Evening and morning...

In the creation account we are told “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day”. There was darkness and then came the light. And it was good. I sure am glad He created the light. It sure would be tough to capture photographs of these beautiful birds if all I had was darkness. Each morning when I venture out to the dock, that early morning light really makes a difference in my photographs. The hour of early morning low angle light and the hour just before the sun sets is called the “Golden Hour”. That is prime photography time. 

  The birds, which were created on the fifth day, love that early morning light too. As the light penetrates the darkness of the water, the bait fish become more visible. The marsh birds sit and stare into the early morning lit waters for their favorite food. It is these early waiting moments that I love to capture and share with you. This time of year, the Snowy Egrets frequent the area and offer some great morning photography opportunities. There are also a few Great Egrets in the area too. One in particular has its favorite fishing hole right in front of the “Lizard Lounge”. The ever present Tricolored and Little Blue Herons also line up on the dock in the morning awaiting that golden morning light to begin hunting for minnows and fiddler crabs. 

  I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends and that you didn’t eat too much turkey and dressing. I am thankful for each evening and morning I have to share with you. Blessings. Harry

Red sky at night….sailors delight…what a beautiful evening glow on the Broward..and there was evening..

And there was morning…this one was at Hilton Head beach South Carolina..and it was good!

On the third Day He created trees like this ancient oak call Angel Oak on Johns Island South Carolina, estimated to be 300-400 years old.

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. The fourth day creation.

Little Blue Heron reflects in the golden light of dawn..Birds came on the Fifth Day..ahead of man

Early morning dock time…

Early morning dock buddies wait for the light..

Look, here comes the sun….

Snowy Egret with the wind blown hair feather look!

Time to fix those feathers before starting the day..got it..

Well fiddle dee dee….Got a fiddler crab for breakfast..

I see a tasty minnow swimming by…happy for that morning light to see by

Wood Stork fly by in the morning light…they may be ugly but they are graceful in flight. A fifth day creation.

One of those days...

Ever had one of those days? You know, the kind you can’t forget or was it the kind you want to forget? I had one of the former thankfully. Unfortunately for one of my feathered subjects it was more of the kind you want to forget. 

  Not a bird was seen in the lagoon as I walked down the dock, coffee in hand. The air was cool and refreshing and the sun was still below the horizon. The Master painted the predawn sky. My quiet time was reassuring as I prayed for some birds to capture. Suddenly things began to happen. Two Great Egrets circled the island and turned towards me with my back to the sun. I focused on the lead egret as it came up the channel. Upon seeing me it swerved to my left and circled the dock giving me lots of flight capture opportunities. As I looked up the channel an Osprey flew by and went into a dive. It was successful in capturing a huge fish and began to fly with its prize in my direction but heading for the opposite bank. The Great Egret was flying nearby too. Suddenly a dark winged shape swooped in towards the Osprey. It was a juvenile Bald Eagle, about three years old. The head was beginning to turn white, but it still had a brown stripe around the eyes. As I watched the Osprey react, I saw the huge fish come loose from its talons. The Osprey and the Eagle both were going after the falling fish. None too pleased at losing its prize catch, the Osprey flashed it talons at the young Eagle. Undeterred, the eagle rolled on its back in the air with talons flaring in response.

In the meantime, the fish got away! Both raptors then flew up the river. A familiar sound to my right told me the Tricolored Heron was coming in for a landing on the dock. Unfazed by my presence, it gave me a glance and then headed down the dock towards the bank to begin feeding. It was soon joined by Broward Bob, the Little Blue Heron, Bob was late due to the recent Daylight “Savings” time change. Both Herons began to catch small fiddler crabs. 

  Who can forget a morning like this? Egrets, Osprey, an Eagle, and some Herons. And a fish that got away! Can you imagine the tale it had to tell the other fish? Blessings.

The Master painted the pre-dawn sky

A Great Egret flies by in perfect morning light

Good morning Mr Doohicky, it is a great day on the Broward

Osprey spots a fish and prepares to go into a dive..

Catch of the day..what a whooper!

A dark shape swoops in towards the Osprey

It is a juvenile Bald Eagle about three years old noted by the dark eye band..

The fish comes loose from the Ospreys grip..not a good day for the Osprey

Talons and tempers flare over the Broward, the Osprey goes after the Eagle

The Eagle rolls over and shows its much larger talons, the conflict is soon over

The Tricolored and Little Blue Herons land beside me on the dock. Did you see that Eagle Mr Doohicky?

I hate this Daylight Savings Time change said Broward Bob, it really ruffles my feathers!

