Restore my soul – wetlands at long last!

The world has become a daunting and stressful place in numerous ways and never more so than in the last 18 months.  The claustrophobic sense of being locked away from normal endeavors and the constant bombardment of negative news on TV while inside only magnifies the awareness of how much we need to connect with the natural world to preserve spiritual wholeness and sanity.

I could have found ways and places not locked or guarded to wander, but I didn’t. And so finally in April I found my way back to the man-made wetland known as Wakohatchee Wetlands in Delray, Florida which had been reopened for a couple of months.

While I may have longed to find something new or surprising after all this time, it was more satisfying to to see that life just went on as it should while we humans were away. I venture to say that we missed the birds far more than they missed us. I wonder if they could?  Woodstorks, Great Blue Herons, Anhingas, Cattle Egrets, Snowy Egrets and Louisiana Herons performed their mating rituals, protected their eggs and nestlings, watched them fledge and go off on their own. Pond Apple trees, marsh grasses and fire flag with its flowery drops of lavender, all flourished in beauty….without us.

Here I have just picked three images from that April visit. I could hardly even decide what to share as it wasn’t even about taking pictures but rather just being there and listening to the crack and call of some old friends and the whoosh of big wings catching air.

The top image is a distant shot of a Great Blue Heron feeding in wetland shallows with pond apple trees in the background. The second two images are of nesting woodstorks featuring one well fed looking woodstork chick in profile with evidence of a recent meal on its beak.

It is good to get back to normal and try and restore oneself.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is top-flourish-for-vine.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is top-flourish-for-vine.png

Be Well and Safe Everyone!,


PS: I’ve been away for so long and never used the new way to do posts before. My bad! I always did what I knew and so hoping this looks as it should!! 🙂 I am not a luddite; I just hate change.

~ by Judy on June 18, 2021.

17 Responses to “Restore my soul – wetlands at long last!”

  1. Judy so glad to see you back. I love the reflections in your top photo of the Heron and also the text reflections in your commentary. I have not been to my lake since before the pandemic. Things were locked down and then I broke my heel and lost vision in one eye. I am wistful about things returning to normal and yet comforted by the knowledge that life in nature has been continuing in our absence – and perhaps even thriving more with fewer humans wandering through. Your post is a great reminder of the resilience of life… And I agree about the new and improved(???) Word Press editor! Best, Babsje

    • Thank you so much for the welcome back! Very appreciated!! Had been feeling a wall of resistance to doing anything and feel like maybe I’ve broken through something? Nature is indeed resilient and if we aren’t careful, nature with its tenacious tendrils of life will break down all we have built. Fitting though! I am sorry to hear about your vision loss as that is a big deal. You are the second friend in as many days to tell me of loss of vision in one eye. My mother had that too in her last years. She still continued to paint and read. I hope you heal and also hope that you are able to engineer some excellent work arounds of the situation. I have enjoyed your images and words through the years and look forward to more.

      • Many thanks for the well wishes. It’s great that your mother could continue to paint and read. The affected eye was my dominant eye – my camera viewfinder eye. I figure that autofocus may need to become my new best friend forever or else just create impressionistic photos like the old painters did a century ago? Looking forward to more of your gorgeous birds. Best, Babsje

      • Well, auto focus was the main reason I bought my first digital camera. My film camera didn’t have it and I was struggling with focusing in dim light visually. Impressionistic sounds good!!

      • 😊 autofocus and burst mode for the win? My daughter gave me my first digital slr… I’d probably still be using film if not for her. Lol. Impressionist art may have to do – I can’t see well enough now to use photo editing software. Surgery in a couple of months may help. Fingers crossed!

      • Oh yes fingers crossed….keep us posted!! I have

      • Oops..unfinished send I think….I have IOLs replacing my cataracts and that has helped me greatly. Good luck!!

      • Glad the IOLs worked for you! I have a cataract in what is now my “good” eye and surgery for that a month or so after the other eye. I read a book where it discusses the cataract surgery Monet had and how it affected his color perception and the palette he used for his paintings post-surgery. Did you notice any change in how colors look?

      • The IOLs I received were multi-focal lenses by Technis. They have concentric rings that allow the brain to focus on all distances. I don’t even use glasses to read unless it is very dim. Even if you don’t choose multi focal the color issue will be the same….you will be AMAZED how much you have forgotten on what colors should look like. All my black and white photos seemed to have a warm cast and I couldn’t get rid of it. Never connected that with my vision. Cataracts make for a dulled and yellow world..or worse! Your sense of color will be as if you are 18 again…beautiful!! One of medicine’s truly greatest gifts.

        I have read also some of the effects on painting for various notable painters of the past due to vision problems. I forget which painter, but I remember reading that he could no longer mix paints but had to rely on the color name on the tube.

      • That is wonderful to hear. So happy for you that the IOLs work in such an amazing way! Looking forward to seeing colors in a new light. Having the eyesight of an 18 year old would be great. Being 18 years old again? No thank you! 😊

      • LOL!!! 🙂

  2. It’s good of you to remind us of life as it actually is without all the Covid prohibitions and restrictions. I went to the rookery in Ocean City, NJ this past Wednesday and came back with lots of photos that I am still reviewing for publications on my blog. The herons still look sleepy, and none of them wore masks.

    • Seems like a long time since we have been able to go about life without thinking too much…auto pilot and everything. Nice just to let things flow in a more natural way!! I greatly look forward to your new rookery photos. I love rookeries with their opportunities to observe the home life of the birds…mating, child raising, empty nest!! 🙂

  3. I’m so, so glad to see you here again. It makes me sad that you’ve been reluctant to be out in nature through all this, but the past months have been complicated, and there was no “one size fits all” answer. I’m just thrilled to see the woodstorks again. Nature is going on, just as she always has. I found a pair of Black-bellied whistling ducks with their babies last weekend — they had FOURTEEN! I managed a couple of photos before they got out of range, and they’re funny as can be.

    I like the way the heron’s reflection seems to be woven into the reeds, too. That’s how nature is: everything fits together. That’s probably why it seems so restorative to us.

    • Thanks so much, I appreciate it!! Life gets in the way sometimes, but I look forward to dusting off my camera for a variety of photographic journeys. I feel I have been stalled for awhile even without any lockdown situation, just feeling the muse went to Texas or something 🙂 !! Nature is indeed restorative and I greatly look forward to finding once again Manley’s “dearest freshness deep down things” from God’s Grandeur.

  4. Happy to see you out and about, Judy. Not to brag, but my first leisure walk since my accident was just yesterday. Instead of nature, I got a cup of coffee and a chocolate chip scone at one of the independent coffee houses that has survived.

    • Glad to see you out as well and healing so nicely. I suppose coffee and a scone is a forgivable sin!! 🙂 Maybe you should get one of those recumbent bikes I see around as an alternative for exercise….they seem safe?

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