It’s pouring here today, so you know what this means, sustenance for everyone. Love observing nature during the rain. Only the bold ones venture out. The sun doesn’t reveal their shadow. Maybe it’s kinda like fishing on a cloudy day.
Received incredible news as the Crested Caracara above actually made it on the top 100 Audubon Photo award! While viewing all the winners was thinking, each photographer had a story to share, where they were, how they got there, what was going on in their life at that very moment. We humans are observers gleaning answers from a chaotic world.
After the rain this actual Caracara, hangin with the vultures, flew down and started scratching the earth. For those of you who have visited Florida know one moment it can be torrential, the next glorious sunshine. It was after the rain he discovered and revealed his meal; turtle egg! Yes, was there to catch the suddenly!
The Northern Crested Caracara is usually seen alone or in small family groups, however they may congregate in bigger groups and fly with the Vultures! My friend and I were checking out roadkill and lo and behold another Caracara was found in a nearby tree!!
Regal and glorious reflections of the rising sun on this threatened species, also protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act. No sooner did we see him….he was gone.
Onward we ventured towards the center of Florida and there in a tree so tall and bold, yes an Eagle! Sometimes when you least expect it, the strong and silent appear, just like my friend from Canada and yes, just like Our God, so mysterious, so majestic, so wondrous.
Juvenile Bald Eagle with his catch
We finally reached our destination; Circle B Reserve! What a glorious place, big ole Oak trees with hanging Spanish Moss, it was magical, every step. Refreshing washed over me.
We also met the warmest souls also present with the same goal. We were surrounded by passion, immersed with a knowing, we were walking on the path of new beginnings. Thinking…may we never lose our wonder. It was in one of these moments I was interrupted by a scuffle, a Red Shouldered Hawk and snake of all things!! Turned to call to my friend, it was a suddenly, this time was left all to myself to witness the moment.
In Florida, Red-shouldered Hawks sometimes collaborate and peaceably coexist with American Crows, usually an enemy to all other birds because of their egg-hunting habits. Well these two cooperatively mob mutual predators, mainly Great Horned Owls and Red-tailed Hawks! Local forest re-growth and the ban of hunting has allowed Red-shouldered Hawk populations to become more stable again and the species is not currently considered conservation dependent. Love viewing them in the wild and was blessed to see them up close!
And when I say up close and personal it truly was. While sitting by a canal bank heard rustling in the trees above, it wasn’t a squirrel nest! Just look at this cutie pie peeking out of a pretty cool camouflaged nest! The Spanish moss was perfect!!
They became restless though, maybe hunger? It wasn’t 15 min when they started BRANCHING! Branching refers to the hopping about and jumping from branch to branch around the nest. Fledging refers to the birds first flight and generally results in the bird landing in a different tree or on the ground. They still were so tiny!! Yet knew they would be flying from the safety of the nest soon, and it kinda saddened me.
Oh they were a curious pair, they saw me and I caught them glancing down a few times which delighted my soul! THEN held my breath as I thought they were going to fall! Yet, they were doing what all species do, flapping and feeling their “Lift off power”. Soon these two would be flying away from the safety of their home.
Motherhood never quite leaves you. This human was concerned for them. I literally held my breath while observing these moments, and shoot away I did! They didn’t fall. Blessed to witness a very natural behavior, knew there was a transference happening, a personal message received.
Sure enough read the Hawk totem and smiled.
Many of the messages this bird brings you are about freeing yourself of thoughts and beliefs that are limiting your ability to soar above your life and gain a greater perspective. It is this ability to soar high above to catch a glimpse of the bigger picture that will allow you to survive and flourish.
And then reading this I almost spewed out my coffee. WOW was this right on!
Optimism is one of your strongest virtues. You love to share your visions of a better and brighter future. you tend to always be ahead of your time and it’s not easy seeing what other people are not ready to see. Often it is difficult for you to share your insights with others because the other person does not necessarily want to hear it. Learning to give your messages subtly is a must because becoming forceful will cause retreat.
As I was observing the branching of the Red Shoulder Hawk chicks, a sweet little voice interrupted me. Out of no where was this girl; “Are you Brenda?” Laughingly responded yes and then realized I was receiving a “joggers text” in female form!! See, sometimes there is no wifi or phone signal available in nature. It’s crazy fun to trust a message will get through when needed, isn’t it?
“Your friend needs you to come back to him as he found the baby Owl in a tree” was her retort. See John was determined to get a picture of an owl. He heard them yet we couldn’t see them. We knew they were there yet I wasn’t content in staying and waiting, fearing the light would be gone and I would miss out on seeing “something else”. Yes I would be doubly blessed. It took jogging with two cameras in tow, one a 500 mm under my arm and the light was going fast. It was worth every bit of breathlessness, captured right about sunset! This baby Barred Owl chick was calling this high pitched trill and this is how I located him. Yup burst mode triggered in the middle of this sound while this little owlet was looking directly at me, barely peaking around his moss protection.
Of course my friends reward was a perfectly lit owlet. Venturing out before he knew of his presence. Yup, we are gleaning much from each other this trek! Supporting each others hunger to nail the essence, the nourishment, the wildness, as the portal leaked out heavens refreshment.
© John Loper foto
The sights were numbing us. Yet our fingers triggered the shutter knowing we would eventually digest the upload and share this Joy, this hope, with the living. Yes, we were becoming, unstuck.
I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. ~George Washington Carver