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.
I’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…
… lots of stripy zebras and numerous different antelopes …
…and several families of giraffes.
Even some beautiful flamingos.
That 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.
On 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.
And the underwater world was full of wonders from sharks and numerous other fish species to sea turtles and other small and big creatures.
A 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.
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.
And the yellow taxis are still there. Racing up and down the streets alongside with Uber drivers in black SUVs.
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…
And I realized I could see it all captured on the façades of the glass towers…
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.
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.
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.
Once 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.
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.
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.
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.
From 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.
He 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.
Suddenly we saw that the Mayor flew up to a higher branch and trained his eyes on something.
We walked a bit closer…and noticed that Harry, the younger GBH, was walking towards a group of egrets exercising his self-appointed authority…
He 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.