The Odd Couple..

     The sun is barely above the horizon. The wooded forest to the east still casts its dark shadow over the dock as I begin to walk down it in the early morning light. To my right in the muck are some feeding Yellow Crowned Night Herons and Clapper Rails. It is unusual to see the Rails so far out in the open. I wonder if these young first year fledglings have heard the stories about the Red Shouldered Hawk snatching unsuspecting Clapper Rails out in the open. The distinct call of the Hawk fills the marsh as it is escorted across the Broward by the ever-present Red-winged Blackbirds pestering its every move. The young Clapper Rails head for the cover of the marsh grass. They have been taught well.

    A young White Ibis with patches of brown still showing on its head glides in from my right and turns into the dock nearly landing at my feet. That sure is odd I thought as I point the doohickey at the oncoming bird.  Another dark shadow goes over my head as a Wood Stork takes a slow turn over the lagoon and also lands in front of me and is soon joined by the Ibis as they hunt for food in the tidal stream. What an odd looking pair they make. As the Ibis probes the mud it scares up minnows that are quickly snagged by the Wood Stork. The young Ibis then heads towards the muddy shoreline to probe its long proboscis into the mud looking for fiddler crabs. It is very successful but it sure makes for a muddy beak. The not so pretty face of the Wood Stork "almost" looks pretty by comparison. The odd looking couple soon departs as a neighborhood lawn service interrupts the quit morning hunt. As evening falls the Editor spots the Wood Stork again. This time it seems to have come with another friend. One of the same kind. I guess that ugly muddy nose of the Ibis was just too much for the Wood Stork. Some would say they look a bit odd too. But you should see them fly. Oscar also returns with a friend. One of his own kind too..not so odd after all. 

     And God made them all. Man and beast, fish and fowl. Each after their own kind and told them to be fruitful and multiply. And God said it was good. We seem to have strayed from the original plan a bit too far for me.  What I am seeing today in society and the news is not so good I am afraid. Be Blessed. Harry

It is another Muddy Monday morning on the Broward as these young birds hunt for food seemingly unaware of the dangers above.

A young Ibis approaches the dock also seemingly unaware of my presence..

The Ibis flares its wings and lands at my feet, unafraid and at ease.

"What's in a name? That which we call a nose
By any other name could smell as sweet.".....Oscar the Ibis 

A not so young looking Wood Stork also lands in front of me in the muck..

The Odd Couple begin to fish together..just like Felix and Oscar..

Felix the Wood Stork grabs a fish scared up by Oscar the Ibis..

Felix the Wood Stork reflects on this odd friend of his..

Oscar the Ibis begins to probe deep for crabs..

What? You never had a mud facial? You need to try it!

Felix returns that evening with another Wood Stork..they might not look pretty to some, this odd couple..

Felix and friend..

Felix is just falling wing over beak after one of its own kind..

Profile, Felix W. Stork the Wood Stork..

And you should see him fly...soaring mighty and high..a beauty to behold...

Oscar also returns with a friend,,one of his own kind..not so odd after all..

Eye to Eye...one of this odd couple is about to be breakfast...

Ruffles and Flourishes...

     Ruffles and Flourishes….a time honored military tradition and protocol of music played when a Flag or General officer who is a guest speaker or host of the official party arrives until they take their place or sit down. I had a bit of this display this morning upon the arrival of apparently a Flag Bird ranked Tricolored Heron on the dock.

     The sun peeks over the Broward upon my arrival in the early morning hours. There are rows and rows of low cumuliform clouds blowing in from the west. As the alternate rows would block the sun the sky darkened and then a few golden rays would light up the marsh for a brief moment. Talk about an exposure issue. As soon as I set the camera for one light condition it changes. A familiar squawk from behind me causes me to turn and glance over my shoulder as a Tricolored Heron lands on the railing beside me in "Dress Blue Feathers". It looks at me, decides to stay and then begins its own version of "Ruffles and Flourishes" as it carefully begins to preen and fluff every feather on its body. Slowly raising the camera I press the doohickey time and time again. For what seems an eternity I share in this time honored tradition of ruffles and flourishes and preening until every feather was just right. And then with a flourish it gives me a look and is gone.

     In a way it also reminded me of a certain Editor whom I met some 36 years ago as she prepared her “feathers” for our date that night. One look at her and I was sure ruffled. I am sure you can relate too.  Be Blessed..Harry

Good Morning Mr Doohickey! Flag Bird T C Heron arriving..in dress blue heron feathers..

Ah-ten-hut!!

A little ruffle .......

A little flourish...

Now the back side...got that one..

How do I look there Mr. Doohickey? 

Now the other side...

Got that one..and that one..

Almost missed one...

Got it..

Looking Good...Like a Flag birdie should. just gotta shine my feet a bit..See ya!

The early bird gets the worm...

