A Winter Day To Remember

Lynnda and I had a visitor this week, so we spent a day showing him around. Mike Carson, from Corona, in southern California came to South Florida to do a presentation to an audience from Central and South America that work for one of the world's best companies to work for... Emerson. They are a global technology company with around $25 Billion in annual revenue, and Mike's company, Carson International is their corporate training partner.

Mike had the spare day, so Lynnda and I took him to the American Orchid Society home office and toured the green houses and spectacular gardens. Then we went to the Green Cay, a naturalized area just across the street from our development... it is basically like the Everglades, but in our neighborhood!

I took a few pictures with Lynnda's pocket camera, and these are keepers... the bird above is called a Green Heron. It isn't a true heron, but that's its name. This one appeared as we were watching an alligator, and I guess he was a little embarrassed that we could see him... so he decided to start a campaign of hide and seek.

While he kept his eye on me, he moved up the reed a little and blocked me out... peeking occasionally to see if I was still there... or so it seemed.

Then he poked his head behind his wing, above... when that didn't work... he pulled his wing completely over his head. Of course the truth of the matter was that he was completely bored with us, and started preening, allowing me to take the pics, and tell this little tale.

Next we came upon this Great White Egret. You might remember the pictures I took and posted here a few weeks ago, of the GWE in our yard hunting for Geckos. This guy was hunting, but what ever it was was below the surface. As he stared into the water, we need to realize that this is in the wild, and the alligators are there... Lynnda actually saw one catch a bird later on this nature walk. I decided to keep the lens on the bird, as he slowly stretched to his full neck length and got closer to his prey... like a pointing setter...

His concentration was amazing... this took place over a few minutes, and you can see his neck now coiled, like a rattle snake when about to strike... then he does!

It is at times like this that you would want a high speed drive on your camera, but I am thankful that Lynnda's little Canon was quick enough to at least capture the forward drive of this Egret. His head was fully submersed when he caught the minnow and up-in-the-air with it to swallow... the part when the camera was saving this image below to disc, so I didn't get it...

Apparently satiated and oblivious to me on the board walk above him, he started walking to a new hunting location. This is a fairly large bird, and while in these next three pictures, he may appear to be swimming, he was actually walking (Egrets are shore birds, and do not swim). There were a few clouds in the sky above us, and his reflection gave us some views that you might like... hope so.

There is a lot to see here in Florida... like at home in Nova Scotia. When seen through a lens we get to remember as our mind's eye fades. The story of Green Cay is even more interesting when we realize that just five years ago, this nature preserve was actually farm land that had been reclaimed from the Everglades! A farming family, the Winsbergs donated it to the county of Palm Beach... it is an amazing area and well described here http://www.pbcgov.com/waterutilities/waterfacts/green_cay.htm

The county has a large water reclamation program that is also close by our home. There, they collect all the sewage and storm drain water, filter it and purify it... and then it is used to water lawns, flood and maintain the Green Cay, and other similar areas... and many other things. This is an amazing demonstration of how, if we are committed to saving the planet, we can recycle everything from water, to plastics, paper and so on.

Associated with the website listed above, there are several other examples of what is happening here in Palm Beach County. In a way, it reminds us of the efforts Nova Scotia is making with recycling household waste through computers...


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