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3 Pelicans & A Spoonbill May 5, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Humor, Nature.
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A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week!
But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican?

~ Dixon Lanier Merritt

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Like other snowbirds, pelicans flock to the region during season to commune on our lagoon.

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The resident snappy dressers, Roseate Spoonbills, happily share space with their snack happy northern cousins.

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As they glide across the mirrored surface of lakes, ponds, and lagoons, well-pouched pelicans scan for fish, dipping nets at the ready.

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Snatching fish in shallow stocked ponds is a *SNAP* for these sushi loving birds.

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As each fish gets scooped up and swallowed down, a resounding *SNAP* from the pelican’s pouch echoes across and around the pond.

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With every snatched snack, these voracious visitors smack their lips, keeping count in song:

100 tasty fish in the lake
100 tasty fish
I grab one out
And “SNAP* it about
99 tasty fish in the lake

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Spoonbills, in contrast, are less obvious in appetite as they silently sweep, swirl, and sift through silt at water’s edge:

The roseate spoonbill spends a lot of its time in shallow water feeding. It sweeps its open bill from side to side in the water to sift up food like small fish, shrimp, mollusks, snails and insects. It has touch receptors in its bill that help it feel its prey. Like the flamingo, the roseate spoonbill’s pink color comes from the food it eats. Some of the crustaceans it eats feed on algae that give the spoonbill’s feathers their rosy pink color. 

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Spoonbills don’t sing silly fish songs . . . but they do practice Tai Chi and Yoga.


A good after-meal S~T~R~E~T~C~H aids digestion.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Hues of Green and Blue December 26, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Art & Photography, Humor, Nature.
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Florida has been our home for the past 6 years.


We appreciate its sunshine, warm sand, and gorgeous birds.



We enjoy the greens and blues of its tropical landscape, from bay . . .

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To beach . . .


We admire its palette even when its greens are in need of a trim.

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Due to decks and docks succumbing to climbing vegetation.

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In its preserves, waterways mirror the blue expanse of sky.

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As grasses whistle and sing while dancing in the afternoon breeze.

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Swaying palms reach majestic heights.

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Offering welcome shade from summer’s sweltering sun.


But all is not green and blue.  Shades of pink proliferate.


Along with the occasional burst of red.

santa on the beach

Aah . . . that’s better!

What colors predominate in your daily vistas?

In Tune With No Time February 21, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Fun & Games, Nature, Poetry.
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Tigger2bSwift swallows arrived one morning
Intent on breakfast

With quick dips and swift soars
They swallowed prey

Tigger craned his neck
To and fro
Watching swallows come and go
Diving, diving, high to low

Quick turns
No rhythm, no rhyme

Swift swallows flying
In tune with No Time

Aah . . . that’s better!

Have you ever watched a cloud of Swifts or Swallows engaged in an aerial feeding frenzy?

Dizzying, isn’t it?

You Can Call Me “Ray” October 1, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Exercise & Fitness, Nature.
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We went for a walk on the beach yesterday, enjoying the salty air, abundant sunshine, and turquoise seas.


I snapped a few shots of beach cottages.


Perched “high” on the dunes . . . a full two feet above sea level.


We skirted around most of the birds as we marched along the sand.


And made the acquaintance of a few really brave ones.


Then a fever of rays caught our eyes in the crest of a wave.


We followed them up the beach stopping every few feet to snap another shot.


Despite taking two dozen photos of the group, I didn’t get a good enough photo to determine what type of stingrays we’d seen.


That’s OK . . . we’ll just say we watched rays in the waves under the rays of the sun and be done with it.


I’m certain the rays weren’t manta rays given their diminutive stature.


Despite what happened to Steve Irwin, stingrays do not attack humans . . . as a general rule.  Stings do occur if a ray is provoked or accidentally stepped on.

To avoid stepping on stingrays buried in shallow water, do the Stingray Shuffle.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Losing Focus . . . Gaining Clarity May 4, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
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Often, when we lose focus, we gain clarity . . .

The extraneous disappears, the essential remains . . . 

Impressions created with broad brush oft times reveal the real . . .

Quote: A quiet mind, like the surface of a still pond, provides a more accurate reflection.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Unfocused (WP Prompt)

Can You Spot The Strange~Her? April 28, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Art & Photography, Humor.
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Something in this picture is all WRONG!
      One member of this flock does NOT belong

An intruder has infiltrated its rank and file
          Camouflaged in a pink shirt and a wide smile

Look closely . . . see if you can spot the strange~her

And remind her to let “birds of a feather” flock together 

 Gators too . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Together (WP Prompt) * Sarasota Jungle Gardens * Pretty in Pink

Double Your Pleasure ~ Two Subjects April 13, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Art & Photography, Blogs & Blogging.
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Birds . . . and beach:

Beach . . . and bird:

Have you heard?

“Bird” is the word . . .

Watch out!

The early bird catches the “ear worm” . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Two Subjects (WP Prompt)

Treasures of Wildlife October 25, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Art & Photography, Nature, Poetry.
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The landscape belongs to the person who looks at it. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.  It will never fail you. 
~ Frank Lloyd Wright

The lazy lizard
lounges in Shamrock Park, watched
by all, seen by none

All good things are wild and free. ~ Henry David Thoreau

White under-belly
exposed, the turtle heads to
its watery grave

The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.
~ Claude Monet

Coyotes roam through
fisherman’s village, searching
for tasty morsels

The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. ~ Zeno

Great Blue Heron stands
in meditative pose, wings
outstretched in prayer

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. ~ Rachel Carson

Heads bobbing in time,
dancing deck lizards groove to  
that 70’s sound

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. 
~ Albert Einstein

Green dreams shatter as
drought-stricken dying palms wave
at the passing clouds

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a songbird will come. 
~ Chinese Proverb

Two swans on Swan Lake
swim with beauty, style, and grace ~
we stand on the shore

In the wilderness is the preservation of the world. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Displaced by torrents
of water, homeless hornets
regroup and rebuild

Let nature be your teacher. ~ William Wordsworth

Otters chittering
in Spoonbill Landings’ lagoon
join the birds’ chorus

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language. ~ Martin Buber

Perico Island
offers a sanctuary
for our feathered friends

Keep your sense of proportion by regularly, preferably daily, visiting the  natural world. ~ Catlin Matthews

Masked bandits at night
Fearlessly approach our door
Raccoons amuse me

We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understanding and our hearts. ~ William Hazlitt

Sailing through the air
Graceful in their awkwardness
Pelicans abound

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. ~ John Muir

Children toss reptile
into on-coming traffic. 
Snake shall breathe no more.

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. ~ William Shakespeare

Frozen in my tracks
I meet the predator’s gaze
Bored, the hawk flies off

We do not inherit the Land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~ Native American Proverb

Forlorn foghorn cries
Fish splash, breaking the surface
Crickets harmonize

Each moment of the year has its own beauty . . . a picture which was never before and shall never be seen again. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beach Bums October 23, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Nature, Poetry, Word Play.
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The gull swooped down, on a collision course with the rocks. 

At the last moment, it swerved . . . laughing at my wasted concern.

flying, soaring
laughing, crying, calling
dipping, swooping, hunting, searching

Scavengers at the beach


Artwork by Barbara Hines . . . available at Island Gallery West            

Modern Conveniences October 22, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Home & Garden, Nature, Simplify Your Life.
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We have moved many times during the past 30 years ~ we’ve lived in South Carolina ( 2 places), North Carolina (2 places), New Jersey (3 places), Virginia ( 1 place), Maryland (1 place) and Florida (2 places).

Each move required packing up tons of stuff to move it from Hither to Yon. 

Moving vans are a wonderful modern convenience for transporting stuff from Point A to Point B . . . much easier than using a buckboard or balancing items on horseback while fording streams.

Our last move, to a furnished villa near Anna Maria Island, required us to take  inventory since we inherited beds, dressers, tables, chairs, sofas, love seats, TVs, linens, DVD players, pots, pans, dishes, glasses, cutlery, knives, crockpot, toaster, blenders, and other modern conveniences ~ water heater, stove, oven, microwave, and refrigerator/freezer.

Buying a furnished villa worked for us since we’d left most of our furniture in situ when we moved to Florida.  The couple who bought our home in Maryland inherited our computer desk,  garden tools, sofas, dining room furniture, beds, dressers, recliners, and lawn implements.  The owner of this villa reciprocated:

* He left us a computer desk . . . we needed a computer desk.
* He left us his bike . . . we needed a bike.
* He left us his garden tools . . . we needed garden tools.

Buying a place filled with new-to-us furnishings and modern conveniences without having to shop until we dropped or drooped was a major convenience!

Even better than the modern conveniences are the views. 


The villa is located on a small lagoon populated by pelicans, great blue herons, ibis and spoonbills.  One day, while still debating the purchase, we spied baby otters chittering and playing on the far side of the lagoon . . . sliding down the banks into the water, and then racing back up the hill to do it all over again.  

The baby otters (and the birds) sealed the deal. 

A Moving Moral:  Modern conveniences are grand . . . but nature nurtures.

Enjoy whatever the universe tosses your way because when one door closes, another opens . . . sometimes into a room with a view furnished just for you.

Related posts:  Sidey’s Weekend Theme ~ All Mod Cons * Really Awful All Mod Cons (Colonialist) * All Mod Cons (Sidey) * A Modern Spin (Kate Shrewsday) *  This is All that Came to Mind (Paula)


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