     “The early bird catcheth the worm." This 17th century phrase is credited to John Ray’s A collection of English Proverbs 1670, 1678.  It means success comes to those who prepare well and put forth the effort. I wonder if it would be considered politically incorrect in today’s climate. I decided to see if it still was valid on the Broward. On my first post surgery foray to the dock I noticed a variety of birds waiting for the tide to ebb in the early morning summer dawn. There were Black  and Yellow Crowned Night Herons, Wood Storks, a pair of Tricolored Herons, Clapper rails, a few mottled ducks and do my eyes deceive me or are those two Little Green Herons?

     As I walk slowly down the dock the night herons take wing or jump down into the muddy flats. Below me in the mud flat of the channel are the two Little Green Herons, a juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron, George the Yellow Crowned Night Heron and the Clapper Rail family. I just stand there while they adjust to my presence and soon they are busy hunting for food, barely aware of me clicking the doohickey. Inching my way slowly down to the floating dock, I gingerly lie down to get at a birds eye level. The Little Green Herons are less than 10 feet from me. They are staring at the mud. Wonder what they are looking for. In an instant the heron darts its head forward, its beak going into the muck. It begins to pull out a long worm-like morsel covered in muck. A quick flick of the beak and the worm is now less muddy (not so for the heron though). A few of the worms wrap themselves around the heron’s beak in a last act of defiance before becoming breakfast. I watch them pull one after the other out for nearly an hour. These birds certainly prepared for the hunt, put forth the effort and were duly rewarded. 

     How about you? Are you an early riser? Do you plan and prepare and put forth the effort or wait for someone else to do the hard work for you? Seems we are becoming a nation divided into two camps. There are those who get up early, prepare and put forth the effort and those who don’t. The trouble is those who put forth the effort are finding their hard earned worms are going to someone who didn’t bother to get out of bed today. Fear not. No wonder the good book tells us “I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me.” (Pro 8:17). That is a prize even better than worms...Be blessed..Harry

A juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron is up early as dawn breaks on the Broward, patiently waiting for the tide to turn.

The young heron jumps down on the dock as I approach and watches me with a wary eye..

The young night heron begins to search for food in the muddy flats exposed by the ebbing tide.

The young Clapper Rails are up early looking for food also...is that a Little Green Heron I see too?

I spot two Little Green Herons up early searching for food..one spots me and flies to the other side of the channel while the other searches the mud..What is that the little heron is eating I wonder..

One Little Green Heron searches for minnows as the sun reflects on the muddy Broward

The Little Green Heron watches the sky for danger from above...you have to be wary on the Broward..

All is clear...time to hunt..

I think I see something..

Breakfast worms...my favorite!

Just shake the mud off a little like this...then they are ready to eat..

Hey Mr Doohickey, you want one too?

The worm's last act of defiance before becoming breakfast on the Broward..

What was that? Oh, just a pesky blackbird..

It is true...the early bird does get the worm...and then another and another..

I think I see another one..

Here's looking at you Mr Doohickey..Oh..that's me there...

Is the Spirt of America dead?

Two hundred and thirty-nine years ago this nation declared its independence from the King of England. A new nation was born in the bloody conflict that followed. 

 

The Unanimous Declarationof the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security….(there follows a list of complaints against the King)

---We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

      Hmmm..I posted this last year for Independence Day..so much has changed in the past year. You of course are entitled to your own opinions. However, my friends, I don’t like this change in America and it’s values that these valiant signers lived and died for..

     The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.  

     The light of Liberty’s torch is growing dim. The problems with our nation stretch way beyond border issues. The “borders” seem non-existent. And now the SCOTUS has “rewritten” or “ignored” true law and declared their own laws and made a “new law” of the land. So much for “States rights”. Folks that don’t agree with it (like myself) are already reading about a judge in Oregon that put a gag order on two Christians for publicly speaking their beliefs. Is this America or North Korea? On this fourth of July 2015 I hereby dedicate this Statue of Libirdy award to the five United States Supreme Court Bird Brains who need their heads examined. Five of them have their beaks stuck up their “you know whats” so deep probably they will never see the light of day…I ask you, “Has the SPIRIT OF AMERICA died?” ...I pray it isn’t so. Be blessed..Harry

See the look of concern in the Eagle's eye. Has the true Spirit of America died? 

Do you recall the epic midnight flight of "George" Revere ?

The Clapper Rail said to his friend, “If the Pink Coats march By land or air from the Broward tonight,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch Of the North Jax Baptist tower as a signal light,–One if by land, and two if by air;

And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the dock, on the clete he turns, But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.

So through the night flew George Revere; And so through the night he cried his alarm
To every Broward River home and farm,---A cry of defiance, and not of fear,

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door, And a word that shall echo on the Broward for evermore!

The Pink Coats, those Roseate Spoonbills are once again here on our shore! (taken from the Kayak this week!) 

Through all our history, to the last, In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear The flurrying wing-beats of that bird,
And the midnight message of George Revere.

Welcome back to the Broward, the Pink Coat "Spoonies" are here again!

Last year's Rainbow on the Broward  reminded me of His promise, now the "rainbow" has been hijacked for political correctness..

This year's "Statue of Libirdy" award goes to the five bird brains of the SCOTUS ....

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