The morning sky seems painted with pink cotton candy colored clouds. A wispy smoke like layer of fog drifts over the river as I sip my steamy cup of coffee. Winter mornings bring back visions of fields covered in a white blanket of snow, glistening in the morning sun. The crunch of boots on the snow covered ground and frosty breath are memories I cherish. But only in my mind. We don’t have any of that in Florida for the most part except on rare occasions. The only “snow” I see is the white glistening sun on the wings of Snowy Egrets, that are becoming more and more frequent sojourners on the river.
Four wrinkled headed Wood Storks are on the neighbor’s pier early this morning. Old Man River, the venerable Great Blue Heron, squawks his usual protest and flies to his pier retreat as I step out on the porch to observe the storks. I see some of the smaller migrating birds, a Bluebird and an Eastern Phoebe sitting on top of the Bald Cyprus we call “The General”. The storks begin to preen and stretch like old men and women getting up from bed in the morning. I watch them leisurely prepare for their morning flight from my dockside chair. They stretch a leg, then a wing. Soon they relieve themselves, a sure sign they are about to fly. Then one by one they step to the edge of the pier, raise their wings and slowly glide off to feed somewhere up the river. I gingerly make my way up the neighbor’s pier after their departure avoiding the white splotches on the decking. There to greet me is my Tricolored Heron friend hunting for minnows. A pair of royal terns fly overhead also on the hunt for breakfast fare. And so it begins. A busy winter morning for the birds of the Broward .
Those old winter mornings are but a nice memory for me. Yet for some of you waking up today they are a cold reality (and maybe not so enjoyable). Perhaps you just want to stay in those warm thick quilted covers instead. Go ahead. Get up. Be like the old storks. Stretch those limbs, slowly rise and give thanks for the opportunity this new winter morning brings (but unlike the storks, please visit the facilities before you go). Then enjoy a steamy cup of coffee. And Be Ye Blessed today. Harry