Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Eagles, Gulf Waters & a different kind of bug

January 1 & 2, 2013
Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey, Florida

 

The Eagles have landed

 

DSCF2770

 

Yesterday we took a walk out on the green trail to see the park’s resident bald eagles.  David was wearing his new binocular harness and likes it very much.  Thank you Carrie!  Great gift!

The Eagles have been arriving back at Oscar Scherer in September for a number of years apparently.  I haven’t yet found anyone who knows how long but they’ve been here for the last 3 at least we can attest to.  They re-establish their territory, repair the nest and in December mate and lay eggs.  Hatchlings emerge in January so I’m hoping when we are back here again in mid February to be able to see them.

 

 

 

 

Although they were taken off the endangered species list in 2007 and there are an estimated 6000-7000 pairs in the US, there are still federal protection laws which include no activity zones up to 660 feet from a nest.  All parts of the green trail going closer than that toward the eagle’s tree have been blocked off.

 

DSCF2788

 

 

Can you spy the “eagle tree” in this picture below?
This is all you can see without a zoom lens.

 

P1010077

 

How about now??

P1010078

 

 

 

Eagle Facts

 

DSCF2784

We thought it was the mother on the nest but when the second bigger bird flew in we realized our mistake since female eagles are larger than the males.

Here are some eagle facts we learned from the information board at the viewing area.

An eagle’s wingspan is 6’-7 1/2’

 

 

 

 

P1010107They can soar up to 10,000 feet

Level cruising speed is 30-35 mph

Lifting capacity is 4 pounds

Their eyesight is 3-4 times better than humans

Adults are 35-37” tall and weight 10-14 pounds

Life span is 30 years.

 

 

 

DSCF2811

An eagle’s nest can be up to 8’ around and weigh up to 2 tons. 

What we saw was a realllly big nest but TWO TONS!  Good grief!!

Eagles mate for life

Eagle eggs are twice as big as chicken eggs

Incubation takes 30-35 days

Eaglets are the fastest growing bird in nature

The park has a nice two person bench for balancing binoculars or cameras while you look and photograph.  They also have a park bench and a picnic table near the information board.  You can see those in the picture of the roped off trail.  The park is quite proud of their eagles and glad to have their approval of the habitat the park protects.

DSCF2802

 

Spending the last day of 2013 watching the eagles was a very fine finish to a good year.  IF I can get myself organized perhaps “soon” I’ll post a year summary of our 2013.

 

 

2014 has a bit of a shaky start, at least for me.

 

 

Nokomis Beach (1)


I woke up yesterday and went out running.  I didn’t seem to be dragging myself around any more than usual but when I came back I felt really tired and still draggy.  David said he did too so I didn’t think anything more about it and we headed over to the gulf to start the new year out right, at the beach!

It was pretty overcast but the water was gorgeous and there were picturesque sailboats on the horizon.   This is David’s picture.  I think he’s lightened it up to take away the haze that was around all day.

 

P1010126

 

 

Lots more folks on the west coast beaches than the east, or is it just the public beach??

 

There were a lot of people here which is a different look from what we were used to at Sebastian Inlet’s beaches.  But then Oscar Scherer isn’t on the water like Sebastian Inlet which is a state park where you have to pay a fee to use the beach. Nokomis beach is public and free including parking.  Plus it is New Year’s Day and a holiday for pretty much everyone.

 

Nokomis Beach (5)

 

 

At one point though, I thought there were might be as many birds as people.

 

Nokomis Beach (14)

 

Neither of us had worn our bathing suits and we were sorry we hadn’t since the water was wonderful and lots of people were in swimming.

 

Nokomis Beach (17)

 

After a short walk along the water I settled into my chair to read the afternoon away.  David spent his time watching the bird antics and taking pictures of them.   He had a good view as they just kept moving closer and closer to where we were sitting.  They really did put on a good show.

 

Nokomis Beach (11)

 

 

The gulls were a collection of Ring-billed, Laughing, Black-backed and Herring.  It was quite a congregation.

 P1010156P1010174

 

 

The most entertaining of the afternoon was this royal tern who seemed to be telling off all the other members of the group.  I’m surprised David didn’t get a picture of him with his mouth open.  He was squawk squawk squawking all the time.  Thank goodness his voice isn’t as grating as the gulls.

 

P1010203

 

These two terns clearly have different hairdressers.

P1010212

P1010223

 

We even got to see this guy skimming for fish.

 

P1010219

 

 

 

 

Things then go from bad to worse.

 

P1010247

When we get back to the coach for dinner, I am still feeling subpar and when David asks if I want to go to the Wednesday night Nokomis drum circle I decline.  I stay home and read while feeling tired, achy with some intestinal distress.  When I get chilled I realize I might actually have some bug so I take my temperature -  100.8.   Well then……

David returned from the drum circle and I was in full hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes mode.  I wiped down everything I had touched and went to bed early.  By the time I turned the lights out at 10:00 I wasn’t feeling any better but my temperature had gone down not up so I figured perhaps all I needed was a good night’s sleep.

These pictures are David’s from the Nokomis drum circle which he enjoyed tonight just as we have in the past.  It’s a great way to honor the sunset.  Wednesday and Saturday nights all year long.

 

P1010248

P1010269

 

P1010270

P1010255

 

 

P1010284

 

 

 

Tomorrow is another and brighter day.

 

When I wake up this morning, my temperature is back to a normal for me 97.4.  A 24 hour virus, good news.  But so as not to push the envelope I go out for an hour walk rather than a run and good thing too since the red trail I chose is mostly through sand too deep for running.   But I did get to watch a gopher tortoise for a while near the end of the walk.  Didn’t take a camera so no picture.

Today is showing itself to be the nicest since we’ve been here, a high of 75 and sunny predicted. It’s off to the beach

 

 

Nokomis Beach (2)

 

I was pretty surprised to see even more people here today on Thursday a non holiday.  Not sure if this is the end of the holiday season for folks but I guess we’ll find out when we come back next Monday.   I don’t remember this many people here last January but who knows, memories being what they are these days.

 

 

 

 

The sand at Nokomis is quite different than that on the East coast.   It’s literally full of shells and at some points difficult to walk on.  Here’s a close up of the “sand” right next to my chair arm which you can see in the bottom right corner.  It’s really pretty though not so great for your bare feet.  Folks, including me, were walking gingerly toward the water where the sand is finer and easier to walk on.

 

Nokomis Beach (7)

 

 

 

Lots of people in the water.  A family trying to use their boogie boards in the gentle gulf waves was quite a humorous sight.  Another group building a sandcastle.  The skim boarder was the best I’ve yet seen so I really enjoyed him as well.  

 

Nokomis Beach (3)

Nokomis Beach (13)

Nokomis Beach (17)

 

Nokomis Beach (15)

 

 

 

I am very glad to be at the beach today and feeling fine. 

Tonight they are calling for rain and tomorrow a big drop in temperatures.  Today it was sunny with a high a glorious 75.  Tomorrow a dyslexia is predicted and the high will be 57 with a low of 45.  But it’s all good when you are retired and your former hometown has a high of 32!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s also a real treat to eat dinner outside now that we are away from from bugland.

 

Rainbow Skillet Hash (3)

 

 

 

THE END!

P1010228

23 comments:

  1. Hi guys! I'm slowly getting back into blog reading and out of vampire-mode! I see you've moved to the east coast since I last read, and so sorry you felt ill, I had the same thing yesterday and last night! I thought it was something I ate! How far is Oscar Sheerer from Lazy days? We'll be there tomorrow and Saturday...guess why??? Stay tuned for my new blog in a couple of days :-).

    ReplyDelete
  2. The eagles are cool! I'm not a beach person like you two are. I enjoy walking a beach, but would never sit there all day. And, the shells wouldn't be a problem for me since the only time I'm without shoes and socks is when I'm in bed! :) Isn't it great that we all like such different things?

    ReplyDelete
  3. So sorry you were ill :( I had a bout of allergies/cold, something, and now George has it. No fun to be sick, no matter what it is! Wish we were closer by Nokomis. I have wanted to see the drum circle.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh Boy you really had me going there for a moment. About to be on my knees praying for protection from the "bug" for David, but was so happy to hear you took all the precautions, and woke up feeling much better. I don't know where you get all the information you teach us but I just love it. Never knew so much about eagles as I do now. Thank You. I know one thing for sure, I wouldn' t be sitting outside eating like you are and sitting so close to those gulls. I've been pooped on one time to many. I wear a hat to protect me from that, not the sun..... :) Happy New Year to you

    ReplyDelete
  5. wow the shells look very rough! I'm way to dainty for such ... TWO TONS??? whoa... now that's a nest. The Eagles are still protected though, right ... you don't kill our national boid.

    Glad the bug didn't stay around long ... my eyes are watering like crazy today as well as m'nose... I feel okay just wintery .... bah

    Great pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great beach fun and glad it was a short duration bug:)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Last year we saw way many more Eagles down in the Palm Harbor / Tarpon Springs area than we did the year before...not sure about this year since we are still in Arizona, but headed that way. Don't know what it is about this new year, but I've heard of others who have been sick these past few days, including Marcia and myself....but ours seem to be of the normal head cold variety. --Dave (GoingRvWay.com)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Glad the 'illness' was short lived and you re feeling so much better. The beach looked loverly....

    ReplyDelete
  9. Eagles are so majestic. We were at the Blackwater Refuge in Maryland before we started full-timing and the trail leading to the nesting area was closed down. Luckily there were plenty of them flying about and we got some great views of them in the trees. Glad to hear all it was a one-day virus and that you're back to feeling OK.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sure glad the eagles get some protection and privacy. But not much privacy on this beach. Swimming one day and bundled up the next might have an affect on your health. Nice that bug didn't stick around.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Interesting facts about eagles. A two-ton nest is pretty mind boggling!

    Glad you were able to get in a couple good days at the beach before the cold front moved in. Hopefully it's short-lived so you can get in some more beach time.

    Glad you're feeling better, and sure hope David doesn't get it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love the Eagles...great photos from such a distance!!!

    Glad the "BUG" didn't hang around too long;o))

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good job on getting over the bug quickly...my guess is that's a testament to your overall health and good habits. So thankful David didn't pick it up. Loved the pics and info about the eagles. Such majestic animals. We have snow this morning and 14 degrees. Wish I was in Florida!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Glad you'e feeling better. I hope David doesn't catch it. I seem to remember the last time you got sick, David never did catch it. I'm glad you got a nice beach day in before the cold front. I always find more people at the beach on the Gulf coast than the east coast. I think it's because it's warmer and less windy. Stay warm.

    ReplyDelete
  15. still can't believe we have not been t the drum circle yet... so close yet so far...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hope to one day get there and enjoy the drum circle, we've enjoyed watching eagles in many parts of the country. Glad you're feeling better and hope David doesn't catch the bug.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I too am glad not to have caught the bug given my compromised immune system. It seems my fatigue the day Sherry came down with the bug was likely the result of having 5 immunization shots the day before at Moffitt. NIce coverage of a great bird show! Loved the scolding tern and the way his/her 'hair' stood up while the other terns all remained calm with their 'hair' nicely in place and looking very unconcerned at the message - whatever it was.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Two ton nest! That will certainly keep you from adopting an eagle family and taking them on the road with you in Winnona!

    Nice to see you've found probably the only place on earth that is bug free. Hope they never find out! ;c)

    ReplyDelete
  19. A nasty bug can dampen the spirits. I am so glad that you are beginning to feel better. I am so ready for the beach, no, any beach will do, just warm sand and and fairlyu warm water. Calgon / Gulf, take me away.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Glad you are feeling better. We need to get down there to see the eagles.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Robinkwalton@gmail.comJanuary 4, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    I never have seen any eagles that close let alone see them nesting. What a treat.They are grand birds
    I love the gull dressed in red and black..he was so handsome

    ReplyDelete
  22. So glad that was just a 24 hour annoyance. Amazing how those bugs can completely wear you out! :( Beautiful beach sailboat picture! I love the eagles. I am so glad I got to see them that time with Nancy and Bill. Those are impressive stats. Wonder how they like being watched by the 'humans'? Eating outside looks mighty fine! Let the good times roll!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have a serious case of beach envy.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!