Spring at Last

Great Blue Heron - adult and offspring
Great Blue Heron – adult and offspring

By Judy Berman

Rains persistent patter
Dancing on the porch.
Heavy gray rain clouds
Cast a dark shadow.

After the deluge,
Birds chirping
In the cool, night air.

The harsh caw of one
Competing with the
sweet sound of another.
Spring – at last!

Buds are bursting thru
Birds are nesting
New life, renewal.

Hooded Merganser
Hooded Merganser
White Pelicans
White Pelicans
Great Blue Heron warily eyeing an alligator
Great Blue Heron warily eyeing an alligator
Sandhill Crane nesting
Sandhill Crane nesting
alligator asking in the sun
alligator basking in the sun

Florida is the temporary home of birds that “winter” here. It’s also the year-round home for others.

Last weekend, my husband, Dave and I visited Viera Wetlands in Brevard County on Florida’s East Coast with Lee of Southern Photo in Melbourne along with another photographer, Jim.

We snapped away with our cameras as these birds swam in the ponds, a lake, and built their nest in a swampy area.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-15. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Video – Florida Nature Compilation – Simoes Productions. Footage of nature in Brevard County, Florida. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heB4H-_jweU  

Photo: Viera Wetlands – Great Blue Heron – adult and offspring. They are year-round Florida residents. Taken by Judy Berman, 3-1-14.

Photo: Viera Wetlands – Hooded Merganser ducks swam in a pond near us. They winter in Florida. Taken by Judy Berman, 3-1-14.

Photo: Viera Wetlands – White Pelicans. They winter along the coasts. Taken by Judy Berman. 3-1-14.

Photo: Viera Wetlands – Great Blue Heron warily eyeing an alligator – “Come on in. The water’s fine!” the alligator smiled invitingly. Taken by Judy Berman, 3-1-14.

Photo: Florida Today – A few miles from our home, Dave took this photo of a Sandhill Crane nesting. Feb. 2014.   * For more on this, read “Love and loss in the parking lot” by Suzy Fleming Leonard. Photos by Craig Bailey. Slide show by Rob Landers. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20140301/COLUMNISTS0604/303020015/Suzy-Fleming-Love-loss-an-office-parking-lot. 

Photo: Viera Wetlands – alligator basking in the sun. Taken by Dave Berman, 3-1-14.

  1. Wonderful photos, and the poem is lovely. Reminds me a bit of Gary Snyder.

    Spring is not yet here, but when it comes, I’m going to post my Haiku for spring! Spring deserves poetry.

    Thank you. You’ve lightened my heart.

    1. I’m glad you liked the photos and the poem. Your comments are really appreciated because I do admire your poetry and look forward to your spring haiku. I don’t know who Gary Snyder is, but I will be checking him out. 😉

      1. I met him once at a party for poets in St. Paul. It was in his honor. But Robert Bly walked in in a huge Russian fur hat and coat, flanked by three young arm-candy things, and he pretty much stole the show.

        Gary’s poems are very quiet. He’s also an environmental activist.

        note from earthrider to Tracy Lee Karner:
        I just read some of Gary Snyder’s poems. Very cool. Thank you for the compliment.

  2. Your comment on Marylin Warner’s website led me to your own. I see we have several interests in common: love of nature, a teaching background, and enjoying life in Florida. You are invited to visit my blog where I post reflections on my early life as a Mennonite girl in Pennsylvania along with other contemporary topics. I see you are a poet too–impressive!

    1. Marian … We have one more connection. I was born in Pennsylvania and lived there until I was 8. I have many fond memories of my life there.

      Thank you for your comments and for visiting my blog.

  3. Today we have sunshine and blue skies…and a high of 48! Feels so good, and I’ll make the best of it before the Tuesday snow arrives next week.
    Your poem and pictures are wonderful and uplifting, Judy (except for the waiting allegator, but we’ll hope he doesn’t get a meal). I loved all the pictures, but the Great Blue Heron and offspring and the Sandhill Crane nesting stole my heart!

  4. Your poem contains vivid imagery, Judy, and the photographs have a poetry all their own. A perfect combination. I just hope you kept a wary eye on that alligator, too.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Charles. And, you better believe I was vigilant about that alligator. I just read today in the Orlando Sentinel about a nature trail that has no safeguards. A man wrote that he saw a man and a young child not far from a 15-foot alligator and warned them to be careful. For sure!

  5. Spring at last!! 😀 I feel like this winter has gone extremely quickly, perhaps I’ve been busier than usual or maybe because it wasn’t a long cold winter in the UK – that helps it to feel shorter!
    Your poem certainly conveys that feeling of everything waking up/coming alive and ready to go for another summer! 🙂 And some lovely pictures of birds too, that Crane looks very attractive sitting there! And the video also really shows just how much wildlife you have around you, very relaxing to watch too. You’re living in a jungle Judy!! 😀 Compared to where I am anyway! I may be lucky to see a loose Deer every now and then, dash across a busy road, (which is a little alarming) or as one did in recent years got it’s head stuck in some park railings and had to be rescued by Firemen! And there was apparently a lost cow wandered passed my door some time last year, walked many miles from the nearest seaside town apparently. How it did that, no-one can quite figure out. It obviously needed a day out, thought it best to head for the city! 😉

    I’ve noticed on quite a few pictures of Florida those trees you have with long hanging seed-like things on the branches (also some in the video) or perhaps they are flowers hanging, not sure. But there seems to be a lot of them in Florida. Do you know what they are? They have a tropical look to them – I’m intrigued. They remind me of a tree my brother had outside a house he lived, where he had to park his car in the road (under the tree) and these stringy hanging bits in the summer used to fall off onto the car and do end of damage to the paintwork if he didn’t get those bits off. Annoying tree! I was just wondering if those trees have the same effect on your cars?!

    1. It is spring here. We have some swans on the pond in our development and they have a nest. Can’t wait to see the cygnets (baby swans).

      At one time, especially before the invention of air conditioning and screens, it probably was a jungle here. 😉 I did see deer while we were in Viera Wetlands. Years ago, we saw them nearer to our home. Cows have tied up traffic on the interstate (I-95) on occasion. Can’t imagine where they thought they were going.

      Do you mean palm trees? Google images of Queen Palm, Pygmy Date Palm or Cabbage Palmetto. The palm trees near our house do have seeds and stringy hanging bits that dangle and have to be cut back. They do look tropical.

  6. What?? You’re a poet, too?? And an excellent one, I might add– why am I not surprised?

    A lovely taste of spring, Judy, and sorely needed here in New Hampshire, where the snow is still piled high, and the temps relentlessly drop down to zero overnight– ugh!

    Loved the photos, too. Again, really excellent verse– ever thought about putting out a collection??

    1. That’s very sweet of you, Mark. I rarely write poetry. But I do enjoy the form. It’s a different way to express what I feel.

      Spring will be here before you know it. Then I’ll be envying you as I seek air conditioned solace here in the Deep South. 😀

      Dave and I had a great time taking photos of the birds.

  7. A beautiful poem accompanied by some amazing photos Judy. Love the nesting crane and the alligator. Hoping to catch some visiting pelicans tomorrow, in a lake nearby.

    1. Glad you liked the poem and photos, Madhu. I have a ways to go to match your skills.

      Right now, we’re waiting on some cygnets to hatch. Mama and Papa Swan are on nesting duty 24-7 in our development. They draw crowds every day. 😉

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