Stubborn ole man...

     Cool October mornings continue on the Broward. A blanket of fog enveloped the river this week as cold dry air blew over the warm moist waters. As the sun rose, the fog burned off and it was another spectacular morning on the river marsh. A hot cup of coffee in my hand helped ward off the misty fog. Got any Halloween Candy left? Remember, the “Reeses Cups” are mine!

     It is mating season now for the Great Blue Herons. Many of my Facebook Friend photographers are getting some great shots of these magnificent herons. I am not so lucky. Why? Because stubborn Old Man River, the local Great Blue Heron patriarch hates getting his picture taken. I have recently spotted him on his old favorite perches (IE the neighbors jon boat and the old dilapidated pier a few houses down). However, like all the years before, as soon as that stubborn ole man sees me he takes off with a loud squawk. I am sure if I spoke Great Blue Heron it would not be a nice word. All I seem to get is Great Blue Heron bird butt shots. I spotted the return of the first Brown Pelican of the fall season. Soon I expect to see a dozen or so trailing my friend Tommy’s crab boat on the Broward. The Roseate Spoonbills are still around but I expect them to be leaving soon. At least they let me get their photo, unlike a certain stubborn ole bird. Got some great reflection shots also recently to share.

     The Editor seems to think Old Man River and I are kindred spirits. Both of us are getting more stubborn in our autumn years. I guess us ole folks just don’t tolerate change well ( kind of enjoying it though). I have to watch my squawking though. Blessings. Harry

Ole Man River, the Great Blue Heron and patriarch of the Broward has returned to his old familiar perches. Here he is on morning lookout duty.

You can see by the look in Old Man River's eye he is not to happy to see me...

With his feathers ruffled now, he lets out an angry squawk and launches off into the marsh

Pretty (dirty) in pink...a few Roseate Spoonbills are still around but will be leaving soon

The Wood Stork says I feel pretty too!

Near perfect reflection of Broward Bob, the Little Blue Heron


Fresh shrimp for breakfast

Down the hatch it goes

A Great Egret also reflects well in the early morning sun

You looking at me fish? Take that!

Snowy Egret complains I just had my nails done, now look at my muddy feet!

Mr Doohickey, you "otter" watch that squawking mouth of yours,,the Editor is going to be real mad

Mr Doohickey, you "otter" watch that squawking mouth of yours,,the Editor is going to be real mad

Simon Sez...

     A waning gibbous moon was setting in the western sky. Morning was soon to break as the sun inched up slowly in the east. A pink glow was visible on the clouds. I love this time of the morning. The tide was coming in, no wind ripples were evident on the rising waters. The air over the Broward was relatively calm and cool. A perfect moment to sip coffee, enjoy the sunrise, and reflect on the coming day.

     A Pied-billed Grebe appears around the bend in the channel and quickly disappears into the marsh grass. A familiar squawk announces the arrival of our local Tricolored Heron as it flies in on the dock and gives me a quick glance. Taking its usual perch on the dock cleat, it begins to preen. To my right, a Great Egret glides into the rising tidal flat and begins to hunt for minnows. After about 20 minutes of hunting it hops up on the dock and begins to preen. That is when I spot the Little Green Heron on the dock rail. It looks back at me, turns around to face me and also begins to preen. To my right the Great Egret does a long leg and wing stretch. As if playing the game "Simon Sez", the Little Green Heron does the same wing stretch motion. The Great Egret then begins a full body feather fluff. Not to be outdone, the Little Green Heron also does its best impression of the Great Egret again. I look at the Great Egret and say " Mr. Doohickey sez: "Scratch your head". The Egret and the Heron both begin to scratch. Ok, maybe it wasn’t exactly like that but you get the picture. I have the proof below so to speak.

     Early fall on the Broward is my favorite time of the year. As long as the weather holds fair, I will be on the dock each morning to sip my coffee, give thanks for my blessings and enjoy the marsh morning with the locals. Simon Sez: "You have a blessed morning too". Harry. 

A waning gibbous moon sets over the Broward in the Western sky.

Pink morning glow on the clouds

Beautiful October morning on the Broward River...

The Great Egret begins to hunt for minnows in the rising tide and early light.

There's one now..!

The Tricolored Heron lands and begins to preen

The Great Egret hops up on the dock and also begins to preen.

I spot a Little Green Heron on the dock rail, it turns around, ignores me and begins to preen

The Great Egret does a wing stretch..

As if playing "Simon Sez", the Little Green Heron does a wing stretch too.

Simon Sez,,fluff your feathers...

The Little Green Heron begins to fluff too

The Tricolored Heron also begins to fluff up..

Mr. Doohickey sez scratch your head..

The Little Green Heron also begins to scratch,,,see I told you, just like Mr Doohickey sez..

Simon Sez...

You have been touched by an angel's wing today,,be blessed.

They're baaacckkk!

     No, not the spooks from poltergeist…the Pied-billed Grebes are back! Spotted the first one returning to the Broward recently. A good friend and classmate sent word he saw one on the Potomac recently and another great friend reported they have not seen the grebes leave Wisconsin yet. It can now be reported that they are definitely back on the Broward. As the Hunters Super Moon sets on the Broward, small flocks of Snowy Egrets are also flying up and down the river. Sure beats small flecks of snow blowing all over the place like some are seeing already.

     This shy little diving Grebe spotted me early in the morning on its exploration around the small marsh island in front of the dock. Warily it came closer and closer, only to turn around and then come back towards me. I just ignored the curious looks until it came into good photography range and then began to quickly capture its charm while it gingerly swam past the dock and in and out of the green marsh grass reflecting on the water. It sure kept an eye on me, often turning a 360 just to see if I was still pointing the doohickey at it. Finally, it decided I wasn’t a threat and continued its morning hunt. We can expect to see about a half dozen or so more to arrive any day. The local Tricolored Heron showed up also and caught a nice looking sea trout minnow. However, one lucky minnow did manage to escape. At least today that is.

