Pink Spring Blossoms

Where I live in coastal Georgia, March is the month when our azaleas and some flowering trees show off their brilliant colors. Some of the beds in my yard are filled with azaleas I planted about 30 years ago. Every spring they still delight me with their beautiful blooms.

Many of the blooms are gone now and after our first April shower this morning, a lot of the remaining flowers now lay on the ground. I’ll have to wait another year for the pink blooms to return.

Breakfast In the Salt Marsh

When the tide is just right and the minnows in the water are plentiful, wading birds gather in the salt marsh in search of food. White Ibis, Egrets, Herons, and Wood Storks can often be seen feeding side by side in the marsh.

This morning my husband got my attention to show me a long line of white birds lined up on the railing of our neighbor’s dock. By the time I got my camera ready many of the birds had flown down into the marsh but there were still a few white ibis and great egrets surveying the area before diving in to eat.

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White Ibis searching for breakfast in the salt marsh
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Great Egret
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White Ibis
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Great Egret

It’s always entertaining to watch the white ibis as they feed. Usually there is a large group of them poking their long beaks under the water to capture fish. Suddenly, all of them will start wading through the water in the same direction in search of more food. They don’t stay long in any one place. Eventually, they tire of the area and fly off in search of better fishing grounds.

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Ibis dining in the salt marsh
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White Ibis dining in the salt marsh

I never know when I’m going to stumble across flocks of birds in the marsh but it’s always a treat when I see them. I was lucky to see them this morning and was glad to have my camera nearby.

 

Snow Day in Coastal Georgia

Snow and ice storms are rare in coastal Georgia. The last time we had snow that stuck was a few days before Christmas in 1989.

The freezing rain and snow that came through on January 3, 2018 caused road and bridge closures. Schools were out and government offices were closed. Coastal Georgia was transformed into a winter wonderland.

Adventures with Grandkids

One of the greatest joys as a grandparent is seeing our grand children’s excitement as they experience new adventures.

Our daughter is visiting us this week with her two children. At 12 and 10, they are our two oldest grandchildren. They live 400 miles away, surrounded by the Appalachian mountains, so coming to visit Nana and Papa near the beach is always an adventure for them.

Horseshoe Crabs on the beach
Horseshoe Crabs on the beach

On Memorial Day, we beached our boat on a deserted barrier island after a boat ride through rivers and narrow winding creeks surrounded by salt marsh. The adventure brought back fond memories for our daughter and made new memories for the grandkids. It is a ride we took on many weekends when our daughter was growing up and we are so happy we could share the experience with her children.

Riding through the salt marsh
Riding through the salt marsh
We had the island all to ourselves
We had the island all to ourselves

This is my contribution to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure

An Unexpected Visitor in the Neighborhood

Coastal Georgia is home to many wetlands birds. Herons, Egrets, Wood Storks and Ibis are regularly seen in and around the salt marsh, creeks and rivers here.

One July afternoon this summer I was surprised to see a large pink bird flying over the marsh. It was too far away and flew by too fast for me to to tell for sure but I thought it must be a Roseate Spoonbill. Spoonbills nest along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana and in south Florida but they are considered uncommon this far north.

A neighbor confirmed that yes, I did see a Spoonbill. In fact, she saw a pair feeding in the creek at low tide. I continued to see the brilliant pink of the pair as they flew by our house almost every afternoon for about 3 weeks. One day I finally saw where one landed so I grabbed my camera and ran out to capture a few pictures.

Other Roseate Spoonbills have been spotted in other coastal Georgia locations in recent years. I know from now on I will always be on the lookout for pink birds among the flocks of Herons and Egrets I see in the salt marsh.