When everything comes together…

Cloudy skies and a not-so-great AirBnB on Tybee Island, Georgia threatened our plan for a lovely seaside stay.  We decided to escape to the beach.  When we headed off for a walk, it was cool, and the grey sky showed not a hint of blue at mid-day.  Sigh…

We had walked quite a distance when we saw a patch of blue sky ahead which continued to widen.  We were amazed as the sea of slate grey under the clouds transformed into a deep blue under the clear sky.

The grey clouds had almost lifted when a freighter appeared.

It’s surprising that we even noticed it, as we were fixated on the many shells at the water’s edge.

The bright colors of the claw caught our attention.  We’d never coloring like this before.

Many birds dotted the shoreline – gulls, terns, skimmers.  Brown pelicans occasionally flew by.  Ahead we saw a tight knot of black birds in a circle, lifting their heads to the sky and singing.

We assumed that they were male boat-tailed grackles, but we’d never seen such behavior before.

About 100 feet (30 meters) distant, we saw about 25 female boat-tailed grackles congregated on a rock jetty. How interesting, we thought, and, as soon as we got back, we googled “behavior of boat-tailed grackles.”  We learned that they are the only songbird in North America to practice “harem polygamy.” We read that “Boat-tailed Grackle sexes remain apart most of the year, except in the nesting season when females gather in large, dense colonies, usually on small islands in marshes or in isolated trees in settled areas. Many males are attracted to each nesting colony, but only a few high-ranked individuals succeed in mating there.”

On our way back from the beach, we walked by a park where most of the trees were draped with moss.

What magic buttons can we push to feel calm and settled?  We have learned from years of travel that warm temperatures, sandy beaches, and ocean waves create an almost instant calming effect.  Throw in seashells and birds and we are truly in our element.



December 2018

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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12 Responses to When everything comes together…

  1. Betsy says:

    We just missed you! Jack & I were visiting Cumberland Island where son Russell & fiancee Monica are the organic farmers there for the Greyfield Inn. If you get over to Cumberland, it’s quite an amazing place filled with nature, history, and a glimpse into how the Carnegies, Candlers, and others live/lived.

  2. Isn’t it great that a nice walk can restore the pleasure of a day? I love that blue/grey sky – I’ve seen exactly that around here, and it is so strange to think that weather can change almost down a line in the horizon. Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmoose – Susan

  3. Your walk sounds magical. I don’t miss much about our former home on Padre Island but I do miss the dive bombing and line formations of pelicans flying along the shore which never failed to thrill me. A beach walk almost always has a way of putting things into perspective. Sending you and Joe wishes for a happy Christmas and a big hug! Anita

    • We miss the sea in Portugal and have been thinking of our time there as we are now on the sea in Georgia and Florida. Not having grown up near the ocean, we don’t take its beauty for granted. Every day is special when we’re near the crashing waves and walking on sand. Merry Xmas, Anita!

  4. We thought of you today as we explored the shorebird coast here in Miranda. The Godwits migrate here for the summer from Northern Alaska and Eastern Siberia. We were amazed that some make the journey non stop. Most fly via a stopover in the Yellow Sea but extensive development of the tidal flats in China and South Korea is having a huge impact on their numbers. Ruth thought that you would be in you element walking through the tidal habitat.

    • Oh, we would have loved it! We did see the bar-tailed godwits when we were in New Zealand, again in Australia, and even California! They do travel an amazing distance! This summer we saw the Hudsonian godwits which migrates from Hudson’s Bay in Canada to southern South America. Again, how amazing is that?!

  5. srday says:

    Hey, you two shore creatures! I was all too quick, our reunion in DC, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing you in PA or NJ in the coming year. Now that I know I cannreply “above the line” to simpletravelourway posts, I’m going to attach our year’s Seasons Greetings letter. Hugs, Suzanne


  6. What a great photo of the ocean showing the reflected colour of the sky. I wonder what a male grackle has to do to be regarded highly enough during mating season. 🙂

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