I am having the most wonderful morning sitting outside with a cup of dark hot chocolate, made with water, 100 calories. It serves as my chocolate for the day, although it is a shame to consume it all first thing in the morning…
Our small backyard is so entertaining. It faces west, and we have trees, and flowers and the yard slopes toward Lake Iona, which is 11 acres big.
First off, the very proud and industrious kingfisher posts himself on our dock. He announces his presence, as always, and this morning his crest is extra puffed up. He is glad to be back in the Southland .
The tiny but mighty palm warblers are also chipping away, happy to be cleaning no-seeums off the screen of our lanai. They arrived two days ago from Canada, where they nest and breed in the summer. And just why are they called palm warblers. you might ask, but that question will never be answered, at least not by me.
A woodpecker sounds– throaty, loud and here he comes — the Pileated’s crest outdoes the kingfisher’s by an inch or two. And it’s really, really red. Ah, he is interested in our coconut palm stump. We lost two adjacent palms in a lightning strike several years ago, and like all things in the south, time moves slowly especially when it comes to digging things up . So there it sits–a foot high stump just right for the alienated. (I typed pileated, but I like the way it came out instead.)
Now, I hear a single note squacky call and two green herons take off across the lake. They come by the dock often, jockeying for positions on the posts and displaying their crests, as do snowy egrets, great blues, little blues and tricolor herons, with the occasional great egret, anhinga and eagle thrown in.
And don’t forget the river otter, who comes by to rest when he’s in town as do fish crows and grackles and red wings and once a kestrel stopped to survey the territory. Ducks and pie-billed grebes also frequent the Lake, and just this morning one of my favorite birds, a timid little ground dove landed just because (above).
Our dock, I might add, is totally useless except to sit on and as a wildlife attractor. I had a kayak for awhile, but as all fools know you cannot get into a yak off a dock. There is so much to learn here in Florida.
So my cup of hot chocolate is gone. I did re-learn a lesson this morning; one I knew all along. It is my usual habit to get up and view my Instagram feed, full of gorgeous national geo photos and chickens and flowers and sheep and other stuff I follow. But today what was happening in my own yard was wonderful. And I got to be in the moment, as all the gurus say.