Monday, March 11, 2024

Feathered (and other) Florida Friends

Dateline: Golden Beach, Florida

  Sad to report that our very own beached whale has, as expected, gone to his reward but not before hundreds of ghouls jammed the road down to Service Club beach to line the shore and watch. It was not something I wanted to do. But Service Club did have its brief moment of fame, the unfortunate whale (50 foot, 70 foot, depending on where you read about it) making page 2 of this morning's Wall Street Journal. 

But how about some more cheerful flora and fauna stories. The little clockwork sanderlings were in good spirits, if stationary for once.

And back in the garden someone was enjoying the orchid tree - or, as it is now, orchid bush. You may recall it fell down in Hurricane Ian but started to sprout again and now has some magnificent blooms, if an odd new shape.

Down the road in Maxine Barritt park the other morning it was too early for the alligators to start sunning themselves on the lake banks but the birds were at their familiar posts.

This anhinga, aka snakebird looked a little peeved. "No need ter gawp, I'm just dryin' me feathers."

Not sure what this chap was after but whatever it was, I didn't have any.

Meanwhile there was no doubt what someone else was hoping for. The beach fishermen here tend to get saddled with uninvited guests, waiting for a handout.

  And the other evening a tiny eastern screech owl was warbling from our oak tree (that one survived Hurricane Ian.) Sometimes I feel like telling the screech owls to give it a rest with their monotonous trilling all through the night but this time I didn't have the heart. He was so close you could almost touch him, oblivious to us, wrapped up in whatever his current enterprise was. Our once sleepy bit of Florida is getting more and more built up by the day, with tourist season in full swing, the roads more and more clogged, the drivers and cyclists ever crazier. But nice to know you can still get to go a little wild.