Tag Archives: Tri-colored Heron

Birthday Birds and Engine Roar.

Last Sunday was my birthday. Not that I need to be reminded of the years piling up, but it was a great day. A balanced affair of spectacle and peace. The spectacle was provided by the annual Clearwater Speed Boat Race, and the peace by the birds … and other good friends and family.

After a night of torrential rains, the morning was beautiful.

Willet shore bird
A little Willet patrolling the beach…
rock pigeon
A Rock Pigeon, a rare sight on the beach…
royal tern flying
A Royal Tern returning from a swing on the ocean…

I took a long walk on the beach, where the birds were getting breakfast and people of all ages were preparing to watch the boating event of the year.

little boy on the beach
A little boy exploring the beach…

Some were more interested in other explorations, of course.

treasure hunter
A treasure hunter…

On the ocean, thousands of boats were lining up along the 2.5 miles long race track. And helicopters were circling overhead. Quite a spectacle!

speed boat race an overview
Boats lining up along the race route where boats are already practicing…

I decided to seek my peace in the nature reserve. On my way there I saw something remarkable. Papa Osprey was flying in after a swim in the ocean. When he approached the nest, he shook himself in mid-air, almost like a dog would do, to get rid of excess water. I had read that ospreys do this, but never seen it before.  Unfortunately my camera was in its bag as I tried to negotiate a path to the park that wouldn’t require a swim suit.

wet papa osprey
Wet Papa Osprey saying birthday greetings…

When I reached the nest, Papa Osprey was there. All spread out under the natural hair dryer. He was still wet and held his wings up to dry his underpants. He gave me a friendly birthday nod, but it’s difficult to say if he smiled.

great egret
A Great Egret…

I also spotted a Great Egret perched on a tree near the osprey nest. After posing politely for a photo, she flew away over the water.

great egret flying
…flying away.

It was getting hot and the Great Blue Heron, whom I’ve named the Mayor of the Marsh,  was seeking shade hunched down in the bushes.

great blue heron enjoying shadow
The Mayor, Mr. Blue Heron…

I stayed in the park for a while receiving calls from family abroad, and snapped another picture of him little later.

great blue heron 2 920
…all tall and handsome.

Herons were out in force that morning. I saw a Yellow Crowned Night Heron and a Green Heron too. While the latter is most often perched on a tree looking like he’s dreaming of some faraway place, now he was hunting and all stretched out.

yellow crowned night heron closeup 2
A Yellow Crowned Night Heron…
green heron 2
A Green Heron hunting…

And what would a birthday be without a Tri-colored Heron showing off his beautiful colors. This time I saw him hunting, diving right into the water.

tricolored heron diving
A Tri-colored Heron diving…
tricolored heron after a dive
…and then shaking off the water.

And then shaking his feathers. The gracious little bird was all buffed up.

So after getting my peace in the morning, I came home and we watched the speed boat race from our terrace. Luckily they raced at some distance. No water spray on our lunch, but the engine roar was clearly audible. I’ll put a few pictures here for the boat enthusiasts in the readership.

speed boat 4 3
A speed boat and spectators in thousands of boats…
speed boat 8
A racing speed boat…
speed boat 6
Another racing speed boat…
speed boat and spactators
A speed boat almost flying on water…spectators on Pier 60

The rest of the day was lots of fun, culminating in a sumptuous seafood dinner with friends and family. Bang Bang Shrimp, Rainbow Trout, and chocolate… I could do it again. Any day.

I will probably be posting/reading a little less than usual in October as I’ve a few travels planned before NaNoWriMo hits in November. I hope your week is going well.

No Schedule. It’s Liberating.

Hi Mom, you’re  back already! I decided to jump back to bed when I saw you’d gone out for your morning run. Come and join me! But take your shower first. I’ll keep the bed warm…and you can have half of my pillow. Is that a deal, Mom?

It’s nice to sleep in when we’re not going anywhere. No visit to the Grooming Shop, no doctor, no errands and no trip to Smart Pet. No schedule! It’s liberating. And it’s Saturday. Again. Where did the week go? It’s like Labor Day was just yesterday. I remember ’cause I got to taste Wieners.  Right from the grill at sunset time. Memorable.

sailing boat at sunset Gulf Beach
Sunset on our beach…

I want to plan some unscheduled fun for today. Like taking Mom for a long walk. But we’re not going to the nature reserve. I’m tired of waiting when she sets up her portrait studio. For the birds.

tri-colored heron portrait
One of mom’s portraits, a Tri-colored Heron…

Come here. Look this way. No, look that way. It sounds quite ridiculous when she tries to get the birds to pose for her camera. And very boring.

 

bayside shopping center c
The bay-side shopping center…

So we’ll be walking south today. We’ll pass the shopping center. And on the way back we’ll pop into Carmen’s deli. Just long enough to say hi and get a treat.

Bayside waters Clearwater
The bay from the board walk…

Then we’ll walk back on the bay side board walk. And just around the corner we’ll stop again. At the ice cream shop.

Bumble in the morning
Me…just waking up…

You look great, mom! I’m not tired anymore. I have a plan. I’ll tell you after you get your coffee. Let’s go! It’ll be a great day!

I hope you all have a great day and a wonderful weekend ❤ Bumble

 

 

Stress Relief Routine. Instructions.

Morning run on the beach…

On my morning run (I did run for a bit!) I spotted a Tri-colored Heron in the salt marsh. She was doing a fascinating new exercise routine.  Or maybe it was bird yoga? Whatever it was, I caught it on camera and will share the instructions, frame by frame, right here. In case you want to try it at home.

tri-colored heron Sand Key Park Clearwater
Stressed out and tense…

When I first saw her she was looking really stressed out. Her pose was hunched and her neck was nailed onto her shoulders. She clearly had some tension in her otherwise gracious body.

tri-colored heron Sand key Park Clearwater
Letting loose…

She started by shaking loose. Vigorously. The whole body.  Her feathers became fluffed and her hairdo instantly went from old-fashioned sleek to a modern pixie look.

tri-colored heron
Starting to stretch…

After loosening up a bit, she stretched her neck down and to her right. Streeetch.

tri-colored heron
And now to the right…

Then, still holding her head down, she stretched to her left.

tri-colored heron
Then down, down…

Next, she stretched down, down. Now her bill was hardly visible. She was immersed in her feathers.

tri-colored heron
Completely immersed…

And then she let her head go completely.  It disappeared. Mind over body.

tri-colored heron
Coming out of it…

Finally her head reemerged, her neck still twisted and the feathers on her shoulders fluffy. And she stretched up.

tri-colored heron
Head up, far up…

After this exercise routine, I observed her head was high above her shoulders. No more hunching. She appeared happier and more balanced. Maybe something there.

More like this duck...
More like this duck…

I continued my run (more of a walk now, to be honest) inspired to exercise more. Losing one’s head once in a while can be beneficial both for the body and the soul. Maybe I’ll finally try yoga. As recommended by my friend Nancy. I know I’m not as flexible as this heron, rather more like the duck I met later on my trail.  It might still be worth a try.