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Illumination

December 22, 2010


Mornings have been colder than normal here in south Florida but the color is golden. I remember when I first arrived here ten years ago, walking along the edge of the cypress in the winter. Their brown canopies were filled with ibis standing towards the sun, and as the sun came up their beaks turned to gold right before my eyes! Today, however with the ibis absent, a small pine warbler fluffs up and stands towards the rising sun in anticipation of the warmth. The golden light falls over him and the retreating green of the swamp now looks bronze. I thought when I first arrived that these brown trees signaled death. Little did I know. The drying swamp is filled with migrating warblers of all kinds, who are often found along the mud flats picking off whatever small invertebrates they can find. Some are in the trees availing themselves of moth, wasp and butterfly adults and larvae. Perhaps the cold makes finding the sluggish prey a little easier. Some like this pine warbler can be found at the water’s edge. Food is abundant in what may appear on the surface to be a less than abundant time. With the shortened days, occasional cold spells we still have enough light that the life cycles that continue year round are easier to observe. The drying up of the waters reveals so much. When the rhythm of our water cycle is disrupted however, the animals who have adapted to the periods of wet and dry have difficulty finding food. But the warblers are in the right place at the right time.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily permalink
    December 22, 2010 11:31 am

    Beautifully written; I felt as if I were walking with you. The cycles of nature, life, and the universe are astounding. Thanks for reminding us in such a lovely way. And, that that balance is sometimes more delicate than we realize. Bravo on a well written post.

  2. December 22, 2010 1:11 pm

    Beautiful picture and not easy to get! Those little guys rarely sit still.

  3. Dolores M Hoerner permalink
    December 23, 2010 11:30 pm

    Beautiful, thank you. Have a great holiday.

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