The answer is here, there and everywhere. And I don’t even know where to begin. Perhaps warm greetings from a chilly NYC, where I’ve worked this past week, would be in place?
I can’t believe I’ve been away from here for over six weeks. Various adventures near and far with my friends visiting from Sweden have filled my days… sprinkled with some necessary work sessions. And then a completely unnecessary bout of severe cold kept me ‘lying flat’ for days. But now I’m upright and on the go again. Feeling thankful for it.
Our nearby adventures included, of course, the salt marsh. This past month that little village has been lively. Many migrating birds have made a stopover there to mingle with the locals.
The Mayor has tried to keep peace among the sometimes unruly crowds, but despite his watching eye, the Clown (aka the Reddish Egret) got into trouble. It started innocently enough. A Wood Stork was trying to catch a fish. But the Clown got upset and flashed his red hair… and that was it!
The larger bird went into attack. And the Clown had to flee!
That was the first time I have seen him retreating. Ever.
He had met his match and settled on a small islet. He was sulking. Or maybe mulling over what just happened.
That day the marsh had more than fifty visitors. Birds everywhere. Some were flying…
Others were running…
Many were fishing…
One or two were dreaming…
Or just mingling and giving speeches…
Mama Sandy was, as always, only watching the nest and the skies. She couldn’t be bothered with the crowds. She knows they come and go.
One day my friends went for a walk with Dylan when I had to take a break … for work. And Tony spotted something special. Sandy had allowed Stanley to the nest although the nesting season was still more than a month away!
I hadn’t seen Stanley for a couple of weeks, so perhaps they had an argument and he’d gone away for a while? To let it cool down. And when he finally returned and brought her a fish as a sign of reconciliation, she allowed him to perch on the nest. Here is the proof. Thanks Tony!
And after that they have been flying a lot together. The other day when I was trying to work while battling a bout of bad cold, they flew several times past my office window.
And one morning I saw them working together. They were chasing a huge Bald Eagle away from the salt marsh. I had no camera, but Dylan is my witness. They took turns to dive on the back of the eagle until it got tired and flew to the other side of the bay where it lives.
But I spotted a juvenile Bald Eagle on one of our trips to Taylor Park. It was trying to fish, but gave up after several unsuccessful attempts and flew back into the forest.
My friends liked Taylor Park too. So many birds always show up…
…just to disappear like magic.
And it is quite a thrill to spot a gator lurking around and looking at you…
We got to see many more of them on an airboat ride with Captain Duke we did in the central Florida swamps.
In fact, we were guests in their very special world.
We spotted numerous huge old ones in and out of the water…
And deep in the swamp, we saw a baby gator who had dared to come out of the nest hole all alone.
It was a great journey through the St. John’s River swamps, or the ‘real Florida’ as our captain put it.
Of course we spotted lots of birds as well, but it was not easy to capture them on camera while speeding through the waters.
It was an adventure deep into nature my friends appreciated.
Although they flew back home a couple of weeks ago, you can still participate in more adventures right here in the coming weeks.
Thank you for coming along to the salt marsh, the Taylor Park and to the central Florida swamps. Have a great weekend. Lady Liberty says hi.