Parked at the elementary school today, as usual, I enjoyed watching the waterfowl that frequent the fishing pond at the school. The usual company of Great White heron, Great Blue heron, Anhinga, Terns, and White Ibis were joined by a new visitor. A couple of Little Blue herons poked along the shore. So easy to miss, and so lovely to see in their gleaming coats of blue.
We have three bald eagles who live in the trees adjacent to the school: a mated pair, and a single adult we assume is one of their previous offspring. Today a welcome new arrival at the pond as I saw a gorgeous adolescent perched on the fence still resplendent in its rich brown coat.
I hope the youngster sticks around the area as I would love to watch it grow up.
As it flew off into the trees, the White ibis came marching past, searching through the grass along the edge of the pond. Their procession is a familiar sight, but today, a newcomer in their midst, the streaked brown incongruous among the pure white of the group.
I’d never seen a juvenile at the school, as this group doesn’t nest near the pond, so it was a joy to behold strutting among them.
A wonderful continuation of the story of this small pond… the colors of things to come.
There are, in case you haven’t noticed from previous posts, LOTS of birds in the Lowcountry. Which birds changes a bit with the seasons, although there are plenty of year round residents. The last couple of months have rewarded our watching with a familiar resident, but in a new location. Bald eagles have moved to the pond at the elementary school. October is the beginning of nesting season here, so we were delighted to find they have taken up residence where we can look for them every week.
The pond is prime territory, open flight paths, but plenty of trees for roosting and nesting, and a gator free pond stocked with an abundance of fish. By next month the eagles should be laying, and by early spring there will be nestlings to captivate the careful observer.
Snipe may be the stuff of stories and campfire pranks, but here they are among our oddball seasonal shore birds. Wilson’s snipe are hard to spot, they are so well suited to the area, but fun to find strolling through a local ditch or in your yard.
After another successful breeding season here in the Lowcountry, our woodstork population continues to make a comeback from endangered to threatened. They are ungainly to look at, but amazing in flight or roosting in groups in the trees.
As fall cools into winter, we are thankful for the return of our seasonal birds. Another year of survival, another hope we can reduce climate change and protect these animals for our children and generations to come.
Today started with an extra fun bonus… it was Walk Your Kids to School day. An effort to encourage our children (and a whole lot of parents from the looks of it) to get out of the car and get some fresh air and exercise.
We parked about a mile from the school and joined a group of other parents and kids headed for the elementary school. A few minutes in it was obvious I have raised a ‘real’ walker as he grew impatient with the casual strolling surrounding us. What is the point if you can’t stretch your legs and get some energy pumping? Got to admit, he had a point. After I dropped him at the school, I got to walk back alone…and minus the constraints of escorting the kids…I was off and power walking the way the kids and I have all their lives, even when they were in strollers. I cut across to avoid trampling those enjoying a more leisurely pace, got to enjoy the cool autumn air, see deer grazing in the cemetery, egrets wading the edge of the marsh, and celebrate the joy of just being alive.
Afterwards, it was off to my friend’s house for a bit more landscaping…and rolling her huge room size oriental rug and carrying it outside, where it was unrolled for a good cleaning prior to her parents’ arrival for a visit.
The rest of the day sped past in a flurry of menial but unavoidable errands but tonight is warm, peaceful and quiet. I finished it with a nice long walk under the full moon.
Life is good.
August has come. I shall miss July. It was a wonderful month, the heart of my favorite season…summer! But I look forward to what August will bring with both joy and trepidation. I love that August here in the Lowcountry is still summer…with a capital S!
Hot… still in the triple digits and no sign of that changing this week. Sunny….actually a little more rain would be helpful with this heat, but I do love my sunshine. And, of course, the joy of long long days and clear nights with star-filled skies.
Downside? Back to school. Oh how I hate back to school down here. This is one of my biggest disappointments with being home in South Carolina. The school systems bite. And the worst part is….they don’t even know how bad they are! It is terrifying and disheartening and…sad. Especially for my son who is bright, and talented, works hard, and such a wonderful kid to work with (all his teachers agree) and has dyslexia. So the lovely schools will shove him to the side…off the main track… where he won’t make them actually teach in the way he learns and won’t mess up their illusory competence records. He is disappointed. I am disappointed for him.
This isn’t the end. We have just begun to fight.
Meanwhile, there are school supplies to buy….both for him and for my Little A. Even more for the Little A as kindergarten requires a lot more supplies than high school. So this weekend we will begin the shopping. Uniforms for the Little A… khaki pants and shorts, polo shirts, some play clothes for after school. Fill a long list of supplies needed. And clothes for my AJ…shorts, t shirts, cargo pants, sox, underwear, jeans and new tennis shoes. He grew over the summer! Nothing fits.
More writing. More editing. More days and nights of missing our A and wishing he was home once more with us where he belongs. THIS is his home. Nowhere else ever can be.
And more work. More landscaping, and cleaning. More gardens and flowers.
More blessings. More life. Welcome August.
This is VBS week and I am going out to help with bible school at a very poor inner city school. Worked at the school a year ago putting in garden beds so the school could grow their own vegetables, and was sad to hear from the children that the plants came up…and were allowed to die untended.
Perhaps this year, if I can get some help, I can go plant their vegetable beds and make it out to the school at least once or twice a week just to water and weed. Also thinking a few perennials would go a long way toward helping them have success…strawberry plants, blueberry bushes, sunchokes, ground nuts (Indian potatoes), scarlet runner beans, and kale. That alone would give the kids something to harvest almost year round down here. I need to put this up to the school and the church group.
Scarlet runner beans
Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes)