Birds and Bread

I have about ten minutes before I need to tend to the sourdough.  The leaven ripened faster because our air is so warm. It’s Florida.

Took a 45 minute bike ride around the community this afternoon before the leaven was ready.

The first thing I encountered was a great blue heron posing under an oak.  It looked at me as I rode past, and I looked back. At little farther on the canal I was riding by, I encountered a wood stork, who had his mouth open and looked as if he was panting. He still looked professorial, even if he was too hot.

In nearby neighborhoods, I spied five noisy blue jays, morning doves, grackles, starlings and mockingbirds singing their hearts out–but  as always, the mockingbirds were singing somebody else’s  song.  Then there were white ibis, mottled ducks and a cattle egret perched on a wire.

I took a private road.  Short, dirt-covered and bumpy.    At the end, a bulldozed wet area–two roseate spoonbills, two great egrets, a couple of snowy egrets, some immature blue herons and a green heron.  And me, loving every minute of the calm, beautiful birds, caught in a moment. Still and beautiful . I stopped and paid tribute. What else can a human do?

Time to add something to the dough.  Salt and water and flour.  That’s all there is in the bread I make. You have to use your hands, opposable thumbs and all, to mix it up. It feels good. Sticky. but good.

Back to the bike route- on the way home I saw five fish crows, the “Oh-Oh” birds of Florida.  And a bald eagle, flapping its wings and flying  over our house.

Like me.


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Retired journalist, writer, editor and teacher. Our lives were lived in the Washington DC area, but I was born in upstate New York. Love nature, birding and reading. Volunteer at Ding Darling NWR . Proud mom of two, married to a wildlife photographer.

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