Sitting at our breakfast table every morning during the pandemic, we think about the many opportunities we have had to travel over the past ten years. As I look back on the places we have visited, I realize that sometimes the best place to be is at home.
Following our hour-long walk, we prepare our breakfast and sit facing our backyard lake. Within minutes, the nature show begins. On a typical morning a lone roseate spoonbill flies onto our lawn. He spends a good half hour enjoying the vegetation on the lakefront. A wood stork , a noisy limpkin, a two-foot-long iguana and a couple of ibises often join him, oblivious of one another. A mother duck and her brood of 12 newly hatched ducklings wanders across the lawn and makes their way down to the lake.
On other days, a gaggle of Egyptian geese flies onto the lawn, squawking away. We often see egrets, herons, anhingas and an occasional colony of tortoises. Once in a while, we see a group of playful but aggressive lake otters.
More than once, my wife has reminded me of the times that we have paid for expensive excursions while traveling so that we could witness the local wildlife. Most of the time, we are disappointed because by the time we finally arrive at the location late in the morning, the animals have already escaped the hot sun. The only time that I can recall seeing a truly amazing animal show was in South Africa where we would go out before sunrise in order to capture the early morning activity of the wildlife in search of their food.
I have to say that this has been an enjoyable summer for our bird and animal viewing. From the comfort of our early morning kitchen table inside our air conditioned home, we have witnessed some of the best nature shows. The price is right, our view is completely unobstructed and we don’t even have to dress up for the occasion!