Tag Archives: Sunrise

Goodbye Bubbette. Hello Vacation Time.

Last week was busy. After a few days of work in D.C. I came home, turned around and drove to North Florida for my son’s graduation. When I came back, I realized our osprey girl, Bubbette, had already left the nest. She didn’t wait for me, but that was not surprising. She was an advanced flier from the get go and spent her days diligently attending the Fishing School with Papa Stanley.

I also noticed that the whole osprey family had left the area. This happens every year at the time when a chick leaves the nest. The first year I observed this, I thought Sandy and Stanley had flown off to take a well-deserved vacation in the Caribbean. But now my theory is different. I believe that one or both parents follow the chick for a while to keep an eye on their fishing ability…and to teach them more if needed. So the nest has been empty, apart from the Blue Jay visiting from time to time.

empty osprey nest ud163Papa Stanley returned a couple of days ago, and I can now see him perching every evening on the Sailing Center’s wind device, one of his favorite places after the nesting season. I first spotted him while taking pictures of the bay just before a late afternoon storm. Can you spot him in the first picture below?

the bay before storm ud163

papa osprey ud163Mama Sandy is still gone. Usually she returns back home in about two to three weeks. Anyway, I wish Bubbette a wonderful life with plenty of fish to go around. May she be skilled enough to survive the first very tough year, and then live happily for the next 15-20 years!

I want to share a few pictures from my adventure on the Atlantic Beach last Friday. You see, this night owl was invited to tag along on a Sea Turtle Patrol. That was a four mile walk on the beach, just before and after the sunrise, to check if Mama Leatherback (world’s largest turtle) or Mama Loggerhead had laid any eggs overnight. Both nest on this beach. We arrived there before the sunrise, just when the sky started to get some color, but we could still clearly see the lights from the boats on the ocean.

first light UD163We started walking close to the water line, watching for any trails in the sand left by mama turtles. I snapped pictures of the gorgeous colors ‚Ķ thanks Mary for this evidence of the night owl being up before sunrise ūüôā And soon the sun was up.

Tiny takes pictures ud163

sunrise at jax beach ud163

sun is up on Jax beach ud163We didn’t find any fresh signs of new nests, but inspected a nest from the previous night. It was high up among the dunes.

Turtle nest ud163Mary showed me the trails in the sand. How Mama Loggerhead had come up to lay her eggs and how she had gone back to the sea.

Turtle patrol 2 ud163She has been patrolling the beaches for several years now and knows all about these sea turtles. I learned a lot that morning. I appreciate and admire the work all the volunteers do to protect these nests…and later in the summer/fall to make sure the tiny hatchlings find their way to the ocean.

laughing gulls on jax beach UD163The morning was beautiful and we spotted many Laughing Gulls and various terns on the sand bars revealed by the low tide. Some had already been fishing in the golden waters.

laughing gull fishing UD163As the morning progressed more tidal pools were forming on the beach attracting fishermen, joggers and people with dogs. What a beautiful morning!

tidal pools 2 UD163In a couple of days I will be traveling to visit family and friends in Northern Europe for the month of July. This time I will be fully connected and plan to send some ‘postcards’ to my friends here along the way and do some reading too. Thank you for visiting and take care now.

Sunrise, Sunset and All the Birds in Between.

This time of the year it’s a bit easier for this night owl to get up and witness the sunrise. The silent hour when nature is waking up brings incredible colors over the bay and beautiful reflections in the clouds over the ocean. Peace reigns.

sunrise on the ocean UD156Creatures living in harmony with nature start their day. Some sit and enjoy the sunrise, others get on with breakfast preparations.

birds at sunrise all varieties UD156Papa Stanley returns from his first fishing trip of the day, one of many to come …

papa osprey brings a fish UD156A few minutes later, he nods off on the lamp-post just outside the marsh border. As we know, taking care of babies is quite tiring for the parents. He has eaten the fish head and takes a short nap before bringing the meaty parts of the fish to Mama Sandy and the kids.

papa osprey sleeping with a fish UD156And so the day has started. Late morning yesterday, when Dylan and I were spying on the osprey family from our terrace, we finally spotted a little chick! Or perhaps two? The first born should be almost two weeks old now. Here is the first grainy family picture of 2018. We hope for better ones soon.

first osprey family portrait 2018 ud156Throughout the day many other birds made appearances. My assistant and I went on a short walk in another park nearby and spotted a Limpkin, a Double Crested Cormorant and a couple of White Ibis.

Limpkin ud156

cormorant ud156

two Ibis ud156We also found two different blackbirds…

red-winged blackbird ud156

blackbird UD156…and a few turtles enjoying the water and the mild spring weather.

turtle ud156

turtle swimming ud156Later on, around sunset time, we walked through the bay side to the salt marsh and discovered a beautiful Snowy Egret enjoying the low tide and the last rays of sun.

snowy egret ud156We noticed that Sandy was on her dinner break at their usual lamp-post table. She had left Stanley to look after the kids.

papa osprey at the nest ud156We also spotted Ms. Rosa! Long time no see. There was just about enough light to see that she still looks great.

Roseate spoonbill at sunset ud156She forageed around the shallow water as we watched her. Then ended up posing for another picture with Mr. Blue-winged Teal.

a blue-winged teal and a roseate spoonbill UD156The younger GBH was watching the osprey nest, as he had been for the past few nights. But Stanley seemed relaxed. He might know the youngster has now grown up and adopted better manners. The latter was evidenced by a short nod in our direction.

younger Great Blue Heron at sunset UD156Before we knew it the sun had gone down and the marsh filled with shadows. We saw some movement in the bushes but it was too dark for pictures.

dog park trees at sunset UD156

salt marsh 2 at sunset ud156We enjoyed the peace of the evening for a while on ‘my’ bench. When we finally wanted to leave, the park gate had already closed. We had to use our secret escape path out of the park. Dylan led the way in the moonlight. He had done this before.

full moon ud156Thank you for visiting us between the sunrise and the sunset. And Happy Easter to all who celebrate! I leave you with my one of my favorite sunset pictures from our beach. Sail well into the new week.

sailboat at sunset UD156

Silence is an Ocean – Rumi. (WPC Five Images)

Nothing’s happening
Yet everything is here Now
I breathe in silence.

silence at sunrise ud149

I wait in silence
For a small sign from above
To take the next step.

silence on a sand bar ud149

The day goes to sleep
Never to wake up again
Blue silence remains.

silence in the blue hour ud149

Life crafts miracles
In the silence of the night
I trust and exhale.

silence at night ud149_edited-1

 

Solitude. A Photographic Journey.

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least, and it is commonly more that that, sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements. – Henry Thoreau.

winter-forest-in-finland-ud106Solitude is not the absence of Love, but its complement. Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life. – Paulo Coelho

first-light-ud106Solitude is aloneness you choose and embrace. I think great things can come out of solitude, out of going to a place where all is quiet except the beating of your heart. -Jeanne Marie Laskas

finland-land-of-the-lakes-ud106Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. – John Muir

lake sulunjarvi  16x9 ud106.jpgSolitude in the summer forest, full of leafy trees, urges us to breathe.  To enjoy beingness, just like them. РTiny K.

Finnish forest UD106.jpgIt is time now, I said, for the deepening and quieting of the spirit among the flux of happenings. – Mary Oliver

sunset-on-the-lake-finland-2-aug-2016-ud106Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness. – Desmond Tutu

fall-sun-finland-ud106Solitude¬†feels like a refreshing shower of¬†light snow. It’s brightening my soul. – Tiny K.

snow-mountains-and-lake-ud106Solitude is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. -Deepak Chopra

moon-light-on-the-lake-finland-2-aug16-2-ud106

A Day by the Sea

Waking up this morning, I smile. 24 brand new hours are before me. – Thich Nhat Hanh

the bay before sunrise UD15The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. РRumi

sunrise at the beach UD1God gives every bird his worm, but He does not throw it into the nest. –¬† P. D. James

Willet shore birdWhat will our children do in the morning if they don’t see us fly? – Rumi

sandwich tern flying in the surf in ud67I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes. – Charles Lindbergh

pelican taking off 3 ud25Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it. – Khaled Hosseini

our camp on dolphin island ud67.jpgMay your journey through life be vibrant and full of colorful rainbows. -Harley King

rainbow beach ud67bClouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.‚ÄĚ – Rabindranath Tagore

sunset ship ud67For most people, we often marvel at the beauty of a sunrise or the magnificence of a full moon, but it is impossible to fathom the magnitude of the universe that surrounds us.       РRichard H. Baker

full moon clearwater floridaThe pure bliss nature will plant in your soul is worth a day spent by the sea. – Tiny

Half-Light

I observe
Amazed and in disbelief
The half-light of my reflection
I wander
Between dream and reality
Until my heart finds answers
And I seek
Full light – nothing less
Until my soul finds contentment.
***
You can find more responses to the weekly photo challenge “half-light” here. I my case my photo was not inspired by a poem. It was quite the opposite. My poem was inspired by my photo.

