A New Dawn, A New Day

Header Image: Anhinga

The morning was cool and clear. Standing by the small lake, the silence was broken by a Limpkin calling in the distance. That served as a wake-up for several local residents. Common Gallinules gabbled from the shallow-water grass, an Anhinga squawked as it flapped from a nearby cypress branch, White-winged Dove demanded to know “Who-Who-Who Cooks For You”.

We had arrived a little while before the sun rose and just as the moon was setting. Light from the imminent dawn provided a bit of warm color to the opposite shore of the lake. A short distance away, we found another small lake with a bit of mist hanging above the surface and the moon still hanging above it all. Turning around, the sky was becoming bright. Our new day was beginning and we were reminded how truly fortunate we both continue to be.

Our adventure began with watching a pair of Blue-winged Teal feed in the shallows as the bright sun warmed the air and water. I coined a new (?) term for the water droplets on the spider webs: “Dewels“. Gini rolled her eyes. Flocks of Double-crested Cormorants and White Ibises moved overhead as they left their nightly roosting spots. Wading birds waded. Warblers warbled. We came across a mystery. (How did THAT get THERE?)

After an hour of leisurely ambling we shared a small breakfast. Gini is an extraordinarily talented cook. One of her holiday treats is banana bread. She decided to expound on that theme and incorporated some of our area’s famous fresh strawberries in her bread recipe along with walnuts and other secret ingredients. The result has been phenomenal. Her announcement of taking these loaves of love and giving them to family and friends elicited whines of resistance from yours truly. I am almost ashamed of being so selfish. Almost.

After enjoying a slice of heavenly bread, our morning continued to reveal nature’s beautiful diversity. The incessant calls of a White-eyed Vireo allowed us to locate the bug hunter as she scoured the undersides of leaves and limbs for a bug brunch. We couldn’t believe it was so late! Time and birds fly when we’re having fun.

The setting moon viewed from two different lakes.

After taking the second photograph above, I turned around and took this image. It is a chaotic scene of the rising sun through distant pine trees, grasses, brambles and palm trees. Welcome to our “patch”!

A pair of Blue-winged Teal in the early sunlight.

It is so fascinating to find a seemingly infinite number of spider webs which have been spun during the night. This one is bedecked with (you know what) “dewels”.

“Churrr-churrr-churrr.” Even from a distance, a Red-bellied Woodpecker wants all his neighbors to know there are intruders out and about.

A bit of a mystery. Yep, it’s a bat. Impaled on a barbed wire fence. We have read that the Loggerhead Shrike would take small mammals as prey but we had never seen evidence they ate anything larger than lizards. I’m trying to visualize a shrike chasing a bat, catching it and holding on to it long enough to stick it on this barb. I couldn’t come up with any other scenarios.

An American Coot displaying how simple it is to run on water.

It’s nearly breeding season for many wading birds. This Tricolored Heron sports a small white plume on its head and soon its bill and eyes will turn dark.

I was peeking at it. It was peeking at me. This Yellow-bellied Sapsucker never would pose in the open. Another month or so and these beautiful woodpeckers will have all returned to their northern nesting areas.

One of the bird world’s “little brown jobs”, a Swamp Sparrow quietly sat in the underbrush. Their unique head pattern, gray neck and rufous wings help separate it from other “LBJ” relatives.

Another migratory visitor, the Yellow-rumped Warbler, shows off its other yellow bits.

Loud. Aggressive. Confrontational. Troglodytes aedon is here! With a Latin name larger than the actual bird, a House Wren is first on the scene to scold any potential threat.

Heard more often than seen, the White-eyed Vireo is a welcome sight to all except an insect. This bird cocks her head as the warm sun encourages bugs to become more active.

The sun indicated it was nearing noon and with no strawberry bread in sight, it was time to head home. It had been a superb new dawn and new day. And we’re feelin’ good!

Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit!

32 Comments on “A New Dawn, A New Day

  1. Very nice snaps!! I especially liked the bat shot and as soon as I saw it was thinking Shrike (wasn’t sure specifically which ones are out there at this point in the year). Dewels ..perfect, I am think I’m going to latch on to that one ha.


  2. I am finding it difficult to decide. Which of those two delights would be best, early morning Florida sunshine on my back or a slab of Gini’s banana bread? On the other hand I won’t be getting either anytime soon. So I will stick with Pilling mist and a Birder Bar (Mars Bar).

    I agree, the bat is something of a mystery but a shrike very likely if it discovered the bat roosting in an accessible spot. Otherwise, an unseen birder on your patch storing their own breakfast for later consumption?

    You’re welcome to the trog. Our own give us more than enough trouble when they find a mist net and proceed to spin around several times and get tangled in the mesh. Why can’t they just lie there and wait to be rescued like most other birds?

    I hope you both enjoyed your splendid chicken curry and wine as much as we did. Aldi do a great line in Naan bread together with some very drinkable Italian and Portuguese reds. Stopped buying French wines years ago when they began to hate us more than ever when we three times voted to leave their beloved EU. And I’m afraid, Californian and Australian wines have been on very long journeys before they reach bottling plants in Warrington, Cheshire.

    “They” think we don’t know what they are up to.


    • We are so spoiled to be able to enjoy early morning sun while balancing a slice of Gini’s bread on a knee and viewing an Osprey through the bins – all at the same time.

