Strictly speaking, the headline on this week’s blog post should read wildlife instead of wild life. Because for the last few weeks life here has been anything but wild. Instead, the days have passed gently, giving me a very welcome break, with time to read, think and bike around the island, enjoying everything I see.
Birds abound here. Cormorants are everywhere, gathering most mornings for a confab on a nearby golf course …
or swimming in the lakes and ponds …
or landing on a nicely placed branch, ready for a rest.
Biking and driving around the island, I’ve encountered egrets on branches …
in the water, looking for lunch …
And holding up their wings like ballet skirts.
The other day, I saw two pelicans battling it out, chasing each other across a small pond, almost banging wings. Were they fighting or preparing to mate?
There is other wildlife on the island, including white tailed deer and bobcats, but birds are the real draw for me. I don’t need to see the rare ones, even the most common birds are fascinating to someone like me, for whom they are unfamiliar. Take this one, for example. Perched on one leg, I found the bird menacing.
But once he straightened up, all menace disappeared.
Today I spotted an osprey on its nest. At first I thought I was seeing the head of a newly hatched chick but when he or she raised its head, I could see it was an adult.
And not a happy one. From time to time the bird called out, changing direction so that the call would reach the absent parent.
I didn’t wait long enough to see parent #2 returning to the nest. I didn’t need to — sitting in the sun to watch and listen was reward enough.
Along with the abundance of birds is an abundance of signs warning of danger from alligators. I’m sure the danger exists, but the one alligator I see regularly looks like he never moves.
And who blames him? Basking in the sun is good enough for me, too.