Skip to main content

Getting the Inside Scoop

Blogging Friday morning, a text came in from Pam about her sewing machine tension...could I help? Sure, I'll ride over on my bike. After checking the machine and setting things straight, I asked her, "do you want to see a nearby eagle's nest?" How would you answer that question if you were the curious type? I thought so.

Off we went, riding down Ferncreek. It is always great fun showing someone a nearby neighborhood that they've yet to see, and this time was the no different. As we rode down Waterwitch, on our way to the cut-through to Harbour Island, and yes, that is how they spell it, I spotted an eagle in the usual spot in the tall pine tree, lakeside. That is how things started...

Pam was freaking out at how cool it is in Harbour Island, with all of the old trees shading much of the road and beautiful homes, saying she could not wait to show the area to Glenn. I can't say as I blame her because it is a very special place, right off Orange Avenue, that is like being in another world altogether. Before we got to the eagle house I saw a girl a little ways away taking a photograph with her mobile, and I knew that something neat was going on. Indeed it was...this hawk sat and stared at us until I started moving closer, and off it flew.
If you are keeping count, that is two raptors so far. We rode down to the house and were disappointed that there was not an eagle in sight. Boo hoo! After a bit, I said let's ride down this way and I'll show you around a little more. We came across these beautiful bushes filled with blooms that Pam could not immediately identify, although she did guess that perhaps it was a mango.
Anyone who knows Pam's garden prowess knows that her guess is generally an educated one, and indeed she was right. Fragrant as well.

Not quite ready to give up, we rode back to the nest, hoping in the interim something would have changed. We ran into John Mears, (of Mears Transportation for my Orlando readers) while he was walking his two Boxers. We chatted. He'd not noticed the nest until he saw me looking at it, but now his eyes were glued to the tree. Lo and behold, he said I think I see something moving. Sure enough....
Not great, but still exciting. Following the sighting we went on our way, with Pam and I splitting up at the entrance to her neighborhood, but not before we saw yet another hawk fly into the tree canopy over Pershing Avenue!!
Set against the new Spring green leaves it was so pretty, eventually putting on a bit of a show for me. Remember, I am not a nature photographer, only a nature lover!
Wouldn't that have been an awesome photograph without my movement due to my excitement?? Not long after he/she took off toward my side of the street!
And now you know why it is called a Red Shouldered Hawk! Pretty neat, huh? You would think this hawk was accustomed to people as I got yet another photo when it flew onto a hedge.
No eagle, but wow...two hawks in one morning and that is not counting the one we saw way high on top of an Australian Pine out Pam's back door. Amazing, really.

Friday evening we went to a charity event with David and Michelle, sponsored by the Junior League, of which Michelle is a member. It is not often I get a photo of Bruce and one of his sons.
I only wish the elder Peck would have been looking more at me! Held at the former Peabody Hotel, it was a night of fun and bidding on silent auctions. More another time on that topic!

Saturday morning, while Bruce was at the job site, I rode over, once again to the nest. I told you I was in real danger of becoming obsessed! I was so excited when, yes, Mr. Eagle was on the lookout.
Let me put this into perspective for you...
Way the heck up there for sure!

