I am not a big tree hugger or PETA extremist, as evidenced by the nice chicken soup I just had, and not offended if you are. I love nature, however, I am also sure I have displaced my fair share of critters with my own “geo footprint” or whatever they are calling it these days. I am certainly not trying to start a war or take any kind of moral high ground stand.
But come on, they were here first and by the city's own admission they are just moving the problem from one location to another. All while saving a mere, well nothing if you ask me. The city was spending $14K to clean up behind the birds. Now they are spending $10K to drive them away as best as they can. Are you telling me they wont spend the other $4K cleaning up anyway?
LOL, I don’t know. What are your thoughts? I say, leave the poor things alone. Deal with the mess. Poor cormorants.
I am fairly certain of my identification of today’s special encounter. Since I don’t have a picture, lets just say I am dead on! Who’s going to know, right?
After my lunch I headed out for a nice walk with high hopes and anticipation. What will I see today? I have several trails and paths that I have developed over the last year for walking based on my mood or amount of time I have. Today I chose to start out on a bike path seldom used by bickers, only the occasional walker. A blue jay caught my attention causing me to stop and for a few minutes. He was quite large and troubled, it seemed. Something was bothering him, I just didn’t know what.
I froze trying not to disturb him. He was well aware of my presence, but not about to give up his lunch. There we were, watching me watching him, constantly adjusting his grip on what I learned after he flew away was a small mouse. He flew up into a nearby oak tree and began his lunch, peeking at me over his shoulder, as if I may want his little mouse.
The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for faith is necessary to have wings.- James M. Barrie
I have to admit, walking was tough this week. I kept having to sell the idea over and over. But I stuck to it and did my three walks a day. I do two 15-20 minute walks and one 30-40 minute walk everyday of the work week. As you know it’s a doctors orders kind of thing, or at least it started out that way. Bird watching has giving me wings, so to speak, and though I may not be excited every time to get up from my cube and venture outside in the still 80 degree weather here, this blog and the birds have given me just the motivation I need to keep it up. Yay, birds and the joy they can bring.
Bird sightings are just amazing here. I work in Maitland FL, just 10 minutes north of downtown Orlando. My office is right smack in the middle of a business district. I am by no means in the country. It never crossed my mind that you could find so much wildlife within walking distance of where I sit and work. I am currently experiencing technical difficulties with the camera so let’s hope I can paint some pictures with words.
Here is a brief list of some of the critters I have seen just this week. I hope to follow up with real life pictures soon. Just today, I identified my first Hairy Woodpecker. What a nervous little guy he was. He seemed to be traveling in a pack and there were others flittering around higher in the oak tree just outside of my building. I am sure it’s not the right time of year for twitterpating, or maybe it was just my imagination. I love looking critters up on Wikipedia and trying to learn more about them so I have included links for everything I saw this week. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hairy_Woodpecker.
On one of my late afternoon walks I saw the prettiest Red-Bellied Woodpecker. What a handsome fellow. He flew down and landed right in front of me on a tree truck not 10 feet away. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-bellied_Woodpecker. The Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker made a couple of appearances this week as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow-bellied_Sapsucker.
I didn’t actually see the Kingfisher http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingfisher on my work walks but I did see him on the drive into work. He was sitting on a street sign overlooking a drainage ditch. The same drainage ditch where Maureen and I often see my favorite sighting of the year, the Wood Stork! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_stork. More about him in a minute, or was it a her, hummmm. So, to finish off this weeks critter report, there was natures answer to keeping the environment clean the American Black Vulture, or as we called him back home the Buzzard or South Ga Eagle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Black_Vulture. Yesterday yielded a triple shot of Red-Tailed Hawk, White Egret, and Wood Stork all in one shot. Well, it would have been one shot if the camera had worked! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-tailed_Hawk.
Last but certainly not least I have to visit my friend in the retention pond two building over at least once a week, the American Alligator. He is only about 3-4 feet long but always worth the walk to visit him. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Alligator
I want to get into more detail about my five sightings of the Wood Stork in the last month. For now I am saving him for my next post. My research has been a lot of fun and I can’t tell you how excited I am to have seen this endangered bird. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_stork
For now well wishes and happy birding,
My girlfriend and I have spent the last year remodeling a house. We plan on spending the next couple of years trying to finish! But, that is another whole blog for another day. One morning Maureen had to go over early to meet with one of the many inspectors or subcontractors, I can't remember which. She was greeted with the sound of dozens and dozens of frogs having a party in the back yard. Seeing all the frogs, she grabs her camera and takes a picture to show me later. After going back inside for a few minutes she looks back out and spy's....
the hawk. A very nice Red-Shouldered Hawk.
Apparently.... he was hungry! Hard to see but she actually go a shot of him carring away his breakfast!
PS Thanks to Bird Girl for helping me correctly identify this beautiful hawk as a red-shouldered hawk and not a red-tailed hawk. Thanks Barb!
My name is Craig and I have HIGH cholesterol! They say that's half the battle, "They" lied. The doctor said that at my age, it’s just not something I can afford to put off any longer. AT MY AGE? Who does this guy think he is?….. Oh yea the doctor. My grandpa, on my daddy’s side, died when he was 50 from heart disease. My daddy had his first heart attack at age 50 and a triple bypass to boot. My mother has had a triple bypass and we lost her daddy to heart disease as well. I am only, wait for it, 46. Yea, yea, he was right, I have to deal with this.
Well, I am just a little over a year into this realization and here is the progress I have made so far. I quit smoking. That’s right, I just quit. Put them down. Piece of cake. OK, the truth is, my girlfriend said it’s me or the cigarettes. Lung cancer had struck in her family and she just wasn’t having it. Was it hard? Hell yea. But I did it and haven’t touched them since. To do this, I needed a new habit. Instead of smoking at break time at work, I went for a walk. These walks grew in distance and frequency over the last year and I discovered an old love, bird watching.
I would see a new bird and google it as soon as I got back to my desk. That’s when I realized that this was exactly the kind of motivation I needed to keep up with the drudgery of exercising. I found a really cool blog that I liked, Dave’s bird watching blog http://dheiser.myncblogs.com/ , and decided this is what I would like to do. I want to share what I see on my walks as well as keep everyone informed with my health progress. Not really expecting to hit the Wall Street Journal anytime soon, but hey, I like to write, I like the critters, and I am pretty happy with the living thing too. So, it all fits.
I look forward to your comments, advice, and personal experiences!