 

Hiking. With Serenity. And a Dog.

Immersed in serenity. Whispers of the forest. Beholding the dance of the clouds. And tasting the air. Fresh. Comforting. It fills my being.

forest in Finlandlichen in the forest Finlandsmall stream in FinlandHiking.¬†We pass¬†the childhood “river”. At both ends of the lake. And the picnic “island”. Destination for countless boat trips. Lunch bags and shared secrets. The two sisters. Rain or shine.

islet in a lake in Finlandlake in FinlandAnd later, I marvel about the snow flakes as they slowly float towards the ground. Others eager to discover what might be hidden underneath. Like fallen apples.

a pudel in the snow Or happy memories of childhood winters. When the earth was cooler. And the snow made itself comfortable on the trees early in the season.

snow falling on trees in Finlandfirst snow on the montains in FinlandSunrise after morning coffee. Well after. Calm lake announces a beautiful day. The reeds hum a familiar tune. And the bird of the week jumps high up in the sky.

sunrise over the lake in Finlandsunrise over the lake in Finlandgreat tit FIThe hiking companion comes flying on the ground. Checks on those in his care. Covers three times the distance.  Nine miles instead of three.

dog runningAnd so the days go. Until the fire in the sky announces tea time. Jam filled donuts. Warmth inside and out. Childhood home.

sunset over the forest in FinlandI’ll see you soon. Around tea time.

 

Pre-dawn Glory. And Morning Gymnastics. Mama Osprey Style.

Summer came back. And so did work. But this morning I pretended to be an early bird, and got up before sunrise. I had to go out for a walk, at least once this week. So there I was having coffee on my terrace when the first light showed up at the horizon. The bay was calm. And the sky was on fire. Quite a reward for getting up early.

before sunset on the bay ud30The salt marsh was still in darkness, but with my light-sensitive birding binoculars, I could see Mama Sandy’s white head at the nest. Last night when I checked on her just when it was getting dark, I saw her there too. I wonder if she has started to sleep at the nest already. Claiming it so nobody else gets any foolish ideas.

A little later, when I approached the salt marsh from the beach, it was already basking in the morning light. And Sandy was still sitting there. The little prick in the right corner of the nest.

salt marsh after sunriseOn my way over to greet her, I spotted Mr. Mayor, the older Great Blue Heron. He was inspecting the marsh, and handsome as always.

old great blue heron The youngster had also arrived. Presumably for breakfast. But he didn’t like to meet me. He is right in thinking I’m a bit biased about his escapades at the Osprey nest last spring. So he took flight when I approached.

young great blue heron young great blue heron in flight Then I spotted the Reddish Egret. He was scanning the marsh, but wasn’t up to any tricks. Too early, I guess. He hadn’t even gotten his feet wet.

reddish egret I was looking for Miss Rosa. She is usually an early bird. And there she was! Shuffling water with her “spoon” to locate the right breakfast items. She lifted her head and nodded a greeting. Such a good mannered bird, and very photogenic.

roseate spoonbill at sunrise When I arrived at Sandy’s nest, she was keeping a keen eye on the skies and sounding a few alarms. I didn’t see anything alarming. But then I also didn’t have her vantage point. Or her assignment to guard the nest.

female osprey at sunrise I think she was yet to fetch her breakfast. She flexed her wings and did some morning gymnastics. But she didn’t fly away while I was there. I made a short gif image of her routine. Just in case you’d like to try it. I’m sure it will strengthen your wings.

female osprey gif

I didn’t have the time to see if Papa Stanley was at his resort. But I’m sure he’s okay too. Hopefully I can find some more time to¬†spend outdoors over the weekend. With that I wish you all a wonderful weekend. Keep moving!

Papa Osprey’s Photo Shoot. And an Illicit Visitor at the Salt Marsh.

