a holy curiosity

great blue heron ~ 9.20.21 ~ Avery Pond

On our way to the beach for a walk I spotted a great blue heron perched on a stone in Avery Pond. Had to get out of the car and walk down the road to find a spot without vegetation blocking my view.

double-crested cormorant on the breakwater ~ 9.20.21 ~ Eastern Point

At the beach we found lots of cormorants on the breakwaters again. Since there were very few people down on the sand we walked the length of the beach and I was able to get a picture with some of this cormorant’s markings more visible.

ring-billed gull with feet covered in sand

Lots of gulls were enjoying the sun, sand and sea. This time of year they can hang out on the beach in peace. I know I take too many pictures of gulls but I think they are so beautiful and photogenic.

ring-billed gull by the sea
ring-billed gull woolgathering
ring-billed gull sunbathing
laughing gulls, juvenile and nonbreeding adult

I’ve seen very few laughing gulls this year. I almost didn’t notice these two.

When we headed over to the estuary I saw a bee on a goldenrod plant growing up through the cement and rocks on the edge of the parking lot. The last place I expected to see something cool to photograph!

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
~ Albert Einstein
(Life, May 2, 1955)

double-crested cormorant in the estuary

Another cormorant was out on a rock in the estuary, and still another one was swimming around fishing. It was high tide. My camera was finally able to capture some of their coloring subtleties. It’s amazing what a little sunlight will reveal.

double-crested cormorant ~ it just swallowed a fish

I love my little beach, especially this time of year.

18 thoughts on “a holy curiosity”

    1. Thank you so much, Donna! I had about given up on that cormorant and turned my camera elsewhere when Tim exclaimed, it’s got a fish in its mouth! I turned back around and started shooting… Missed the fish but got the eye. A very happy accident. 🙂

  1. What a treasure trove of photos from one beach (and parking lot) trip Barbara. The bee’s wings – you could see every vein in them and the Goldenrod was so vibrant. And we thought the last bee and Goldenrod pics were great. The Heron looks perfect, not moving a muscle and perfectly poised. There can never be too many gull pictures. That one gull was so pensive, sunbathing, or with its feet in the sand or in the water, but it wasn’t the Captain or you’d have mentioned it. I’ve never seen Laughing Gulls. Up-close Cormorants too – what a great trip you had!

    1. Thank you, Linda! I was mesmerized by those sunlit veins in the bee’s wings, too. It seemed like it was going to be a ho-hum uneventful walk at the beach that day but I never know when or where a little magic might happen. Especially in an ugly parking lot… It’s nice in the fall because the gulls move down to the sand on the beach which is a much more attractive backdrop than the parking lot where they tend to congregate in the summer. Sadly, the last time I saw The Captain was July 16, even though I look for him every time I go. And he never did come sit on his fence post. I only saw him twice this summer. 🙁

      1. Yes, sometimes you get those unexpected “treats” and sometimes you don’t realize you captured them until you get home and see the photos on the screen. Yes, it’s much nicer having the gulls in a beach scene, just like me seeing them gliding overhead or perched on a railing with a nice background of the water. I hope you see The Captain this Fall – perhaps he found another venue to cool off in this hot and humid Summer, one that was easier to access with his foot as to perching. I have only seen my favorite squirrel Parker twice this Summer. The squirrels were out and about early due to the heat, but the older ones were wary of the hawks circling overhead. Parker has been around a while, so I’m thinking positively that he is being mindful to not become the hawk’s prey. I did get a few cute pictures of him this Summer. I can’t do anything festive as to putting out apples or pumpkins for the squirrels for special photos for the holidays as I don’t want to leave them under the Weeping Mulberry tree. It was different along the path, but I don’t want to make them “sitting ducks” to make it easier for the hawk.

        1. Sometimes I think all the human behavior that changed because of the pandemic had a ripple effect and changed the behavior of our animal and bird friends, too. Tugging at the web of life. Remembering the good times and trying to stay in the present moment, focusing on today’s blessings rather than the uncertain future….

          1. You are so right in that assessment Barbara. I know they may say thing things will be normal in 2022, but they said for this year and sadly I told myself at the beginning of 2022 that would not happen and we’d be lingering into 2022 with the same issues. The uncertainty is so worrisome.

          2. I doubt things will ever be normal again. Just like air travel changed after 9/11 I think some things the pandemic changed are here to stay. I know I will probably continue to wear a mask in the grocery store for a long time to come. It might even keep me from catching colds!

  2. I like your beach, too, Barbara! Love Einstein’s quote, the photos of the bees, and the gulls, especially. I can’t imagine seeing gulls on a regular basis (of course not — they don’t visit cornfields much, ha!)

    1. Thank you, Debbie! Your comment reminds me not to take my gulls for granted. And now you’ve got me wondering what birds your cornfields have that we don’t see around these parts. I’m sure you have plenty of bees, though. 🙂

  3. Never too many photos of sea gulls, Barbara. Laughing gulls live here all year round. Mostly hanging out at the beach or bay water fronts. Occasionally laughing gulls will fly above my cottage.

    I looked up the ring bill gull and laughing gull on the all about birds website. Clicked on the comparison feature and listened to the calls. Fun!!

    1. You’re lucky to have so many laughing gulls! They’re so cute because they’re so much smaller than the other gulls we have around here. I didn’t start seeing them around here until 2013, not long after the huge great black-backed gulls started showing up in 2012. This summer it was almost all ring-billed gulls.

      I love the All About Birds website, too. I took their “Joy of Birdwatching” course in May 2020 near the beginning of the pandemic and loved it.

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