Site Meter


Copyright 2009-2010 by
Mary Brotherton
All Rights Reserved

Inside my Brain

email me

Friday, January 31, 2003

Neverending Birthdays

I love birthdays that don’t end. Today is the second day of this year’s celebration. We drove to Vero Beach, a really nice area, a little south of where we live, in Indian River County. Many schools, in particular, many high school bands sell Indian River Fruit as fund-raisers. The road there was lined with citrus groves. The fruit was heavy on the trees. I saw grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, kumquats, lemons, and limes. But I saw much more today too. The weather was superb and we had the wind blowing our hair (well my hair mostly) as the sun beams pelted us with delicious vitamin D.

We stopped at Captain Hiram’s for lunch. Years ago, Captain Hiram’s was just a marina, but now, the property has a hotel, a restaurant, a sand bar, with an actual sand floor, and a gift shop. The restaurant sits right on the Indian River and boats can be chartered throughout the day to go watch manatees or dolphins in their natural environments. Sunset cruises leave every afternoon, and we are probably going to be taking one of those cruises before too long. Our table was just inside the restaurant proper, but it was barely 15 feet from the water. Some diners were at tables on the dock, but the air was a bit too cool for our liking out there.

I was faced with a challenge when I learned that my three favorite fish were all the catch of the day: tuna, mahi mahi, and grouper. I decided to have grilled tuna, which was an excellent choice. The vegetables were also grilled. I enjoyed squash, green beans, broccoli, and red peppers along with my tuna. As we ate, I was astounded to see an enormous white bird floating on the river. I thought I was witnessing a swan, but when the bird turned around, I recognized the beak of a white pelican. I have been accustomed to seeing the much smaller brown pelican, but have never seen the endangered white before today. What an honor!

On our trip home, I was privileged to see other amazing birds. An owl and two or three hawks were just roosting on the tops of power poles, and of course I saw more typical birds like jays and vultures. I also saw sparrows and mockingbirds. Curtis noticed that I was watching the sky, and he pointed something out to me. In this area, the power poles have a platform at the top, every few miles. He told me that these are platforms for Bald Eagle nests. For miles, I saw the platform, then suddenly, I saw one that had a nest on it! These things are immense, but the nest appeared to be empty. A few more miles further, we saw another nest, and this one had a small bird standing on the edge. Curtis slowed the car, and we noticed that the bird seemed a bit small for a Bald Eagle. We determined that this one must have been a fledgling. I’ve never seen a Bald Eagle before today. I will be looking skyward a lot more in the future.

Once we left the river area, the eagle nests stopped appearing atop the power poles, and I turned my gaze earthward, which was a fortuitous event. I was fortunate enough to see my third endangered bird – the Sandhill Crane! These majestic birds are slate gray with red crests and they walk as if they are noble creatures, for indeed they are. From time to time, I have seen signs warning drivers of “Crane Crossing”, but have never seen a crane before today. Curtis has seen policemen protecting cranes as they crossed streets and even one guarding one that had been struck by a car, while waiting for the proper rescue agency to come to its aid.

With a day like today, I am anxious to see what wonders await my tomorrow!