Tough Mudder...

One of the Hospice Nurses that cares for Mom is an avid runner and recently competed in a TOUGH MUDDER type competition. These events, based on British Special Forces training, are very popular athletic competitions in North America. Well I have news for all you Tough Mudders. You don’t have anything on my Broward Tough Mudders. George the Yellow Crowned Night has been training his young son to make it on his own. To do that you have to be one Tough Mudder too!

George has taught his young protégée by example. No matter how pretty you are or how high you can fly, if you want to eat on the Broward, you have to become a “Tough Mudder”.  And Pretty in Pink, the Roseate Spoonbills are not so pretty when they are foot and feather deep in the muck. No matter how good a photographer you are, it just isn’t a pretty picture in the mud. Mud is mud.

A large wake moves up the channel. A strange looking nostril breaks the surface. The manatees are back in the river munching on the marsh grass at high tide. I see clumps of loose grass floating down the river more often now so I know the manatees have been having a feast. The Broward is muddy brown so there are no pretty clear springs fed waters in which to get a clean photo. You only see them when their back or nose breaks the surface. How these thousand pound mammals glide through these shallow muddy channels so effortlessly is a mystery of nature to me.

For many of us, life is one "Tough Mudder” too! I bet even those “one per-centers” didn’t get where they are without getting a little muddy also. Very few of us are born with the proverbial silver spoon in the mouth. To get through this life for most of us you have to get a little dirty at times. But the rewards are worth it! Just ask George Junior. Till next week…get muddy and be blessed.

You have to be a real TOUGH MUDDER to make it on the Broward. George and this Roseate Spoonbill are not afraid to get down and dirty. IT just isn't pretty no matter how you take the picture though.

George, the Yellow Crowned Night Heron takes a perch and observes George Junior below in the mud. It is time to see if the young bird has learned to hunt in the mud.

Hundreds of fiddler crab dens are exposed at low tide but you have to be stealthy to catch them. They are quick.

George Junior, the juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron spots his prey.

He approaches with stealth and slow movements in the muddy river bottom.

The strike is swift. And so is the Crab.

Got it Dad!

I see ya son, well done. You are one TOUGH MUDDER now!I

I got another one! i got another one!

To the victor go the spoils they say...but you have to be one TOUGH Mudder to survive.

That's my boy, a real TOUGH Mudder like his Dad! My job is done here today!

An enormous manatee munches on the marsh grass.

The Clapper Rail, also known as a Mud Hen is really one TOUGH MUDDER too!

The tide is coming in.  Ahh…I can wash some of this MUD off of me now..!


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