The New Year began with an icy arctic blast of air. A gray blanket of stratiform clouds covers the sky. No sunshine today. The General, our bald cyprus is bereft of nearly all foliage and bald indeed save for some new growth at the top. For us Floridians it was like a deep freeze event. I know my northern friends will just smile but snow and freezing temps with wind chill in the teens is extreme cold for us who live south of I-10. It has not stopped the marsh birds from frequenting the area though, sure is better than up north they say.
A glance at the marsh presented an unusual scene. The prior’s days gathering of all the herons and egrets on the dock repeated itself. Only this time they were lining the bank all across our yard and the neighbors. Dozens of birds were just standing in a row patiently waiting for the tide to recede and for the merganser ducks to appear to stir up the minnows. Not wanting to disturb them, the Editor and I just observed from the warmth of the house. Unfortunately, this morning that warmth was gone as the heat pump crapped out during the night. Thankfully the gas fed fireplace was available. In the front yard, I had a veritable invasion. Dozens of juvenile Ibis (aka Florida chickens) were feeding contently in the winter weeds and grass. These brown mottled birds with their long proboscis beaks are comical to watch. I grabbed the doohickey and got down at eye level with them for some photo ops. They quickly grew tired of my presence and headed up the driveway to the neighbor’s yard. Each year at this time they seem to settle into our local neighborhood going from yard to yard in flocks of 20-50 young birds. You had better have a hat on when they fly overhead too.
I am off on an adventure to southeast Florida this week. Consider the birds,,,see them being fed...so will you..Blessings. Harry