I see that the Monarch butterflies have flown in. These large black and orange beauties travel and rest here on their way south. At the same time the loons have dotted the bay like floating watermelon seeds, hundreds of little black birds with white places on them. They bob up and down almost like a swarm, there are so many. But they don’t act loony!
To my joy I also see, fishing in the bay, the first of the great white pelicans. When there are in a group of some thirty they look like the ballerinas in tutus in Swan Lake. The great Whooping Cranes are also arriving this month and will stay till February or so, depending on their fishing–they need the bay’s blue crabs, and these have not been multiplying as rapidly as needed.
The Hummingbirds came in September-October, an event celebrated in Rockport with a three-day festival. We all hang feeders containing sugar water for the birds, so that they will have the energy to continue their journey across the Gulf of Mexico to the warmth of the real tropics. These are feisty wee birds, 2 1/2″ of fighting spirit as they flit from one to another feeder, driving off other humming birds.
There was great drama here last June and July as a pair of mourning doves had built a nest above a door on my deck. Here they sat in turns, day and night, week after week, until their two eggs hatched and we had two dovelets cheeping above the door. I watched them get the courage to try to fly from their high nest. Like children trying to dive into a pool the braver and larger of the two went up to the edge, toes curled over the edge, fluttered its wings, and backed away again. Its bravery finally won, and over the side it went, wings frantically fluttering, until it landed safely on a tabletop. It took a few days before the sib would take the plunge (literally.)
Happy moments to remember when the days are dark and cold!