Pattison on Wheels

Saturday, April 5, 2008

4-4-08: Searching For Wood Storks

The fog was still lingering on the salt marsh so I took a walk while my oats were simmering.

After some decision problems I chose to stay another day. This gave me a second shot at the storks. I did find the preserve but got quite lost in the swamps. The trails were well marked but let into the water. I wandered around taking beauty shots of the wetlands.

When I tried to pay attention to everything—all—I could feel that my death would be pleasantly informative and not at all ugly. At least not to me. The fog lifted, the hawks called and the butterflies led me back to my car for lunch.

While I was finishing lunch a woman emerged from the woods and I asked if she knew how to get to the storks. She did. We chatted for a while about the state of the planet.

Storks! Wood storks to be precise. As I suspected this is what I misidentified as immature white Ibis on my flickr stream.

I took lots of photos. I observed the nesting action. It was very like the egrets yesterday. And again very deliberate and unhurried. There are alligators aplenty here. I’m beginning to feel more watchful. I’m remembering how to act as a prey animal. I am usually lost in my loud thoughts—blundering through the woods. No wonder everything runs away.

I sat and paced and took photos from a deck at the end of a long boardwalk extending into a large open pond. It was pretty warm out there with no shade. I perspired lightly even when clouds occasionally covered the sun. One small tree that stood in the water about 150 feet away had three stork nests. Many more were in the newly leafing forest around the pond. Most of the water was covered with bright green duckweed. Little chirping sounds came from the surface and sometimes rose in a chorus to a loud cacophony. I never did see the source. Alligators moved slowly here and there.

One of the displays at the park information center mentioned that the wood storks were moving into Georgia and South Carolina because of degraded habitat in Florida. I have to wonder if temperature is a part of that.

Back at the park I took one more walk hoping to catch some sunset on the salt marsh. that makes three long hikes and one short today. It is not bad in this warmth. It doesn’t hurt. I read for an hour and slept soundly.


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