I woke this morning to a thick gray mist lingering outside, making it difficult to tell what time it was. I decided to head out for a walk, bundling myself with a jacket and hat against the dampness. Near my house, there is a saltwater marsh and bird sanctuary. I head across the street, a little dirt path runs along the elementary school fence and the canal, up to the railroad bridge.
This always makes me nervous because I can't help but wonder what would happen if the train came while I happen to be on the bridge. I know I'd probably hear it ahead of time and make a mad run to get out of its way and away from the booming noise and vibration it creates, but still, this thought lingers every time I cross the bridge.
After the bridge, the trail runs along the canal for a bit more before opening up to a wide dirt path. At this point, the canal deepens. Of course, this morning I didn't bring my camera (all these pictures are from other days) and a great blue heron happened to be hanging out, watching me with one eye, watching for something yummy in the brine with the other eye. Figures. Every time I've brought my camera, it always flies away if I'm closer than 50 yards!
Opposite the canal are houses, mobile homes. Some have cute yards, flowers abounding now that it's spring. One of the houses set up a little bench along the walkway with a little path leading to their yard. I imagine that they probably like to come out and sit, especially at sunset-it's a perfect view with no obstructions.
Eventually, there is a turnoff for the bird sanctuary. It's a small gravelled road surrounded by all sorts of plants, most of which I have no clue what they are, but some are wonderfully fragrant. Along this path is where I usually spot the ruby throated hummingbird.
The little guy's a show off, and with good reason-he's a gorgeous little bird. He usually announces his presence by buzzing by and alighting on the top of some bushes ahead. Then he sits there and lets the folks admire him. When he turns his head, the brilliant red feathers flash as if lit from within. It always awes me. This morning he wasn't in the mood for games; he just sat there in the bushes, fluffed into a huddle against the cold and damp.
Walking along, other birds make their presence known through their song. I usually hear the song first and then try to spy where it's coming from. Sometimes it's a lone bird at the top of a tree; sometimes it's a group of them chattering away. These are the only sounds except for the crunch of the gravel underfoot. Many times, I also see Thumper and occasionally the hawk that would probably like to have Thumper for dinner.
Eventually, the path ends at the beach.This morning I decided to continue my walk, low tide allowing me to walk along a packed shore. Here, shore birds wade, looking for food, gulls occasionally fly by. On one side, ocean; on the other side, a rocky seawall. Eventually, the rocks extend into the ocean, effectively blocking the path. As I got closer to it, I saw some figures out in the extremely shallow water-they turned out to be a group of pelicans just hanging out. It made me smile. I haven't seen very many pelicans since being here; I hadn't realized I'd missed them. At the end, I turned back and headed back.
Now, I've just finished breakfast and coffee. I feel good.