Feathers On Friday: What A Poser!

Mr. GBH has now taken over the perch vacated by Perry pelican who has, now that Florida’s weather has really started to heat up in readiness for what will undoubtedly be another searing summer, flown off on his journey back to cooler climes

My first shot today, caught him unawares and he therefore looks quite boringly stream-lined,

but when he became aware that he was being photographed for my blog, he decided to pull out all the stops and do his full frontal yoga pose, together with a slight left turn of his head to show his best side. You have to admire his special brand of pizazz. He’s a real natural.

Wishing you all a most relaxing weekend.

Feathers On Friday: An Unusual Visitor

I was really surprised to look out of my bathroom window and see this new visitor to my backyard. The Black-crowned Night Heron is usually nocturnal, so its appearance at around midday was most unexpected. It’s the first time I’ve seen one of these and I had to consult my ‘Birds Of South East Florida Guide’ to identify it.

We have our family visiting from New Jersey at the moment and are having a great time together. It’s been well over a year since we saw them, so it’s very special to spend precious time together. Wishing you all a great weekend.

One Word Sunday: Vertiginous

Debbie’s ‘One Word’ this Sunday is ‘Vertiginous’. I found several photos which fitted the bill perfectly, but decided on this view of The Alps, taken on our flight from Venice to London in 2011. We all haven’t been looking out of airplane windows for quite some time, so I thought this might bring back some fond memories of once upon a time when we travelled with impunity.

I hope your weekend is going well. We are grateful to have received our second Moderna shot last Wednesday, so just say the word and we’ll be off on our travels. Nothing’s ever simple though, is it?

To join in Debbie’s Sunday challenge, just click the link.

Six Word Saturday: Longing To Spread Our Wings Again

A Brown Pelican shows his considerable wing-span as he takes off on a fishing trip.

Because of this pesky virus, it’s been far too long that we’ve been confined to our immediate surroundings. I’m feeling cautiously hopeful that with the vaccine roll outs, we might once again be able to ‘spread our wings’ and fly away to see far-flung family. The last time we saw my mom–in-law in England, she was only 106. This year she turns 108, so as you can imagine we’re really hoping we’ll be able to visit her this summer.

Wishing you all a splendid weekend. To join in Debbie’s ‘Six Word Saturday’, just click the link.

One Word Sunday: Empty

To me, the word ‘Empty’ has a very sad ring to it. It means ‘unoccupied’ or devoid of content.

Ten years ago we were on a wonderful tour of Italy; ah yes, those were the days. ….”sigh”. One of the saddest places I’ve ever visited is the ancient city of Pompeii. The excavated ruins of this once vibrant and bustling city, really gave me goosebumps.

On 24th August 79 AD, some 20,000 people lost their lives when Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the city and its residents under twenty-seven feet of volcanic ash. In happier days, this chariot-rutted street would have been a hive of activity, lined with stalls and jammed with customers from dawn to dusk. Roman chariots would have been vying with shoppers for street space. Now it’s empty except for curious tourists like myself.

Wishing you all a great week, full of interesting activities. Hubby and I have been redesigning the front garden and planting lots of pretty flowers.

To join in ‘Debbie’s ‘One Word Sunday’, just click the link.

Feathers On Friday: Snowy Egret Struts On By

Snowy Egret is a regular visitor to our backyard. He’s usually on a food-finding mission and woe betide any unsuspecting frogs or lizards who happen to catch his observant eyes. He makes short shrift of them, grabbing them mercilessly in his beak and swallowing them whole, never to be seen again. He is distinguishable from the Great Egret by his bright yellow feet, plus he’s somewhat smaller.

In the late nineteenth century, this majestic bird was hunted for its soft, pure-white breeding feathers which were used to adorn women’s hats. These much sought after plumes sold for thirty two dollars per ounce, twice the price of gold at that time. This practice almost led to their extinction. Thankfully, they and many other birds are now protected by the ‘Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918’ which makes it unlawful to hunt, capture or sell nearly 1,100 birds listed in the treaty.

Wishing you all a splendid weekend. We are expecting 30 C today, so I think I’ll stay indoors and play my piano.

One Word Sunday: Large, Larger, Largest.

One of the largest and most spectacular of Florida’s birds, is the Great Blue Heron, and those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know that Mr. GBH is my favourite. Great Blue Herons grow to between 3.2 to 4.5 feet and have a wingspan of 5.5 to 6.5 feet.

They are carnivores and have quite an appetite for sushi, devouring about a pound of fish a day. They are also not averse to feeding on a wide range of shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, rodents and other small mammals when the opportunity arises. I was horrified to read that they also occasionally snaffle up a duckling or two when Momma duck isn’t looking.

Mr. GBH is such an elegant guy and can strike quite the pose especially when he knows he’s being photographed. He’s so proud of his subtle blue-gray plumage, his slim, cellulite-free legs and that dagger of a beak which can strike like lightning when his laser-like stare spots his next meal.

Great blue herons mostly nest in colonies called ‘heronries’ in trees near water. They are usually monogamous during any one season, but next season often decide to try out a new mate, and scuffles over females are quite common, although never to the death.

To Native Americans, the Heron is a symbol of patience, self-reliance and self-determination. Even though his legs are long and spindly, he has the ability to stand firm and motionless as he calmly waits for his prey to appear.

Debbie’s ‘One Word Sunday- Large, Larger, Largest’ is responsible for Mr. GBH’s appearance here today. To join in her challenge, just click the link.

I hope your week is going well. It’s getting warm again here in Florida and feels more like summer than winter. Hubby and I are looking forward to meeting friends for lunch tomorrow at a waterfront restaurant with outdoor seating.

Feathers On Friday: Is It A Bird, Is It A Plane?

It’s Mr. GBH heading for home after a good day’s fishing.

It’s been a good week and on Wednesday, hubby and I were fortunate enough to receive our first Covid19 vaccinations. Our second ones are scheduled for early March, so now I feel much more relaxed about the family coming to visit in early April. Wishing you all a relaxing but fruitful weekend.

One Word Sunday: Small, Smaller, Smallest.

Whilst visiting our family in New Jersey, a few years ago, our smallest granddaughter Taylor,

presented me with a drawing that she’d made of us all. I thought it was so cute how she’d lined us all up with granny and granddad being the tallest, then her mom and dad, slightly shorter, followed by herself, her older sister and then her younger brother being the smallest. It was also good to see that we all had smiley faces.

To join Debbie’s ‘One Word Sunday’, just click the link.

Wishing you all a very happy February, which happens to be the smallest month.

One Word Sunday: Body

When I saw Debbie’s ‘One Word’ for this Sunday, ‘Body’, I immediately thought of a body of water. I have many photos which show a body of water, but this one is quite unique in that it also shows a very fit human body in the foreground. On one of our walks along the beachfront in Umhlanga, we happened upon this athletic body who was “just cooling down” after his three-mile morning run. He very kindly agreed to make an extra effort and repeat the performance so that I could get a photo. He told me that he was now fifty-years-old and at one time an Olympic gymnast. He kept fit by not eating junk food and exercising regularly. Some of you may have seen this on my blog a few years ago, but it’s definitely worth a second look.

I hope you’re all having a happy and healthy Sunday.

To join in Debbie’s ‘One Word Sunday’, just click the link.