NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND ~ WHERE THE ONLY ICE YOU SEE IS IN YOUR DRINK

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Everyone likes birds. What wild creature is more accessible to our eyes and ears, as close to us and everyone in the world, as universal as a bird?

~ David Attenborough

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My daily walk is a perfect storm of pleasures.

So not like Nika, Orion and Pax. And, yes, I consider myself very very very lucky.

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On my way to the beach (which is cheaper than therapy), 


IMG_2245I skirt the lake and watch the ring-necked duck dabble and diveRing-Necked_Duck_male

while the roseate spoonbill wades in the shallows.12-01-11miwr roseate spoonbill6Flocks of palm warblers are in constant motion.

loxahatchee-palm-warblerAn anhinga perches on the bridge, wings open to dry its feathers and warm its body.

IMG_2258The cormorant on a nearby rock does the same.

20051227_hp-cor-ad044A little blue heron gets an eyeful.

1 13 14 little blue fishing1On the other side of the beach walk, the wind kicks up ~ but, no worries, there’s no such thing as a bad hair day when sand and salt are part of the equation. 🙂

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I see a pelican at rest on the rocks,

1 20 14 imm brown pelican

a crested tern (greater? lesser? royal?) colony,

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an agile sandpiper busying itself

1 20 14 purple sandpiper

near protected turtle nesting spots.

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Seabirds of all sorts scurry, then disappear in the mix of sand and shells.  I can’t tell a willet from a sanderling from a godwit. Even with a bird book. Yet.

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One morning I met mother/daughter birdwatchers.  They came to watch a flock of frigate birds, a rare sight in these parts.

Fregata magnificens, Magnificent frigate bird, Celestun, Yucatan, Mexico-2235 I can see them from my porch as they float over the river’s edge 

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where the king/queen of the avian food chain roosts in its favorite fishing tree.

So, bird book in hand, I’m happier than a seagull with a french fry. I wonder what I’ll see tomorrow.

Do you watch birds?  

What got you started?

What’s your most memorable birding moment?

IMG_0158Toni 2/12/14

I DON’T CARE IF THEY WERE PHANTOM CAMELS, say I, a writer who has been known to fashion the narrative a bit herself–fashion in what we now know as “the Biblical way.” (A 420 CHARACTER 9-LINER BY PATTY)

Camels

Getty Imageshttp://world.time.com/2014/02/11/the-mystery-of-the-bibles-phantom-camels/

Images intrigue.

I mean I LIKED picturing Jacob, last of the great desert chieftains,

charge out of the desert on his camel in the dark of night

to take on that combatative angel

or to herd the sheep into the Land of Canaan

back there in the 1st half  of the 2nd millennium B.C.

Alas! Carbon-dating indicates camels are naught but poetic license,

“back projections from a much later period.”*

The image still intrigues.

PATTY

*The NYT quotes Israeli biblical scholar Noam Mizrahi. The camels “do not encapsulate memories from the second millennium, but should be viewed as back-projections from a much later period.”

Read more: There Were No Camels During Time of Biblical Patriarchs, Study Says | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2014/02/11/the-mystery-of-the-bibles-phantom-camels/#ixzz2t85exfSA

Will camel discovery break the Bible's back?http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/11/is-camel-discovery-the-straw-that-broke-the-bibles-back/?hpt=hp_t3

It’s Happened Again: He Who Always Says to Me, Come Over Here; I Want to Read You Something,” Just Read Me Roger Angell’s Essay, “Life in the Nineties.” And I Fall For Him All Over Again (You, too, Roger.)

THIS IS A MUST READ. BEST EXPERIENCED AS A READ ALOUD FOR REASONS THAT WILL BECOME APPARENT.

ONWARD AND OUTWARD

THIS OLD MAN

Life in the nineties.

BY FEBRUARY 17, 2014

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/02/17/140217fa_fact_angelL

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February 17, 2014 Issue