Both of these birds were photographed in on the same May day in 2019. Florida isn’t my favorite state, but I sure do appreciate the wading birds. As I headed out that day, I saw this Yellow-crowned Night Heron patrolling an irrigation ditch.
May 6, 2019
And a few minutes later at Kapok Park, I peered through the foliage to see this Limpkin:
If you look closely at the above photo, you’ll see the left foot is raised in preparation for some elaborate screeching sounds. The foot remained aloft throughout the Limpkin’s tongue-waggling communication.
And then back to silent contemplation in its leafy green hideaway.
Possibly dreaming of its next meal of apple snails.
I took numerous photos of the heron (in hopes of getting at least one good photo), but the pose never changed. Whereas the Limpkin moved about and became very vocal, the heron made like a statue. Hence, one Heron pic to three Limpkin on this Twofer Tuesday.
There are so many thoughts and feelings jumbled inside me right now regarding the climate crisis, green new deal, capitalism, greed, cruelty, political failure, collective trauma, heartache and rage, but rather than unpack all that, I opted for self-care. I just spent the last thirty minutes looking through photos from camping trips and hikes, birding excursions, quick getaways in the nearby open space, etc. It was nice to gaze upon and remember those moments.
May 6, 2019
Because I need to get outside to shovel the much-needed snow we finally got last night, I had to quit my trip down memory lane and make a photographic decision. I opted to celebrate (again) the juvenile Limpkin that allowed me to take many photos of it when I visited Kapok Park.
One bird can’t change the trajectory of the world, but this limpkin can and did soothe my soul. Maybe it will do the same for you.
Limpkin, Kapok Park. May 6, 2019
First post of the year
laying down some attitude
won’t go quietly
Kapok Park. April 1, 2019.
Stealthy limpkin prowls
tasty snails hiding on stalks
one long wading game
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. ~ Wendell Berry
Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off.
Build your wings on the way down.
~ Ray Bradbury
Limpkin. Kapok Park, May 6, 2019.
Can’t trust that day.
However, it does feel good knowing what day of the week it is, even if it’s the dreaded Monday, after being disoriented for much of last week when every day felt like a weekend day.
It’s good to know where I stand. Hello, Monday. Let’s do this.
Today I’m thankful for life’s little mysteries.
Unknown flora at Kapok Park, Florida. April 1, 2019
I have no idea what this lovely plant is called, but my lack of
knowledge in no way detracts from my appreciation for this image.
It’s true that ignorance can be bliss.
Monday’s almost over?
Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Clearwater, FL. May 6, 2019.
I’ve been buried in a book all day, researching a new subject, and somehow it’s four o’clock. How’d that happen? Guess that’s what’s known as FOCUS.
Eye of the night heron, baby. (Or something like that . . .)
I’m at the Tampa Airport for my flight back to Denver. I arrived early, early Friday morning and later that day spotted a Roseate Spoonbill swirling its bill in the irrigation ditch running through the community where my mom lives. I was thrilled! I’d never seen one and ran back to my mom’s for my camera. The spoonbill was gone by the time I’d returned.
Later that day I saw one flying high overhead (the pink was the tip-off) and the following day was driving past when I saw a spoonbill in the ditch. Again, I didn’t have my camera but drove home, grabbed it, and sprinted back. Gone.
I went out early in the mornings and in the late afternoons during the time slots the locals suggested held the highest potential for a sighting. I brought my camera in the car.
No more spoonbills.
So now I’m headed home with nothing more than a couple mental snapshots of that unusual species. PLUS this photo of a Pileated Woodpecker I spotted at Kapok Park yesterday. The image isn’t anywhere near sharp, but I’m very happy for the sighting and this photographic memento.
I’ll be back for the Roseate Spoonbill.
I started my day at one of my favorite places on the planet, Kapok Park. I wandered around with my camera and came upon this sign that reminded me of Zebu. I’d taken a photo of him next to that same sign when he and I visited the park a year ago.
So when I saw the sign today, I missed my son and decided to take a quick pic to send in a text. I stepped closer to the sign and focused on framing the shot. Suddenly I felt a burning, stinging sensation in my left ankle. I looked down and noticed ants crawling on me. Lots of angry, biting ants.
I’d somehow neglected to see their enormous anthill-home and stepped in it with my big shoe.
The good news is I had a lovely visit to Kapok Park where I managed to avoid molesting the alligators. The bad news is I caused considerable distress to an ant colony.
I went into my photo archives to find an image for the day and came across this one. Discarded and forgotten undies. Sad undies.
We’ve got a winner, folks.
Kapok Park. April 1, 2019.
I just spent the last several hours tying up some loose threads on the YA project I’ve (most recently ) been working on since last fall. Basically, I wrote pages of notes in order to have a map for the next time I pick it up. The thing is, I cannot put any more energy into this project right now. My critique group gave me feedback last Wednesday on the first 30 pages and it’s still a hot mess. My words, not theirs. Their feedback was spot-on and they offered some great suggestions, but my heart isn’t in it anymore. This is a project I drafted ten years ago and over the following decade revised multiple times. It’s definitely a better story than it was before, but it’s still not where it needs to be.
So. I’m setting it aside because the characters and plot have become a jumble in my mind. I can’t see the forest for the trees and I’m sick of trying.
Whew. I’m feeling a mixture of emotions right now, but there’s a whole lot of relief in letting go.
“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it.”
~ Mary Oliver
I am a glutton for tranquility.
~ Wole Soyinka
Late Monday afternoon I’d just started on the boardwalk at Kapok Park, thrilled the recent rainshowers had kept other visitors away. I walked in solitude, listening to birds and scanning my surroundings. Suddenly, I felt eyes upon me.
A raccoon! Down in the marsh below. Peering out from behind the vegetation. I raised my camera and took some photos. But my presence made the raccoon nervous and it cautiously moved away.
I stayed put and snapped a few more pictures.
But then I felt bad about the stress I was causing the raccoon and so slowly backed away as it ventured into the water. Wait, that water contains alligators! What had I done? What if I’d driven the raccoon into dangerous territory for the sake of a few photos?
Well, as of yesterday the raccoon is alive and well. How do I know? Because my sister is now in Florida and she visited the park yesterday evening where she was shocked to see a raccoon. She sent me a photo of “Rocky Raccoon” and to this non-expert it sure looks like the same raccoon.
Next time I’m in Kapok Park I’ll be sure to give Rocky more privacy.
I took this photo from the boardwalk at Kapok Park and just did a quick online search in hopes of identifying the plant. I was unsuccessful.
However, I don’t need to know the name of this lovely flora to appreciate its beauty. But if anyone out there can identify it for me, I’d welcome the information.
I’m at the Tampa airport, headed back to Colorado. Yesterday I went to Kapok Park in late afternoon and took so many photos my camera card reached capacity and wouldn’t let me take anymore. That’s what you call satiation!
Here’s a dapper jay I enountered:
It was a typically wonderful time at Kapok Park and I’m looking forward to going through the many photos I took to see what other gems await me.
photographer’s fault not bird’s
hey, no need to jump
sky greets the water
clouds floating with lily pads
gators lurk below
Early this morning it was below zero and, despite the sun, the temperature is still hovering below freezing. I’m working on revisions right now from a chair strategically located in a patch of sunshine and just remembered this photo I took in Kapok Park last January.
I feel a kinship with this sun-worshipping turtle. If there was a big, warm rock for me to embrace, I’d be doing the same right now.