Simple pleasures

Wally

Bloggers have taught me a lot about India.  But recently, this young Indian woman wrote about using the quieter time now forced on us to find “immense satisfaction and happiness in small little things of life.” https://neelstoria.wordpress.com/2020/04/30/lockdown-moments-evening-morning-squirrel-bird/

I had not thought about it that way, but we too have enjoyed some new, more relaxed activities.  Among other things, we walk down to the bridge by our condo to feed the fish.  It has been a simple pleasure that rewards us most evenings with something new.

Sitting on our lanai, we had seen people regularly stopping by.  One elderly lady comes with bread for the fish each morning.  They like it better than the commercial pond fish food I had in the garage.

We are careful not to feed Wally, the neighborhood alligator, but he is not there most evenings.  On the other hand, some birds do seem to come shortly before sunset.

An anhinga swam under the clear water gathering up small fish before getting out to dry his wings.

One evening we saw a yellow-crested night heron for our first and only time.  His relatives, the black-crested, are common in the area.

On another night, a young hawk settled on the bridge about ten feet from us.  Recently I saw the rain-sleeked bird on top of a lamp post looking like a finial, but this is the closest I have ever seen any hawk.

A group of three turtles learned to look for people on the bridge.  They come swimming up right away.  They are too slow to compete with the fish, but we find if we lure them into shallower water, they grab a bite now and then.

Three turtles and a heron

But the most interesting to us is a green-backed heron, a small bird.  Unlike the moorhen or the ibis, he is not interested in bread.  He waits for us to toss a piece close to the shore and then grabs the fish that come to get it.  He is very patient and very fast.  Normally his head sticks close to his shoulders.  When he spears a fish, it flashes out on a long neck so quickly it is almost too fast to see.  If the fish is a little larger than average, he has to extend his neck in order to swallow it, sometimes almost doubling the length of his body.

Click on photos to enlarge.

These photos were taken on my phone; I regret I missed both the night heron and several tarpon which came swimming to within about ten feet one day.  It would have been wonderful to have had a camera to capture these unusual visitors.

About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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14 Responses to Simple pleasures

  1. Wonderful to read about these “small things” which, at other times, I travel to see. But yes, I understand how things become more and more interesting when you spend time observing them.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. JohnRH says:

    Great wildlife shots, for a phone. I like the heron (?) in the banner photo, and the hawk on the rail (good one!).

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Garfield Hug says:

    It is great to see the life of nature and the beauty of it around your home. You are right in that because of our busy life styles, we hardly take the time to see. Thank you for reminding me to see. I love your post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. neelstoria says:

    This is such an interesting read. There’s so much of nature you’ve been enjoying around your home and right now I really envy you for where you live. Quite unthinkable in our Indian cities. Though I am happy about all the birds and the squirrel family I have around me.
    A very big Thank You for linking my blog post. I am absolutely delighted to see this.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Toni Delisi says:

    Your blog was a breath of fresh air. I think my blood pressure just was lowered by reading it, as well as the lovely blog post from “neelstoria.” We are enjoying walks around our neighborhood and seeing some things for the first time because we’re taking the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Amazing Ray, about the green backed heron that waits for you to lure the fish in. Now there is a smart bird. And I am in total agreement about the joy that comes from watching nature. And helping it along. 🙂 –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sandy Edwards says:

    How lucky you are to have such wonderful sights right in your ‘backyard’! Your post makes me think I might also have some wonderful sights in my own backyard – I just need to take the time to get out there and look around. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Dave Ply says:

    That’s quite a “backyard” you have there. The world is an amazing place if you look closely. Although I’ve never looked deeply enough into my yard to find an alligator…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: Simple pleasures — RalieTravels – Sarah's Attic Of Treasures

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