The sun was barely up on my first day home after the trip when I stepped out in the garden. Without even a cup of coffee. I just had to go see my feathered friends before starting a busy day. And he was right there. The Little Blue Heron, in a shady spot under the palm trees.

little blue heron in our garden ud21It was wonderful to be welcomed home by one of my friends from the salt marsh. The beach was quiet. And the rainwater “lake” was gone.

sunrise beach ud21The salt marsh looked fresh and misty. And I saw the water levels were almost back to normal. Little islets stuck up from the water, just as they used to.

sunrise at salt marsh ud21Most birds were still in their sleeping quarters, but Mama Sandy was already having her breakfast at the nest. She had a nasty wound on her left leg, but looked okay otherwise.

mama osprey with a fish ud21When I came closer, she greeted me in her typical straight forward, but friendly manner. I thought she even smiled.

mama osprey at the nest UD21I found the young Great Blue Heron (GBH) close to the osprey nest, as often is the case. He didn’t bother to look at me. He might be familiar with my view on his attacks on the nest earlier this year.

young blue heronThe Tri-colored Heron, who had temporarily moved elsewhere during the floods, was back home. She was happily hunting for her breakfast in the shallow waters.

tricolored heron ud21And just when I was about to leave, Rosa, the Roseate Spoonbill flew in. It’s always nice to see her. And it looks like she might think the same about me ūüôā

roseate spoonbill landing ud21roseate spoonbill Rosa ud21I continued my walk to the bay side, and marveled at the European Starlings greeting the sun on a lamp-post next to the park.

starling family at sunrise ud21I decided to check if Papa Stanley would be at his resort. He was at home. Still sleeping when I arrived.

papa osprey sleeping ud21He soon discovered me and decided to pose for a photo shoot. A rare treat, and so very kind of him.

papa ospey says hi ud21papa osprey in his resort ud21papa osprey portraIT 2 UD21papa osprey portrait ud21I thought he was quite handsome. That was a great home-coming.

I got another opportunity to get out for a¬†quick walk this morning. I discovered that the “beach lake” had reemerged after yesterday’s short, but intense storm. Many birds were enjoying rainwater baths and the special¬†menu¬†the fresh waters had to offer.

more rainwater and birds on the beach ud21snowy egret 2 ud21theyoung great blue heron ud21black skimmer drinking fresh water ud21juvenile black skimmer sleeping ud21And some, like this juvenile Black Skimmer, were just plain tired of all the excitement.

While the young GBH was frolicking at the “beach lake”, the older one, the Mayor, was back in charge at the salt marsh.

mayor great blue heronI bet he was not happy to see this illicit fisherman trying to capture the fish that belongs to the residents. I was not happy either.

fisherman at salt marsh ud21I wished Sandy had been at the nest and given him a small lesson. But luckily, as soon as I started walking towards the park HQ, he packed his gear and left. Once he was gone, I came back to greet the Great and Snowy Egrets who were enjoying the sunshine in large numbers, and then walked back home.

great egret on the top ud21So much excitement, as always, at the salt marsh. Thank you for coming along. We all wish you a wonderful weekend!

Monday Musings and Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

Birds and children can fly. Yet they are grounded in the present moment.¬† They don’t live in the past that is¬†no longer here. Or in the future that has not yet arrived. They soak in the experience of now.¬†And dance to the natural rhythm of life. They inspire me.

gull flying on the bay insp

And so does everything in nature. When the earth gently rolls on its side, night becomes dawn. Light peeks over the horizon. Inviting me to a new day with all new possibilities.

predawn glow INSP

The sunrise colors are vivid.¬†Soft pastels of Grace, and bright colorful streaks of Hope in what otherwise could appear dark.¬†It’s an inspiring moment to take in. To be alive.

birds at sunrise INSP

And so the day beings. With colors I choose to see. Thoughts and reflections I allow to touch me. And open my heart beyond my limited mind. Inspire.

sunrise at the salt marsh INSPsnowy egret  2 insp

“The garden of the world has no limits except in your mind. Its presence is more beautiful than the stars, with more clarity than the polished mirror of your heart” – RumiFinland land of the lakes WPC

And when the earth gently rolls onto its other side, I marvel on the softness of the evening. And the golden colors of the sunset. Yet again, I inhale inspiration.

sunset INSPLake in the fall insp

Then it’s time to exhale. It’s time to rest. Time to dream. And feel the peace.

* * *

You can find other replies to this challenge here.