Modern automobiles are fairly reliable things. A little regular maintenance and they perform well and seldom give us pause for concern. It was not always thus. Once upon a time, we didn’t dare leave the driveway without a few basic tools, a can of oil and jumper cables.
That sickening “click-click-click” when you turn the ignition key makes you close your eyes and turn it again, knowing full well you will hear the same sound. You open the hood, twist the cables to be sure they’re tight and gaze around for a minute pretending you know what you’re doing. With older batteries, you would check for water in the cells. In the end, you find a healthy vehicle or call road service, hook up the cables and smile when the engine roars to life!
Our days can be like that. We get busy with work, family, chores, bills – we run down. Late in the day we find ourselves sighing heavily and looking out the window. We seem to be ready to go to bed earlier than normal. Morning arrives sooner than we hoped. Getting out of bed takes effort. The coffee has no taste and the caffeine does nothing to provide a boost.
We need a jump-start!
Setting foot on the trail as the sky begins to lighten about a half-hour before dawn and taking in one long, deep breath – that will do it. Add the trumpeting of a pair of Sandhill Cranes overhead, the chattering of a coot, a distant Barred Owl call answered by another, a light fog hugging the surface of the lake. The serene atmosphere is abruptly disturbed as the eerie screeching of Limpkins signals it’s time for all creatures to be awake!
I am one of the luckiest of mortal men as one glance at Gini each morning provides all the jump starting I could ever handle. When we combine our mutual electricity with Nature’s, it is an awesome experience!
A few days before Christmas, a wander around Tenoroc Fish Management Area helped jump-start a fabulous day. Some images from the morning follow.
An Anhinga silhouetted against the pre-dawn sky prepares for a day of fishing.
Heard long before they were seen, a pair of Sandhill Cranes loudly announced they were heading to the day’s feeding grounds.
As the sun dries the night’s dew, a Yellow-rumped Warbler is ready as insects begin to emerge from their night-time hiding places.
New fencing has recently been erected (and looks really dangerous!) and a Loggerhead Shrike can’t wait to impale his breakfast bugs on some of those shiny new barbs!
Central Florida in late December means we get to enjoy some insects not active in cooler climates. An early morning Barred Yellow (Eurema daira) visits a Beggarticks (Bidens alba) for a bit of nectar.
Keeping an eye on me from within the brush a Gray Catbird constantly “mewed” to let others know I was in the area. Tattletail.
A Limpkin hung onto a grass stem by the lake side as it scanned for an Apple Snail.
The shimmering iridescent plumage of a Glossy Ibis was a pleasant sight as the sun began its climb from the horizon.
My normal view of the migratory Sharp-shinned Hawk is a brown streak as it zips past at supersonic speed chasing a songbird. This one circled overhead for almost 15 seconds before disappearing into a nearby wooded area.
Sufficiently jump-started, I was reminded of the only downside to beginning a day in Nature like this. It is addictive. I still highly recommend it for anyone feeling the need for recharging. Wait! I highly recommend it for everyone!
Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit!