An Escape From Home

Since we've been cooped up in our homes, practicing social distancing in order to flatten the curve, I decided it was time to get outside for some fresh air and a change of scenery. All of our local, county, and state parks are closed; however, national parks and wildlife refuges are still open, so I took advantage of one just a short distance away. It took me no time to drive up to Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (called "Lox" by us locals), since there aren't many cars on the road nowadays, and I immediately set out to strolling and taking photos. I was happy just to be outside for a while and out of the confines of my home. The first bird I encountered was a single mallard duck, and a couple of purple gallinules. I love the beak of the gallinule; it reminds me of candy corn for some bizarre reason! I have a weird thought process, what can I say?

A mallard duck surveys her surroundings.
A mallard duck surveys her surroundings.

Purple gallinule searching for food among the spatterdock plants.
Purple gallinule searching for food among the spatterdock plants.

I saw some movement off in the distance, so hustled in that direction, and discovered a little family of sandhill cranes! There were a male & female feeding, and two little chicks running around as the parents fed. I'm always enamored by the cranes and their gracefulness, and I've never seen their offspring before! So adorable!

Sandhill crane chick looking at the camera!
Sandhill crane chick looking at the camera!

Sandhill crane chicks following the long legs of their parents.
Sandhill crane chicks following the long legs of their parents.

I came across a red-shouldered hawk nest, with two chicks inside! The chicks only popped their heads up briefly, so I could not get a decent photo of them, but I did snap one of one of the parents looking sternly at me. As I continued my walk, there were tons of ibises (both glossy & white), egrets, herons, limpkins, and even two roseate spoonbills flew overhead! All in all it was a great day and a wonderful break from the monotony of home. Now it's back to working on my virtual lessons!

The hawk is not amused.
The hawk is not amused.

Author
Date
Location
Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Weather Summary
Mostly sunny
Temperature
83 F
Wind Speed
10 MPH

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