Summer may be gone but someone needs to tell the local weatherman to change the humidity dial. Still a bit muggy in north Florida. I am thinking something that smells like baked pumpkin now! Is your mouth beginning to water too?
I took a last trip through the park at Huguenot to see how the young pelicans were doing. What surprised me was that I saw about 50 fully feathered young Pelicans and only one or two adults. All the rest of the adults were either somewhere out fishing or taking a much-needed break from the dune rookery duties. Nearly all the young fledglings had their back to the sun and were panting through their beaks to keep cool. There was very little movement on this hot muggy day. It seems it was a very successful nesting season on the dunes. They will be flying away any day now and learning to fish with the adults.
A pair of Willets were moving slowly along the receding surf line gathering tidbits to eat. I sat down in the sand ahead of them and although they gave me a glance, they just continued to forage in my direction and scampered by my feet. I captured some nice full frame shots as they went by. Willets are a large species of sandpiper common to these southeastern shores. Per the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; “Two distinct subspecies occur in North America: one that breeds in the East and another that breeds in the West. (Both subspecies may be seen along the East Coast during fall migration. Eastern Willets leave the U.S. in winter for Central and South America, while some Western Willets winter along the East Coast.) Willets are gray or brown birds that, when flying, display a striking white and black stripe along each wing. In summer, Willets are mottled gray, brown, and black; in winter they are a more consistent plain gray. The legs are bluish gray." Several Osprey were also circling overhead, plunging into the surf after a fish, and taking their prize back to a nearby tree to eat. As I left the park a Great Egret was keeping close tabs on the local fishermen, hoping for some leftovers to eat.
I think I will start bugging the Editor about some pumpkin muffins or maybe even a pie. How does that sound for a good start to the fall season? For everything there is a season and for this one in particular it’s pumpkin! Blessings.