Down on the farm..
Down on the farm…
The corn should be “knee high” by now and it is definitely hotter than a firecracker on the Fourth of July…This week’s edition is Beyond the Broward at the St Augustine Alligator “Farm” bird rookery. They grow gators and shore birds on this farm. The four birds on the Broward got tired of me taking their photos so I thought I would visit the rookery. The photographers’ “early entry” at the Alligator Farm ended this past week as the nesting season draws to a close. Got a few keepers to share with you.
The rookery has had a number of beautiful Roseate Spoonbills and Tricolored Herons that hatched recently. One particular Spoonbill nest was very close to the walkway and low enough to capture the hatchlings. Pretty in Pink is an apt description of these unique shore birds. The two parents were very busy feeding these three hungry “spoonies”. Per NatureWorks website info, “The female spoonbill lays two to four eggs. Both the female and the male incubate the eggs. The chicks hatch in about three weeks and fledge (fly) in around 35 to 42 days. Both the male and female feed the chicks until they are about eight weeks old. Young roseate spoonbills have white feathers with a slight pink tinge on the wings. They don't reach maturity until they are three years old.”
Nearly hunted to extinction for its feathers, this bird species was down to a few dozen nesting pairs in the United States in the early 1900s. Conservation measures saved this bird from extinction and now they are no longer a protected species. I was glad to see them return to the Broward also this year. If I find where they are roosting I am going to get in the Kayak and try to capture that perfect “flight shot” this summer.
I remember another kind of farm with fresh corn on the cob, home grown watermelons and various garden vegetables we grew and ate in the summer. We canned some of the vegetables and kept them in a cool cellar shelf. With my three siblings appetites we didn’t need to worry much about preservatives. I remember the smell of fresh mowed hayfields. After a summer rain the earth had a warm rich damp smell. I am sure you city dwellers also had your own memories and sensory treasures you can still dig up in your mind. Take some time off this summer and go down on the farm (or back to the city), even if the journey is only in your mind..Be Blessed. Harry