Nature Walks – Cloud Dance
It being a week now since the “big” rain… that delivered well over 10 inches of rain to the area is a matter of days… I thought it a good time to check out the local wetlands at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Preserve, which is located on the verge of civilization near State Route 7 / 441.
Perhaps it was due to the growing clouds or humid heat, but there were fewer birds to be seen today and most appeared to be clones of each other, either Great Blue Herons or Great Egrets. I didn’t see any alligators or turtles, either. It could have been the dim light, as there were tall thunderheads and billowing cumulus clouds forming and reforming on high above. What did strike me was the sheer number of flowers blooming in the marshlands of Loxahatchee, including the cheerful yellow ground daisy, the pink blooms of marsh mallow and wild hibiscus, as well as the water lilies. While not as beautiful as a mountain meadow filled with an abundance of wild blooms, it was still a pretty and somewhat delicate sight to behold. The variety of life that Nature can put forth continues to delight me.
Here are a few photos to savor and share:
It was a bit breezy as might be expected given the clouds churning in the skies above, yet only the merest whisker-hint of rain fell, completely missing me or I was just too soggy from the high humidity to feel any more moisture. Still, I enjoy these little outings away from vehicles passing (although Hwy 441 can still be heard). There are simply few areas to go to within a reasonable distance in this highly trafficked area.
Raccoon tracks? Don’t know but they were distinctive in the soft sand of the track. There were other tracks, mostly from birds, and the occasional break in the swiftly growing grassy verge indicating the passage of a heavy animal… probably an alligator, although I didn’t see any of the varmints today. And I was the only human present during my entire walk. It was just me, the critters, flowers and clouds dancing above in ever-changing patterns.
One bird I didn’t get a photo of (there were many others flying around) was an osprey, doing its hovering in air bit as it was scanning the waters below for a tasty morsel. I also saw a pair of osprey at Wakodahatchee Wetlands the other day, although I neglected to mention them before. One of them dived into the water while being chased by a black bird! And today I watched as the triumphant osprey flew over the track with a fat fish in its claws, food for a nearby growing family!
Many blessings to all,
All Rights Reserved, Eliza Ayres, http://www.bluedragonjournal.com