minute we get to spend with them is precious…so happy for you getting to spend that time with those little sweeties. Love and hugs from us.

  12. Such an amazing summer for you Helen ~ being busy does seem to move the hours of the day much quicker, but it is worth it. For me, there is something special about the Big Apple. Your post highlighted this for me, as it is in such contrast versus your home and friends in the Salt Marsh ~ a little diversity is good for the soul. Hopefully autumn will give you a little time to slow and relax…but then again, there is a lot to see out there.

  13. A little diversity is good for the soul…so true. And I thrive when my head, heart and feet are busy. The thing that gets me is that I take on work that seems exciting in terms of having a deeper meaning and promises new experiences/challenges when I should be saying ‘thanks for thinking of me, but I already have enough on my plate’. I don’t think I will ever learn…or maybe I don’t want to learn πŸ™‚ What I want to learn is to make enough time to nourish my soul in nature…and have been practicing that this weekend with Dylan. I hope your autumn will turn out just the way you want to experience it.

  14. Lovely to hear you are back home, nice and cozy. Looks like you did have quite a few adventures while you were away. The safari looked so fun with quite a few animals roaming around πŸ˜€ Brilliant shot of the fireworks – not every day you see fireworks. New York does seem like the city that never sleeps, always something passing you by. All those birds do look like they don’t mind having their picture taken πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you, Otto! This year I was a bit foolish…accepted several projects (for good causes) at the same time. But when I’m busy I find the nature walks so soothing.

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