The Rain Falls, Mainly It’s A Pain

I often joke about how being a meteorologist in Florida has to be the easiest job in the world. No matter what time of year, you just say: “Fifty-percent chance of rain.” Collect a paycheck. Repeat.

In our sub-tropical climate, much of the year produces conditions conducive to moisture. Sometimes it rains. A lot. We are currently in the “dry season”. So, naturally, as I glanced at the forecast for the day:  “Fifty-percent chance of rain.” Sigh.

The good news is I planned to only travel about ten minutes from the house, so if I get up and it’s raining, hooray! Back under the covers.

It wasn’t raining.

Lake Parker Park officially opens at 7:00. Sunrise was scheduled (?) for 7:02. Fortunately, I arrived at 6:50 to find a nice welcoming open gate. The sun remained under covers of its own for awhile. When it did peek out from the low clouds, some very nice golden light warmed the shoreline.  The birds don’t care so much about schedules, gates or even the weather. They gotta eat. So there was plenty of activity in the air, on the lake’s surface, in the shallow water, among the reeds and in the trees throughout the park.

Yours truly was thankful for no rain. My outlook on our forecasts is: “Fifty-percent chance of not that much rain.” I’ll take those odds. The morning was mild with only a gentle breeze and a hint of actual coolness to the air. Some trees showed a bit of color and a large flock of Ring-necked Ducks overhead confirmed fall and winter migration is proceeding right on time.

It’s rare that I only spend an hour-and-a-half here, but today I headed home early. When I arrived, Gini was busy threatening some fresh fruit with a very sharp knife. I put the kettle on for coffee. Once the images were processed Gini nodded her approval. We agreed that we continue to be blessed in so many ways.

Hope you enjoy the morning walk. No brolly needed.



Lake Parker Park


Cypress trees turn a rusty color during the winter. (An Anhinga is perched at the extreme left.)

Lake Parker Park


A quartet of Double-crested Cormorants greet the day from their overnight roost.

Lake Parker Park


An immature Bald Eagle soars over the lake in search of a fishy breakfast.

Lake Parker Park


Cypress knees are vertical protrusions above the roots of cypress trees. Their function is not really understood. One theory is they help anchor trees growing in saturated soil. Trees growing in well-drained areas do not develop “knees”.

Lake Parker Park


I choose to believe this Wood Stork was yawning. The other option would be he was laughing at me, and I just know that couldn’t be possible.

Lake Parker Park


The American Coot is extremely common and is usually passed over when it comes to photo ops. I think they are quite handsome in their black plumage, white bills and red eyes.

Lake Parker Park


Across a narrow inlet a small cypress tree is bathed with morning sunlight on its right side and bright yellow flowers cover the ground beneath its branches.

Lake Parker Park


In the shallows, a Glossy Ibis probes the soft mud for insects, fish and crustaceans.

Lake Parker Park

Lake Parker Park 

An actual autumn leaf! In Florida! Pretty sure it’s a maple species, possibly Florida Maple (Acer saccharum var. floridum) or Red Maple (Acer rubrum).

Lake Parker Park


If you go about willy-nilly taking pictures of creatures bathing and preening, expect to receive a nasty glare. Black-crowned Night Heron, disturbed.

Lake Parker Park

Lake Parker Park

Rain in the forecast does not mean it won’t be a beautiful day. At worst, the rain will replenish the watershed, bring relief to dry flora and offer a drink to our thirsty wildlife. Where’s the pain in that?

We hope you enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit!

Categories: Birds, Florida, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “The Rain Falls, Mainly It’s A Pain

  1. Wally, I need to adapt your weather saying for here, especially this November and early December. 80% of the time it will be rain, 90% of the time it will be rain and wind combined. 10% of the time (if you’re lucky,) there will be sun”. Otherwise, we are fine.

    • Another saying may also apply (my Dad’s favorite): “The best time to go fishing is when you have time to go fishing.”

      Here’s hoping we both may enjoy fair fowl weather more often than foul fowl weather.

      We hope you’re doing great no matter the weather!

  2. Jeanne

    Ah, very nice photos of birds in rain.

  3. Richard Pegler

    ‘Short walks’ don’t get much better than that, Wally! Thank you for taking me with you with your words and images – a delightful experience.

    Rain can be a bit of a nuisance at times, particularly if wildlife photography is on the agenda for the day, but I always console myself with the thought that ‘England’s green and pleasant land’ wouldn’t bee green and pleasant without it!

    I hope that you and Gini have a wonderful week ahead of you. Take good care – – – Richard

    • Of course, you’re right as rain, Richard! We need the wet stuff to enjoy all that stuff that’s getting wet.

      We’re doing very well as our autumn zooms by heading for winter. Okay, there isn’t much “seasonal change”, but we’re loving it!

      A new week is upon us and we both hope Lindsay keeps you in line enough that you will enjoy it!

  4. All that before breakfast. Amazing, and great pics!

  5. No Pain in rain Wally unless it decides to come down as big as golf balls. Now that Wood Stork is singing ” Morning has BROKEN like the first morning! Thanks for taking us on your early morning walk and showing us all the birds you saw. i hope you and Gini received my E card as i am off to Cape Town this week and while there will NOT have internet.

    • Yes! We received your beautiful Christmas card. What a beautiful Robin in the snow!

      I would like to believe that stork was “singing” but having heard their vocals many times, I just can’t call that noise “singing”!

      Enjoy your time in Cape Town and have a joyous holiday season!

  6. I love rain. I love the scent of rain-washed ground and have lived through too many droughts to ever mind rain. And our garden too shrieks for moisture. Loudly.
    Loved walking with you, and having proof (yet again) that red-eye in photographs is not always a bad thing.

    • Thanks, EC! Yes, the fresh scent of rain just beginning to fall on the earth is quite special.

      Thank you for the very kind remarks! Hope your new week is off to a good start. (And will be safe from nasty cyclones prowling the seas.)

  7. While I never exactly feel thrilled at sweeping water out of the car-port, I can’t say I hate the rain. Right now? Hoping the first cyclone of the season will weaken and come ashore as a rain depression! In the meantime, I have gardens screaming for moisture and one orchid in my shower.I’m calling it a Day Spa!

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