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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Evening Ritual


Almost every evening we go to this bench at the edge of the lake, just a few yards from the house and watch. We usually have something to drink, the camera, and a pair of binoculars.

This year we keep watch of the owl nest because evening things start happening. The parent leaves the nest, going to the edge of the tower. Then she goes a little farther away to another part of the tower. Then finally she drops into the air in the most beautiful flight. She never has to even flap her wings from that height.

Yesterday evening we heard a soft low hooting from the island. There was the smaller of the two owls, the one with the lower voice...the male in plain sight. One of our neighbors was out and joined us in watching the owl until he took leave of the perch and flew away.

Around that same time we noticed the larger owl leave the nest and finally leave the tower for a night of hunting. Also, for the first time, we could hear the babies squeaking after her.

Besides watching the nest, we are constantly watching the water. Large and small turtle heads appear in the evening...looking at us and disappearing again. This time one was different. With the binoculars it was easy to see that a small alligator was giving us the eye. We could see the tail when he submerged again and figured him to be about 2 feet long.

One of the friends from Cocoa Beach said he had read that the DNR took an 11 foot alligator out of the lake last summer. Well, no wonder we haven't seen the Big Guy from last year! At least we know there are still little ones around. They are fascinating creatures.

Maybe spending an hour at sunset watching owls, alligators, and other creatures sounds boring, but especially with the company of a good neighbor, a couple of drinks, and nice warm breezes, I can't think of much better!

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Laura Lou
Michigan/Florida, United States
I am a retired Middle School Science teacher from Michigan spending 4 months each winter in Florida and learning about a whole new world.
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