Sunday, April 25, 2010

Just for the Birds

I spent some time yesterday replacing the screens on the screened porch - Gracie and Ruca designed their own 'doggie door'. We're getting into 'bug season' and the bugs are pretty intense in my neighborhood. I have lived in south florida over 30 years and have done wilderness camping in the everglades, so I'm no stranger to mosquitos and no-seeums. I have gone so far as to use insect repellant containing 100% deet - the hi-test - when outside at dusk. The bugs are bad.
I poured myself a margherita and sat down on the patio (with my deet). I sat gazing over the lawn, when my eye caught sight of a bird flying overhead. "That looks like a bald eagle.." I thought to myself. I didn't give it another thought until I saw another bird on the same flight path land in the same pine tree. I clearly saw the white undertail and the rigidly flat wings. I grabbed my binoculars. Carefully adjusting the site, I slowly scanned the treeline concentrating on the stand of pines. When my eyes saw the pop of bright orange amid the sea of green, I stopped. Focusing, I was awe-struck. There on a branch high up in the pines, stood a pair of adult bald eagles. Magnificent. The unmistakable white head and the bold orange beak and feet - times two - . The pair stood on the limb looking out over the woods. They were majestic and I was spellbound.
I didn't see a nest, but paired eagles are known to visit the same site year after year. As my friend LeAnn said, I am really enjoying my new home. As I am sitting at my breakfast table typing this, I saw a red shouldered hawk fly past the window with a 'catch' in its claws. For someone who enjoys nature as much as I do, this is an ideal place to live. Since I have been in this house just five months, I haven't done much in the way of decorating. I think I will convert the screened porch to a room full of binoculars insect repellent and bird books...
While I'm on the subject, I guess I'll mention that the other day, Ruca and Gracie were barking wildly at somehting on the ground. I have seen this before - a baby bird tossed or fallen from a nest. As I went to investigate, it was immediately apparent that it was not a bird. It looked like a pile of dog poop (a rather common sight in my yard!)it looked like a pile of poop, until in uncoiled! It was not the common black garden snake that I had seen before. It was about two feet long, with a small head and a thick body and the body was a mud-grey color. The dogs continued to bark and the snake slithered toward the canal, stopping and rearing up to hiss at Ruca. My first thought was that it was a cotton mouth. (POISONOUS!) I watched as it slid out of sight, and grabbed my "Reptiles and Amphibians" reference guide. It could have been a brown water snake. It could have been a cotton mouth. It's aggressive manner hints at cotton mouth, but for my safety sake, i want it to have been a brown water snake.
I promise that this blogg will not become "Michelle's Wild Life Adventures"

1 comment:

LeAnn said...

all aspects of a life are interesting and if you're in a wildlife mood, one am enjoying it :)