      We keep passing by the “bat fence” hoping to spot the perpetrator. Nothing yet but migratory Palm Warblers. A gang of them, perhaps?

      We enjoyed the curry so much we shall do so again tonight. A local bakery produces an outstanding sourdough bread which is quite efficient at sopping up curry sauce.

      Alas, we have not aged as well as the wines we used to enjoy. Current medications do not play well with alcohol. It’s okay. We are easily intoxicated by the mere presence of one another. (Eyes are rolling around the planet …)

      Hope to head to the east coast of the peninsula next week. Shorebirds, ducks and waders – oh, my.

      Have a wonderful week.


  3. That’s interesting about how you interpret the White-winged Dove’s call. Around here that’s the call we associate with a Barred Owl.
    The bat was a gruesome albeit interesting find with that bit of mystery. Another fine collection of avian photographs, Wally.


    • Although they have a similar pattern to their calling, there is usually no mistaking the Barred Owl’s deeper, authoritarian call for the mournful sound the White-winged Dove makes.

      I learned the owl call long ago. The big dove are relatively recent to the New World.

      From Houston Audubon:

      “Who cooks for you?”
      “Though the Barred Owl has made this phrase famous in the bird world, the call of the White-winged Dove also fits this same rhythm – albeit at a bit higher pitch.”

      A bat on a fence was an unexpected find that morning! Nature can be such a jokester!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A totally beautiful morning!! One time I took pictures of rain drop laden spider webs out at corkscrew swamp…was a drippy fog really….it reminded me of ‘a silver chain of evening rain’ from a poem I once knew. The mention of a shrike always reminds me of a book I love by Dan Simmons called Hyperion. The shrike there is a humanoid creature with a spiky carapace of blades and thorns. Bird and creature quite fearsome.


  5. Given the question “Who-who-who cooks for you?” and your answer thereto, I’ll note that in the past I’ve answered “Eve-Eve-Eve cooks for Steve.”

    Dewels make for more appealing photographs than dowels.

    You’ve got some pretty dawn scenes there.


  6. Please may I add the word ‘dewels’ to my vocabulary, Wally? It’s just perfect!

    I too was surprised by your shot of the impaled bat. If barbed wire is to a standard size internationally, it does appear that the bat was quite small. Your idea that it is part of a shrike’s larder does look likely to me too.

    The American Coot running on water is a wonderful capture.

    I have printed off a recipe for Strawberry Bread that I found on the internet. I’ve not yet tried it but it looks good. I suspect, however, that it will be nothing like as succulent as Gini’s. I’ll probably wait until strawberries are in season here.

    Best wishes to you both from middle England where it is cold and damp, with even colder weather, and probably snow, forecast for next week. Take good care – – – Richard


    • Thank you, Richard. It was another wonderful morning in nature.

      My contract says I cannot compare Gini’s bread to anyone else’s, but I feel certain you will produce a winner!

      All is good here. Too many birds to see, not enough time!

      It was good to hear Lindsay was up to a night out dining. Progress!

      All the best to you both.


  7. Wonderful post Wally!

    I’m not very good with bird calls although I knew that Barred Owls ask “Who cooks for you?”. Now I also know that White-winged Doves ask the same question (although with a little different accent).

    All your photos are grand, but the impaled bat one is astounding. Who would think a small-ish bird could catch and eat a mammal? Nature is fascinating.


    • Thank you, Ed.

      I think the doves use that call thinking the Cooper’s Hawk will be scared away. It doesn’t work.

      The bat was a fascinating find. We never know what it’s store each day!


  8. Another excellent walk shared. I love how you’ve captured the changing light, from cool blue and sparkly to bright gold.


    • Thanks again, Sam.

      One thing I try to remember early in the morning or late in the afternoon when admiring the rising or setting sun is to turn around. Sometimes the view behind us is spectacular.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. And I was impressed when I found a beetle impaled on barbed wire. I don’t doubt at all that a Shrike was responsible for this impaling, but how the bird managed to pull that off, I hardly can imagine. I wonder if the bat was ill or injured, or somehow not at the top of its form. Hard to say.

    I love your invented word: ‘dewels.’ I’ve never come across it from anyone else. Even the venerable Google can’t find an example! The moon over your lakes is beautifully photographed, but my favorite of this group is your chaotic little patch. Places like that aren’t usually ‘pretty’ in any conventional sense, but they’re almost infinitely interesting. In a forced choice, I’d take ‘interesting’ every time.

    Oh. The Coot. I forgot the Coot. What a great image of a fun — yet typical — behavior.


    • Did the Shrike take a bat to the bat? Did the bat not know where he was at? Perhaps someone found it and stuck it on the barb. (I don’t know too many who would pick up a dead bat.) My money is with the Shrike.

      It was a calm, cool and peaceful morning.

      Coots are hoots.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a lovely way to spend a morning. I love the utterly serene scenery in your first photo showing the setting moon and trees not once, but twice. And how exciting that the House Wrens are starting to return. I will have to be patient for another month before I can expect to see them around here. Gini’s banana-strawberry bread sounds scrumptiously tasty.


    • It was really a peaceful way to start the day.

      We should be seeing the wrens at least another month, then, sadly, they’ll disappear until fall. Our loss, your gain.

      Gini made two separate bread recipes: banana and strawberry. Now that you’ve given her the idea, I’m looking forward to a new combination!

      Liked by 1 person

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