Tricolored Heron reflects on the day…one I won’t soon forget

A Broward divided

The Broward River community, like the nation, is divided. Not only is there a division of water flow along the south bank vs the north bank, there is a natural division of diverse wildlife in the variety of birds. Some diversity is due to seasonal changes with migrations, others are more geographic depending on the tides and water depths. The marsh birds pictured below are year round residents and divided between Blue Herons and White Egrets. There are three species of Blue Herons (Great Blue, Little Blue, and Tricolored) and three species of White Egrets (Snowy, Great, and Cattle). There is also the occasional Wood Stork. Two species of Night Herons, the Yellow-crowned and Black-crowned round out the regulars. 

  Fall and winter bring flocks of raucous crows with distinct “Jersey” accents. Spring and summer are refreshing with small flocks of pink Roseate Spoonbills. “George” the Yellow-crowned Night Heron prefers spring and summer following the crabs, its favorite food. Winter brings special visitors to the area like the Editor’s favorite Pied-billed Grebes and occasional diving ducks like the Hooded Mergansers. I have not seen the latter two duck species yet but am keeping an eye out for them. The Cormorants and Anhinga are migratory being seen more in the fall and winter months. The Belted Kingfishers are only here in fall and winter and are one of the most challenging to photograph. The raptors are mainly Osprey and Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks and an occasional Bald Eagle which mainly hunts near the mouth of the Broward. Flocks of immature and adult White Ibis also visit the area during fall and winter migrations. 

  Fortunately, the division and diversity on the Broward is natural and predictable. There are no political debates and only the occasional territorial squabble over a favorite fishing hole or piling to perch on. Unfortunately, the politics dividing this nation are much more severe and becoming more polarizing. However, these things were foretold long ago. Fear not. I read the last chapter and know who wins. 

A Veterans Day Salute to all who served past and present and especially to those who gave their all that we would remain a United States of America

Tricolored Heron stakes out his favorite morning perch piling.

Broward Bob the Little Blue Heron has his favorite piling also..

Anyone for a spider snack?

Now that was a real foot stomper!

Old Man River, the Great Blue Heron in a rare fly by opportunity

Snowy Egret in flight

Snowy Egret itching to start the day

This is my piling. Get lost Mr Doohickey!

Snowy Flurry fly by..

Cattle Egrets are year round residents but rarely stop by the dock.

The ever graceful Great Egret surveys the fishing lagoon for minnows.

Trifecta..

In horse racing, a trifecta is nearly impossible to win, IE bet on the first, second and third place winner and get all three correct. Almost as impossible as winning the recent $1.6 billion-dollar Mega millions lottery. Can you imagine the thoughts going through that lucky winners mind last week? For me a trifecta is finding three birds on the Broward and capturing a “keeper” for all three. 

  My first-place trifecta winner was the Tricolored Heron. This particular bird is quite used to my presence as long as I approach it slowly and don’t try to get too close. Lately I have been getting a lot of full frame, close captures of this bird. The morning light has been truly painted by the master’s hand these past few weeks. Golden rays of the early morning cast a glow on this bird unlike few others I have seen lately. Shrimp was on the menu for breakfast. The second-place winner was Broward Bob, the Little Blue Heron. He too was feasting on shrimp as the outgoing tide revealed schools of shrimp in the receding waters. In third place was one of the Editors favorites, A Roseate Spoonbill feeding in the shallows also. There have been two on the river and I was hoping to get a fly by capture but was glad to get this one feeding close by. 

  Well, we may have not have won Trifecta horse race picks or the lottery, but the Editor and I did make a big win of sorts this weekend. We traveled to Lake Rhodiss North Carolina and found a perfect mountain lake lot to build a retirement get away and future home on. Lake Rhodiss is located near the Blue Ridge mountains between Asheville and Charlotte. The weather was perfect too. Time to start designing my dream log cabin homesite. I plan to do some fishing there too as soon as we can. Maybe I will have a whopper of a tale to tell and find some new feathered friends.

If you really want to have the Trifecta of life though remember these three things: Faith, Hope and Love. I had Faith in my ability to take the photographs well, Hope that the birds would be there and in good light and a Love only the Maker can give to share these treasures with you. And the greatest of all is that love. Blessings 

Fiery dawn

First place winner in the Trifecta is my Tricolored Heron, posing on the deck rail for me in the early morning light. He is one of my Faithful buddies on the Broward.

Is that coffee I smell there?

Time to greet the morning and find some breakfast..

Did I use wing pit deodorant this morning?

Shrimp for breakfast, yummmm…

It does not get any fresher than this shrimp snack

Broward Bob, the Little Blue Heron flies in for breakfast for second place …

I hope you enjoy seeing Bob as much as I did..

Bob begins to bobble and gobble for shrimp too..

Last but not least of the trifecta is Rosy the Roseate Spoonbill

Who ate all the shrimp? Don’t you just love that face?

Tricolored Heron bathed in golden light…wonder if it will visit me in North Carolina?

email: selsorhd@me.com

All photographs and materials copyrighted and possession of Harry D Selsor. All rights reserved.

Photos are avail for purchase framed or unframed.