Although we are also back, I mean the Blue Herons are here. Their rookery was destroyed by last summer’s storms and I’ve been waiting to see if they would rebuild. The Rangers told me the fresh-water ponds were low because it hadn’t rained for six months. Until we arrived that it. Two inches of rain fell as a precursor to the snow storm up North.
This morning I saw a Blue Heron carrying a large twig in its beak. It circled gracefully before landing on a branch high in a tree. I could barely make out the pile of branches it was forming into a nest. Nice to know nature has a way of overcoming problems. I’ve counted six birds early in the morning when I walk Dixie.
I also learned the reason they encourage cleaning up after your dog is because the smell will frighten away the wild birds. I’m glad I was already being a good camper.
The island is on the migratory route for hundreds of species of birds and sometimes the noise from them is deafening. I’m not a bird expert but I love to see them. A number of campers are also birdwatchers. I have the Audubon Bird Book so when I get a good look I can identify them.
I did recognize a Bald Eagle circling overhead. He’s nesting on the other side of the bay.
Last fall the Rangers finally had a chance to do a controlled burn out here. The brush was so thick it was a definite fire hazard, but everything has to be right. I wondered if the blackened tree trunk and scorched ground would recover.
To my delight, ferns and other plants have poked green up along the paths.
The birds have found scorched pine cones to pick at and lots of bugs. Did you know many pines need to have the cones burned before they will sprout?
The biggest change is along the beach. Although the hurricane was considered mild it did a tremendous amount of change. In places the beach is narrower. The dunes closest to the water were resculpted or removed. The area where I saw the turtle eggs is almost flat.
Not too many shells are washed up whole since the bottom has changed, but I love to walk the beach. The water is warm enough to wade. The wind blows the sand and whips a foamy froth on the waves. The sun feels like a blessing. My writing is going well as I relax into that wonderful Southern mode.
I’m so glad to be back.
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