Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Thanks, Canada!!

  I’d like to thank my Canadian friends for our weather this week, a huge humidity-clearing high pressure front pouring out autumn all over South Carolina.  Couldn’t be a more welcome— ahem— breath of fresh air!  As soon as it arrived, we got out and about to take advantage.  

  To start, here’s an early morning at the salt marsh.

We found a whole flock of wood storks feeding.  If you have sharp eyes, you might spot the four roseate spoonbills crashing the party. 
More spoonbills and an egret.  Also, a lot of oyster beds.

  Aren’t spoonbills gorgeous?  Their legs are red and their bodies pink because they eat shrimp. Shrimp eat algae, algae make their own red and yellow pigments, spoonbills eat shrimp, and voila! pink birds.

   A group of roseate spoonbills is called a bowl.  I don’t know why.
  You can see here how they get the second half of their name.  The spoon-shaped bills have touch receptors inside.  They swing their heads side to side, back and forth through the water, and when they feel vibrations of living things inside, they quickly snap the spoons together.  Because of this, they can feed at night and in murky water.  

  (This is not my photo.  It’s from the St. Louis zoo website.)


  A number of people live permanently on boats in Winyah Bay and Georgetown Harbor.  Sailboats are anchored offshore and other boats have permanent moorings on the Harbor Walk, a dock that runs along the water behind the stores on our main street . Conveniently, there are three (three!) ice cream shops on the Harbor Walk and I will admit, of a beautiful evening  we occasionally imbibe.  

  Ships’ cats throughout history have had a job to do — taking care of any vermin that come aboard.  While we enjoyed our ice cream (caramel pecan sea salt, if you must know) I think this guy was getting shipshape for the night watch.  One hopes that is not his unfortunate predecessor behind him!  

  While we were eating our ice cream his owner came strolling down the dock with a doggy bag (kitty bag?) from a restaurant in his hand.  As soon as the captain was in sight, the cat began “talking” and calling to him.  It was the cutest thing!  
  We have several more days of this beautiful Canadian air to enjoy and we have plans for every day of it.  


  1. Those Spoonbills are so pretty! Not everyone gets to see them in person! Enjoy the weather! It is 70 something here today...nice! :)

  2. We are happy to share our clean fresh air with you. Apart from the heat and humidity you have to deal with I am sure there is a permanent stink from Washington. I found the four Roseate Spoonbills among all the Wood Storks, but I had not realized that a gathering of spoonbills was called a bowl. Live and learn!

  3. I have only seen those spoon bills at the National Zoo in DC. Cute cat. I can hear it talking to his owner. My youngest daughter used to talk right back to her cat matching the language. Maybe that's why she learned to speak Chinese so easily? She had an ear for language.

  4. You're entirely welcome for the weather we sent you. Was there some smoke in it. We've had a lot of smoke from the fires on the coast.

  5. Glad you are getting a reprieve from the humidity and getting out and about a little more. Your outing looked amazing with so many birds to admire, a delight to see them all. It was also a joy to see the boats, sounds idyllic living on the water but I am sure it is not.

  6. The spoonbills must be a joy to watch. Glad you have some fresh, cool air blowing your way. Sorry to hear about your cancelled trip to Germany. It looks like we are on the verge of another lockdown as restrictions were tightened yesterday.

  7. Very generous people, the Canadians. We have Spoonbills but not the Roseate type, just plain white ones. I suppose they're called a "bowl" because that's where you find spoons, in a bowl!

  8. Good that you can get about without too much heat, the ice cream sounds tasty.
    The pink birds, interesting to read about them...take care.

  9. That Canadian air must feel wonderful. We’re getting a little cooler here in Hawaii too from trade winds. A bowl? I wonder who came up with that term.

  10. What a lof of birds over there, nice post!

  11. I enjoyed that nice cool air too and now we have more coming for the weekend. I just love how you write. I loved seening all the birds especially the pink spoonbills. Never heard of them. Enjoyed the comment you left about the weeds. Thank you.

  12. That's interesting about what the spoonbills are pink. I haven't seen pink ones here. We have a lot of white ones. You had an interesting walk.