Auld Lang Syne

     Should auld acquaintance be forgot? And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and days of o’ Lang Syne! This timeless chorus will be sang in many homes and hearths this week as we bid goodbye to another year of Reflections on Broward. I hope you have enjoyed it half as much as I enjoy sharing these precious auld moments with you while I sit on the Broward, coffee cup in one hand and a camera (new one :) ) in the other.

     I close this year’s Reflections with a trip Beyond the Broward. As governor of one of the Mayflower descendant colonies, I had to travel to the Sarasota area for our Fall Meeting. Sarasota is a wonderful place for birding and has several of Florida’s Great Birding Trail sites nearby. I had asked a Facebook friend who lives there where to visit if one only had an afternoon to look. She told me of two locations on the Great Birding trail. One is a place called Celery Fields, and the other is the Venice Audubon Bird Rookery. On the night I checked in a juvenile Bald Eagle flew by my window. As I was leaving the hotel the following day, a pair of Sandhill Cranes landed by the lake situated just behind the hotel. Celery Fields was only two miles south of the exit where I was staying. It used to be actual farmlands of celery fields, which were later flooded and converted to a water management area. It is well maintained by the local Audubon volunteers and has observation gazebos situated on some of the ponds (Thanks Margie for the recommendations). Although the weather was uncooperative, the birds were certainly not. I captured my second photo of a Limpkin and watched as hawks, eagles, spoonbills,ibis, swallows, anhinga, cormorants and grackles and ducks and others fed in the various ponds. I visit the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum in Sarasota at the request of the Editor to get some information for her class. I take a few bird photos while there also. Continuing further south to Venice Florida, is a small but well maintained pond and surrounding field used as a rookery for migrating fowl. A small island in the middle of the pond has some trees and shrubs,  just perfect for a small colony of Great Blue Herons to gather and raise up a new generation. 

     The real highlight of my trip though was a visit with some of my cousins who live just a bit further south. Bill and Margaret Selsor hosted me for two wonderful nights while cousin Bill took me around the area. We visited Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on historic Sanibel Island, where I had the opportunity to capture a few more bird photos, and meet some other photographers. One of them gave me an opportunity to try some of their long lenses on my new camera. So in closing I ask you to take a true cup of kindness and share it with a loved one, a relative, or friend as we once again bid the old year good by and sing of Auld Lang Syne. The Editor and I wish you a very Happy New Year. Be Blessed. 

The first bird I see is a juvenile Bald Eagle flying by my window…a good omen of Auld Lang Syne..

A migrating pair of Sandhill cranes rest by the lake behind the hotel…I try not to disturb them..

I leave them as I found them,.one keeping vigil..

The other resting peaceably with the occasional eye open...

My next encounter is a Limpkin in Celery Fields as it hops up on the railing

Limpkin in flight..

Female Anhinga at the Ringling Brothers Circus Museum in Sarasota..

Brown Pelican demonstrates its own aerobatic prowess at the Ringling Brothers mansion.

Male Anhinga in classic pose drying its wings, Venice Bird Rookery

Numerous White Ibis stroll the grass fields around the rookery.

A Great Blue Heron prepares its nest for a new generation soon to be hatched.

This Great Blue Heron looks a lot like Santa..

Cormorants fly by as we enter Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island

I get to use another photographers 600mm lens to capture this distant White Pelican resting at low tide

A Reddish Egret equipped with a radio tracking device dances in the low tide looking for minnows among the other marsh birds.

The blue green eyes of the cormorant sparkle in the morning light.

A Yellow Crowned Night Heron spots a crab with its keen red eyes

It's fresh crab for breakfast..

Cousin Bill at the Sanibel  lighthouse….there were "snowbirds" at the beach swimming!

Time to reflect back on the year…Should Auld Acquaintance be forgot?

They say it isn't over until the "Fat Lady" sings…this old Ringling Circus Sideshow Billboard seems to indicate she is singing the end of 2014

We bid 2014 goodbye..And we will take a cup of kindness yet For times gone by! Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year..


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