While I was milling about, the gentleman, whose back yard contains this tree, was out working in his front yard, and you won't be surprised to learn that I struck up a conversation. Mr. Joe Stine could not have any nicer had he tried. Oh my goodness, we had such a nice visit, with him filling me in on the eagles, who apparently have been using this nest since 2006!!
Don't you just bet he's been wearing his hair like this for decades? I do. Well, anyone, again Orlando folks will find this crazy interesting, Mr. Stine used to run Harry P. Leu Inc., the business founded by Mr. Leu whose story you will find HERE. If you've ever been to Leu Gardens in Orlando you won't want to miss it. Joe took over the business from his own father, who has a neat mention in this article from the Orlando Sentinel. You may not know it, but mostly I write this blog for myself, learning as I go. I'm fairly confidant most of you never go to the links I add, but I keep adding them nonetheless. How else was I to know that Joe's dad was originally from Charleston, SC? Must be where he got his Southern gentleman manner. He and his wife Joan have lived in this house since the island was developed in 1974.
He pointed out a number of camellias in his yard that came directly from Mr. Leu before he turned the property over to the city! He recounted tales of playing on the grounds of what we now call Leu Gardens. You can imagine I was giddy with excitement! He also told me that generally the eagles only have one eaglet; should there be two they would fight like mad for food. While we were chatting up popped Mama and baby.
As you can see, the sky became overcast during our conversation, making photographs more difficult, however, we did see both parents fly to and fro before papa took up guard once again.
Should you be curious about the dark heads, I've learned, and perhaps you already knew that the eagles generally get their white heads around age five.

Apparently, in 2005, the year of three major hurricanes, the island lost one third of the old trees including a previous nest. We are seeing the latest model. :)

Now you too, have the inside scoop!

Speaking of perspectives, last week when I went to the cemetery, while chatting with some folks, one of the women picked up a pine cone, marveling at the size. My friend Sue loves giant pinecones, so I asked if I might have it for her. Absolutely, she replied. Putting it alongside one of my hibiscus blooms gives you an idea of just how gigantic it is.
Isn't that something?

Are you tired of birds yet? I hope not because this little guy visited recently and I could not get over how RED he is. Come August he won't look anything like this beautiful!
Had enough for today? Watch this space for the next installment which may or may not include some birds.

In bird heaven,

Gail

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Should We Go or Should We Stay?

It is hard to know what to do in the situation we found ourselves. Should we go, or should we stay? My vote was to stay, whereas Bruce wanted to head back to Vancouver because he had loads of meetings and work to do. After losing Baxter so recently, he'd had a hard time concentrating on work, and had only just begun to find his way. While I could understand all of that, now that I'd gone along for the ride, I realized how unpredictable it could be. How long could it take, after all?

Saturday morning Bruce drove over to the dealership to find out what he could while I roamed the property looking for anything of interest. Two things caught my eye, one of which are these cool pinecones on what we would call a Christmas tree.
Adjacent to the hotel there was a large lot fenced off for conservation. Walking around the block I saw what looked like evidence that a beaver had been busy. Further, I saw some cone shaped "structures" in the distance.
I never did see any beavers,…

The Sky

After our friend, Karen Howard, moved to the North Carolina mountains, she said one of the things she missed the most about living in Florida was the fluffy, white clouds, ever present throughout the year. Now I have a better understanding of how she felt.

There is no escaping the sky when you are living this high off of the ground with abundant glass. Because our high rise was the first to be built in this area of downtown, there are few impediments to the view. From what I've gathered, views are both highly prized, and highly protected here. And what is there to see? Having lived here for more than five months now, I've learned that there is a lot to see. Whereas in the summer months, your eyes are drawn to the activity on the water below, in the winter, it is all about sky watching. Will it rain? Will there be fog? Will that yellow circle on my phone, indicating a sunny day, really happen? If so, will there actually be a sunrise or sunset? What about the moon and stars? Wil…

Six Months!

I would be the first to admit that during these months in Vancouver I feel as if I am living in a bit of a bubble. Rarely do I even know the date, so it came as a bit of surprise discovering this morning that six months have elapsed since we arrived on July 29, 2017. Doesn't it seem as if were not that long ago that I was writing this post? Now that was fun to re-read that post! I was wrong, the building I photographed was not ours. Terribly sad to read about Baxie..

So, what do we think six months later? We do love the city, but this weather, yikes! I also read in that post that I was bound and determined that I would not complain, so we'll leave it at that.

Every day last week, in both rain and weak sunshine, I made myself go out and about, not wanting to sit in the condo alone while Bruce is at the office. I visited places both familiar, and not so familiar. More often than not, I began my walk when it was not raining, finishing them when it was. One morning I saw that the …