Sunday, June 21, 2009

For The Birds

Today is a big day! Today is the first day of summer, the first day of my blog, and Father's Day! Today should be a busy day at a Florida State Park with a first magnitude spring which pumps 90 million gallons of cool, clear water into the Suwannee River each day. Today should be a day full of swimming and picnicking and children showering their Dads with affection. However, a rainy season has left the river with more water than usual. The high river water means that the cool, clear spring is full of dark brown, tannic river water. The dark water is not safe to swim in and is more attractive to alligators than it usually is. The park is empty aside from the occasional visitor dropping in to check on the water level. Today, instead of talking to visitors and keeping an eye on a busy park, I answered e-mails and phone messages and caught up on half-finished projects. I swept spiderwebs away from doorways and picked up garbage that washed up on the river bank. It was a quiet day. Not at all what the first day of summer was like in years past.
Quiet isn't always a bad thing in a state park. Quiet means that the animals are around. Quiet means that I have time to enjoy the animals. So while I wasn't able to see families appreciating their fathers on this Father's Day, I was able to see some bird families... well, just the children... they have fathers somewhere, right?!
This juvenile Barred Owl has been a frequent visitor in the past few days. This morning I stopped to photograph a flower and I heard a shriek above me. I guess he was saying good morning. This owl has been just as interested in me as I have been in him. His sibling, however is much more stand-offish. I caught a glimpse of the other a little way down the road.

This nest full of little ones has been oddly located in the gas can storage chest. These babies are Carolina Wrens who are known for making nests in silly places. Just a few days ago they did not have feathers, they were just naked blobs with beaks... they are getting cuter by the day.

I watched this juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk for a long time. It was exchanging shrieks with another young hawk nearby. Maybe to tell the other that there was a strange human with a shiny badge and a flashing box staring at it.
While today wasn't what I would have expected of the first day of summer, it was a good day. Instead of sharing Father's Day with human families, I shared it with bird families... it was fun nonetheless.


Denise said...

Amy, what a truly wonderful idea. You Conyers "girls" continue to surprise and delight me with your endless talents. Proud to be related, kiddo! Deanie (Denise Borkowski)

Carmen said...

I'm going to enjoy this! Thanks for sharing your life with everyone. You have one of the most fascinating jobs. Can't wait to read more.