Out on a limb.

      It is a beautiful September morning.  The sky is blue and the tide is rising.  It is a perfect day for a little Kayak journey. I slip into the channel and head up the Broward to the entrance to Turtle Creek. As I paddle across the river I meet Tommy the Crab Fisherman checking his traps.  I ‘ve been hoping to meet him. We chat about the White Pelicans. But that will be a story for another day. 

     I glide past a long pier under construction. George the Yellow Crowned Night Heron is there with his family checking things out. George’s young offspring keeps watch on me from one of the pilings. By next year its stripped brown and white feathering will change to look just like its parents. Old Man River, the Great Blue Heron, is sitting on the pier on the opposite bank. I have started to see him around a bit more lately but he is still as illusive as ever. Upriver on an old dead tree limb four Wood Storks stare down at me. I recall a cartoon with a buzzard in the desert on some old dead cactus limb looking down and saying “Patience Hell, I want to kill something!” The look on the Wood Stork reminds me of that scene. Then one by one the storks slowly saunter to the edge of a limb and jump.

     As I head up the river towards the entrance to Turtle Creek it is quiet and peaceful, for me anyway. There on another limb is a very nervous Great Egret and a Little Blue Heron. As I get closer, the Little Blue Heron begins to pace up and down the limb. Seems like there is just nowhere to go. Then a noisy male Kingfisher lands on a nearby limb, takes one look at me and says something not nice in Kingfisher, and takes off. This little bird has a real temper.  A nearly all white young Little Blue Heron soars overhead and sits on a limb looking at me for a while.  It must have hatched this year.  Soon its feathers will start to turn to a pied blue and white coloring. Further up the creek a pair of Red Shouldered Hawks are out on a limb too but they seem to be enjoying the morning sun.

   Ever get the feeling you too are just out on a limb with nowhere to go? What are you going to do? Ruffle your feathers, pace up and down all night, squawk and say unkind things to everyone? Take a closer look at the limb you are standing on. Remember that limb is part of the strong "tree" of values you built your life and home on. Get back close to the tree trunk and things won’t seem so shaky. Then be like those hawks and enjoy the view and the sunshine. Be blessed. Harry

September morning, heading up Turtle Creek on the Broward.

A local crab fisherman Tommy checking his traps on the Broward. 

George Jr, a Yellow Crowned Night Heron in his juvenile brown and white feathering looks down on me. 

By next September George Jr will look more like his parents sitting below.  

Sure hope they fix this pier before it falls apart George seems to exclaim! 

A quartet of Wood Storks stare down from the limbs of an old dead tree near neighbor Jim's. 

Just like the desert buzzard ..."Patience Hell, I want to kill something"  is the look on the Wood Stork's face.

A nervous Great Egret out on a limb looks down on me.

A Little Blue Heron feels the weight of the world hanging over his head! 

Ever feel like you are out on a limb with no place to go? 

You are up all night. You pace up the limb. 

You pace down the limb. 

Can't swim, there are gators down there, too expensive to fly also! 

The Belted Kingfisher is ruffled by my presence and says some unkind words and leaves.

The young Little Blue Heron just wants to look "Different" I suppose. Just like today's youth.  

You know, it is really not so bad up and out here on the limb. "Look at the view!" the Red Shouldered Hawk seems to say. 

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