Nature Walk, October 25, 2017 – Cool Down
After sweltering through upper 80’s F and humidity all late spring, summer and early autumn, the local temperatures have finally dropped into the more comfortable lower 70’s, at least for a day or two. It was heavenly to feel a strong breeze this morning as I began my walk at Green Cay. Some folks were bundled up in sweaters, but a t-shirt was enough for me.
There were some new babies today. The black-bellied whistling ducks had a new brood of fuzzy gray-brown chicks. With the cooler temperatures, there was more activity around the marsh. I saw glossy ibis, white ibis, roseate spoonbills, egrets, herons, anhingas, bitterns, as well as black buzzards and osprey playing in the thermals above.
Dawn had seen heavy rain falling in the Delray and Boynton Beach neighborhoods, but by late morning, the sky was filled with high hazy clouds.
The marshes are always entertaining, for the variety of wildlife seen and sometimes the visitors. The snowbirds (people) are beginning to show up now and will thicken on the ground as the temperatures plunge in the northern states, holidays arrive and schools take winter breaks. Right now, I’m enjoying the cooler temperatures.
I just checked the weather report. There is the possibility of a late tropical depression or a tropical storm coming out of the West Caribbean near Nicaragua this weekend. It is tentatively forecast to arrive in Florida on Saturday and then sweep northward into the Carolinas during the early part of next week.
With the cooler weather, I hope to branch out a bit more with my explorations. I do not thrive well in the heat and humidity, but I have survived the last eight months in South Florida. I am soooo grateful for air conditioning, at home and in the car!
My sister and I were able to go to the beach on Monday for a short visit. The Delray Municipal Beach lost a lot of its sand to the last spate of hurricanes, from Matthew to Maria. With each tide, more loose weed gets tossed up onto the remaining beach. The beach clean-up crew has a lot of work ahead of it before the beach is really appealing to winter visitors. It’s part of living in Florida, having the beach nearby and then putting up with the occasional hurricane and resulting clean-up. Still, it beats having to drive through ice fog and snow to get to work every weekday during the winter months in the northern states.
Local hurricane clean-up continues with the big claw trucks going around neighborhoods picking up dried piles of debris. And some of the palm trees are looking a bit bedraggled, with browned fronds, damaged from the salty tropical typhoon-driven winds. There’s plenty of work for construction people, from repairing fences, roofs, windows, as well as removing broken trees and shrubs. Still, the area is rapidly returning to a more normal appearance.
As I followed the boardwalk today, passing along the marsh areas and then through the various “hammocks”, I noticed a strong surge of new growth in plant, shrub, and trees. Everywhere there were new flowers, new leaves, and new growth greening up the palms, and other subtropical trees. I haven’t been quite as successful learning all the local trees in this area as I was in Flagler County. My focus has been for some months more on the local and transient birds, especially the wading birds of South Florida. I hope my readers have enjoyed my photography and ramblings about my little nature walks.
Enjoy the rest of your week.
© All Rights Reserved, Elizabeth Ayres Escher, http://www.bluedragonjournal.com
Photo Credits: Eliza Ayres