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Mostly Bird Watching

Yesterday morning, while looking upward into the tree cover, a man stopped his car to say, "Good Morning Owl Lady." Not a complete stranger, well I'd never met him before, however I did meet his son last week, he lives in the house across the street from Nell where the owlets have recently been hanging out. Well sometimes anyway. Last week, as I was standing on the sidewalk in front of their home, the aforementioned son came out of the house to see what I was seeing. A sophomore at Boone, he had no idea the owlets were in his front yard! We had a wonderful chat during which he told me he was heading to school a little later to take a test. Obviously I wished him the best, going so far as to say that perhaps seeing the owlets would bring him good luck? Silly, I know but it is darn exciting watching nature in action. Asking his father how the test went, he said very good! So there.

Well, he may think I'm an owl lady, and while there is some truth to that, in general I'm just a fan of birds. This season is obviously the best what with all the nests I've discovered nearby, including...ta da....one in our own Lady Palms!!
Hidden amongst all those fronds, but still a tiny bit visible. Last weekend I was chopping a bunch of those very same palms down because it was so darn full. We've discussed how they just spread and spread, so unless you want a jungle, I suggest you refrain from planting them! Anyway, at that time the nest was barely underway, but now Mama is sitting on it, making me very happy indeed.

Driving down our street on my way to do errands,  I saw one of the young herons perched in a pine tree in front of the Pooser's house.
This one is in the front yard, and obviously alive, unlike the dead palm where the nest remains. I still see the juveniles there on occasion, but I think, more and more, they are making their way out in the world. Naturally I had to stop and watch for a bit! And just as naturally I had my camera with me.
While I was taking the photographs the neighbor next door spotted me and said if I wanted to go in their backyard anytime to feel free. He also said he was thrilled the herons were leaving the nest because they are very loud. So loud, he claimed, that they wake him from a dead sleep at night! Can't say as I blame him for that!
Obviously flying is super cool and all, but the balance that birds possess is almost as miraculous. I guess if we had claws we'd have better balance ourselves, but flying, probably not going to happen!

My son Jonathan, who, by the way, sent me a Mother's Day card with this on the back,
claimed that my last post was long. My response was, they all are. Sorry! Anyway, both he and Alissa seemingly have Texas fever. What's that you ask? Either the map or the flag of Texas displayed everywhere!! When Bruce returns from Dallas tonight I'll have to ask him how many Texas flags he saw while there. As to the card, I indeed did smile.

So I said the owlets are hanging there sometimes, and that remains true. Catherine called me yesterday afternoon wondering where they were and I had to tell her they were nowhere to be found currently. While looking for them, just after the man encounter related above, I saw what I think was one of the parents, roosting in the Cyprus tree in Nell's yard. Mesmerized, I watched a tiny bird, couldn't tell what kind due to the foliage, slamming into the owl's head, squawking all the while. Now that would have been quite a video! Anyway, time and time again, it flew around, popping the owl on the head before darting onto a higher branch. Eventually, the owl had had enough!!
Oh how I wish the photo were better, however, I'm astonished I even got this! So, not able to spot the owlets, I rode over to check on the eagles.

As I rode onto Waterwich I saw an eagle in the big pine tree, facing Lake Conway. I know that sounds random but it does fit into the story, promise! Well, lo and behold just as I was getting to the gate leading into Harbour Island, spelled the way they do btw, I spotted a small hawk!
Guess what? The blue jays began bugging the hawk and before long, not nearly as patient as the owl, the hawk took off for safer roosting!
Crazy right? Well, there's more where that came from! Riding up to the house, I parked my bike in the driveway. Looks pretty cute here doesn't it?
For those of you worried about my trespassing ways, I have received permission from all of the nice folks whose yards I roam! Anyway, no eagle in sight, except, well yes, I did spot one of the eaglets, whom are probably called something other than that now that they are so big. No sign of two, but do you see one in the pine? And I don't mean the flying one.
Probably not, and that is the point. Should the eaglet not have been repeatedly dive-bombed by the crows, flapping it's wings to deter them, I would not have seen it either!
The smaller birds kept at it with the same wing flapping going on. After a time, I thought, well, that's probably enough Gail; I will never make a good nature photographer because I just don't have the patience! Putting my camera in the basket, I prepared to take off. However, much to my amazement, the eaglet finally had had enough, and flew high out of the tree with the smaller birds in hot pursuit!
Most of the flying photos did not turn out, no surprise there what with my skills, but this one gives you a pretty good idea of the action.
Tiring, the eaglet landed in a pine tree across the street. As I struggled to locate the bird, what should I see on my left, but this!
So random, but not surprising I suppose what with lake surrounding us. It's an island for crying out loud!

In time, the eaglet flew towards the lake, and I was not surprised in the least on the ride home to find it here.  (see reference above)
After all, isn't that what all children do...cry to their parents when they are bullied? Cry it did, a sound like nothing I've ever heard before!

While I was standing on the island watching, a woman who was out for her morning walk stopped and I showed her what I was looking at. Excited, she said how lucky we were to witness it. Indeed, I replied, like a nature documentary right in the middle of Orlando!

And oh yeah,  the party from Sunday...or at least a few of the folks. Pat is seated in the blue shirt.
Yup, I like people too!

For those of you who've been wondering, I talked to Maureen last evening, and she is still having great difficulties. As we talked about before, it is going to be a very long road to recovery.

As well, Corrine called me last week! Woo hoo! Although she sounded pretty good, at one point she began crying, saying how much she missed us. And, of course, Herb, who, according to his daughter, continues to lose touch with reality. So sad....

Reporting from Orlando,

Gail
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