A special place

"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, it is a special place where I spend my afternoon."

Friday, May 31, 2013

Heron Update

    I checked on the herons a week or so ago, and low and behold, there were chicks. Big chicks! And as fast as they're growing, they'll be out and flying in no time. I figured they must have hatched not too long after I put up the post with the mothers sitting on the nest, a little over a month ago. So, if I don't go check on them, in the next day or two, I may not see them again.

" Hellooooo"
   When I went down to The Plantation to check on the nests, the first nest was empty. There was no mother, no chicks, no activity at all. This made me think that it may have been robbed. Possibly by a vulture, maybe a raccoon, or some other kind of animal that would have been able to climb the tree, and get to the eggs. Figuring up the time line, the mother should have at the least, been sitting on the eggs. When I went to leave, I saw her sitting in a tree across the road from the nest.   

    Then I went to the second nest, at the very end of the island. I  could see that things had progressed and these eggs had hatched.  
   When I first arrived, I could see movement in the nest, but it was hard to tell how big they were, or how many there were. But, I waited, and waited some more. It started getting dark, and I was just about to leave, and things started happening.
   One of the chicks stuck their heads up and let out a big "whoop,"  and it was clear, the wait had paid off. 
  From that point on, it became a real social event. I figured it was Dad that flew in first to check on things. Then a snowy white egret showed up to see what was going on. 

   After the chick exercised his vocal chords, it decided to get a better view of things and clumsily got out of the nest and sat on the edge. That's when I could see how big they were, and I could see another head sticking up over the top of the nest. But, the active chick didn't stay out of the nest long. All of about 30 seconds and it was ready to get back in the nest where it felt safe.
"Ok, that's long enough. I'm comin' back in!"
   Odds are, they've learned to fly by now. But, the only way of knowing, for sure, is to go back and check on them again. But, if I do get back down there, I'm going to go earlier in the day, when I have more light.
   When things started getting busy, I got excited, and concentrated on getting the shots. Because of that, I forgot to adjust the settings on my camera to make up for the increasing darkness. If I would have changed the settings, the pictures would have turned out clearer.
    I'll try to fit another visit into my busy schedule, But, 'Auntie Reg' is long over due for a day at the beach. Or maybe two! And I'd hate to disappoint her.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Clueless on St. George Island

On a Bicycle?
   As much as I love living on St. George Island, there's no place like Kentucky on the first Saturday in May. Having worked with horses all my life, the Kentucky Derby is something I look forward to all year. But, on the island, it's just another day. How can anyone not celebrate the most exciting two minutes in sports? Believe it or not, there are people that live on the island that don't know what "The Derby" is! If you ask me, they need to get across the bridge more.
    It really hit me when I went into Apalachicola to see where I could buy a racing form and the clerk asked, "racing what, cars, dogs?" I knew I was sunk.

The glasses made the outfit!
   Well, things are going to change around here. I've decided to enlighten these sheltered people as to what they're missing. The people of St. George Island love to have a good time, and there's no better time for a party than when they "Run for the Roses". This could be the start of something big!
   I began this mission last year when the local television station decided their priorities were on what kind of bait to use when fishing for trout. This is useful information, but untimely to say the least. When they finally switched over to Derby coverage, the horses had just gotten to the paddock. If they'd missed the singing of "My Old Kentucky Home", somebody was going to pay! So, after the race, I put on my Derby best, got on my bicycle, and rode around the island wishing everyone a Happy Derby Day. It was great fun, and a sight, I'm sure, that was not soon forgotten. But, to refresh their memories, I've got an outfit all picked out and ready to go for this year.

   As long as I live on the island, Derby Day will no longer go unnoticed. And who knows, in time,
people may even make a point to watch the race. But, you can't rush these things. When you're on "island time", nothing happens over night.
    So, Happy Derby Day to everyone. and may the best horse win!

Happy Derby Day!