     How do you feel when you see a familiar face? I was happy as a bird with a french fry when I saw this little grebe. Later that day I saw another familiar face while attending a local home show. It was someone I worked with for many years (but many years ago). He saw me and said hello and came over to sit down and chat. My mind drew a blank on his name though. It was a “senior moment”! I finally had to ask him his last name and suddenly it all came back..My memory, it’s “baaackkk” too. Blessings. Harry

The Hunters Super Moon sets on the Broward...

The Pied-billed Grebes have returned to the Broward. I was looking for them for weeks.

Time for church...gotta fix these feathers first..

After a feather fluff the Tricolored Heron began to look for breakfast

Time for some fishing...

Got one!

Sea trout for breakfast..yummy

This minnow narrowly escapes being my memory narrowly escaped me too!

Small flocks of Snowy Egrets are flying over the Broward,,sure beats flecks of snow blowning

Can you spot the imposter? Roseate Spoonbill has breakfast with the Wood Storks

I may be old and ugly but I still remember old whats his name..

Yep,,they're baaacckk....and so is my memory too (I think). 

The morning after..

     There's got to be a morning after..These words from the epic 1972 movie “Poseidon Adventure” echo the thoughts and feeling of millions of people who just endured one of the most devastating hurricanes since Sandy hit the northeast coast in 2012. I am one of the blessed few in Matthews path that was spared. Although we lost power for most of an afternoon and evening, we had prepared.  Our generator was running within 30 minutes of the outage and kept us cozy throughout the night. Unfortunately, all the preparation in the world was nowhere to be found when Haiti was devastated again (just where was the world’s help?). Perhaps another contribution to a well-known “Foundation” would have helped.

     Someone must have notified the birds of the coming storm because I observed flocks of them come in our direction and away from the storms strong devastating winds. As the Broward breeched its banks dozens of birds gathered in the grass and along fences to feed on the goodies being floated up in the back yard. I counted eight Cardinals on the fence at one point, hoping up and down into the shallow water to grab a bug or grub. I also saw a giant swan swoop in and rescue two granddaughters of my neighbor. They were stuck in the rising storm surge on the Broward. The morning after Matthew, the sun came out again. A pair of Pied-billed Grebes sailed around the lagoon looking for food. Old Man River, the venerable Great Blue Heron and patriarch of the Broward, made what he thought was a stealthy appearance, then spotted me and quickly flew off again. It is mating season for the Great Blue Herons now. Perhaps I will get that illusive capture yet. The local Snowy Egret got a big fat Broward shrimp dinner after the storm too.

     My predictions on the storm’s path and our subsequent decision to hunker down and make due preparations proved successful for us this time. The prayers of many accompanied us throughout the storm and for those we are forever thankful. I think I will remember the sunshine of the morning after Matthew as long as I may live. I pray I will not forget how blessed I am. Blessing to you too! Harry

The Broward breeched its banks during the passing of Matthew and nearly flooded the Lizard Lounge. Shortly after this photo was taken we lost power

Giant Swan rescues two damsels in distress in the surging storm. 

A pair of Pied Billed Grebes look for post hurricane delicacies on the Broward.

I see you Mr Doohickey

Old Man River the Great Blue Heron and  patriarch of the Broward attempts a stealth landing

I've been spotted!

Next time perhaps there  Mr Doohickey

Look what else blew in!

I think I will call it Shrimp Matthew a La Broward

I pray I never forget the sunshine of morning after the storm. We were blessed. What a difference a day makes!'s "Tober"

     The breeze gently blowing over the Broward is cool and refreshing. The azure sky is crisp and clear. Gone is the sultry humidity and haze of summer. Fall has finally arrived on the river. The tall Bald Cypress we call “The General” has grown another foot or so and the once green leaves are starting to turn a hint of cinnamon brown as it begins to prepare for another change. How do I know it is really fall? The harvest moon has come and gone. But I must confess, a little birdie told me, a little Eastern Blue Bird that is.

     Fall migrations have begun. The thousands of crows a shipmate and friend in Wisconsin saw heading south are now all over the local malls and crying their familiar “Caw Caw Caw” as they fly across the river. Ma and Pa Bluebird seem to be discussing the recent political debate (boring). George, the Yellow-crowned Night Heron will be leaving soon. He and the missus have successfully raised another generation. They will hopefully return in the spring. The Black-crowned Night Herons will remain in the tree next door that they roost in throughout the year. Various ducks are passing through the Broward. The Roseate Spoonbills will be leaving the area also. But as one species leaves, another arrives. The Pied-billed Grebes (Editor’s favorite) should be showing up soon. Then the Hooded Mergansers will show up too. One of my goals this fall is to get a great photo of a Wood Duck pair. I love “Tober” and the cooler fall weather. Time for pumpkin pie too!

    Like the calendar, the seasons of our lives come and go too. Autumn is my favorite calendar season, and my favorite life cycle season too now that I am retired! Maybe we don’t have the leaves changing like the mountains and hills in North Carolina and points north but we still enjoy the local changes. Wish me luck on my Wood Duck quest. Blessings. Harry

Psst...It's "Tober"...A little Blue Birdie told me...

I'm sick of listening to bout you?

How about some pumpkin pie?

It sure is nice just sitting on the dock now, right Mr Doohickey?

After raising up another generation, George, the Yellow-crowned Night Heron will be leaving for the winter.

The Black-crowned Night Herons remain on the Broward year round...this one is taking the "Red Eye" home after a night on the Broward..


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