Coffee, Conga, & Hawks!

You know you’re doing the parenting thing right when your twelve-year-old is looking at you with a combination of doubt and amusement. At least, that’s the way I figure it. So the other morning, my beloved dog woke me up at 4:30 as she paced back and forth down the halls and up and down the old wooden staircase of our house over and over. I finally convinced myself to give up on the tossing and turning bit and groggily ventured downstairs and to my fuel, ahem, coffee maker at 5:58. As I was pressing start on my favorite kitchen appliance, the electricity went out. Noooooooooo!

The first five minutes of the power outage I was optimistic. I lit some candles, chatted with my ten-year-old, (who was so excited to be using her new flashlight in the dark), and I decided to start my Bible study. But all I could think about was that coffee. So when the power came on about forty minutes later and I had the first cup of deliciousness in my hand, I was dancing across my kitchen. Now, some people know that kitchen dancing is kind of my thing, but this morning I got lost in the moment. All I know is that I glanced up mid-one-woman-conga-line to see that look I mentioned a minute ago coming at me from my 12-year-old. I was singing the Conga beat, (da-da-da-da-da-da), coffee in hand, my favorite cozy robe on, dancing across the kitchen and in place of shouting “Con-ga! Con-ga!” I was singing, “Cof-fee! Cof-fee!” What can I say? I like my coffee.

A little while after my earlier than usual kitchen dance party, I had just finished my yoga and was at the sink, when I spotted a hawk on my neighbor’s fence. I got excited. I always do when I see hawks. I think they’re so cool I had to include them in my teen fantasy book series, HARMONY RUN. I showed my daughters, who both thought the bird of prey was neat, and enthusiastically alerted my husband. Meanwhile, the hawk flew to another tree. By the time Charles got to the window all he could see was, “something black.” Based off his description, I gathered he didn’t quite seem convinced his dream woman had seen a hawk. (Maybe her overactive imagination had gotten carried away again?) To be honest, I think he was only on his first cup of coffee, so maybe he wasn’t as alert as yours truly. Still, in my ongoing quest to prove to Charles I’m holding onto a bit of sanity, I tugged my boots on, grabbed my camera and a winter coat to go with my yoga pants, and headed out into 23-degree weather.

The hawk moved from branch to branch despite my stealth-like approach, (snow boots snapping every twig and crunching every leaf in my yard), but I kept praying that I could just get one picture to show that man. And voilà. I got one, and only one, picture. But thank you, Lord- that’s all I needed!

When I went back inside, my 12-year-old was laughing, the doubt still lingering on her beautiful face. She nodded towards my yoga Capri pants and shook her head. “Cold, Mom?” she asked. “Yes, but I got the evidence I needed for your dad,” I declared triumphantly. The girls were impressed with the photo. And Charles…well, he took one look at the photo and said, “Oh…wow!” surprise evident in his expression, and that made my dash into the cold worth every freezing moment.

I may be a coffee-chugging-one-woman-Conga-line, but I’m not seeing things. Well, not all of the time, anyway. 😉 Don’t forget to look out your window, friends. You never know what you may see. And the next time your morning cup of coffee brings a smile to your face, why not consider doing the kitchen Conga line? I promise I won’t judge. I’m too busy amusing my children.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Hey there, beautiful hawk! 🙂

I love hawks.

Red-shouldered Hawk

I took at least a dozen photos of wildlife this morning, most of them behind my house. There were three gators cruising the pond, that I could see, and an assortment of birds. While I got some good photos of those big, bad gators, this was my favorite photo of today. I’m not sure what it is about hawks that I love. It could be the simple fact that I don’t fear for my life when I photograph them! Hope you enjoy the hawk. I’ll share the gator photos very soon…I promise. 🙂

Osprey fishing

Osprey fishing

If you have been to my amateur photo blog before, you know how I feel about Osprey.  I want to BE an Osprey, ha, ha, ha…  In all seriousness, I needed to clear my head the other day.  I grabbed my camera and went outside to see if my critter pals, here in the jungle, were putting on any shows, and sure enough, there were a few Osprey hunting.  The gators could have been hunting too, but I opted not to linger once I got a couple of photos of the Osprey.  🙂

Are you looking at me?


I saw a couple of hawks in this tree the other morning and had to stop for a few photos.  Is it me, or was one of them really looking at me?  I think these are Red-shouldered Hawks.  Hope you enjoy!  I am back to work for now!  🙂

Just another day in Never Never Land…

Do I really need to label this photo??? 😉
What big teeth you have, Grandma…
“Have you had enough of this game of chicken with the gator already, Merv? X Factor comes on tonight, and I want to see what Brittany is wearing.”
This is the part where the Osprey took pity on me and let me get an action shot. 😉

I had to share all of these photos at once because I took them all at once…Just another day in Never Never Land.   I hope you’ll check out my post about recent events in Never Never Land at my other blog, “My Name is Sarah…”  Go ahead…take a look…There are scorpions involved people! 🙂  Now, it’s back to that book!  ~Sarah 🙂

Lazy Saturday

Osprey at the beach

Rounding the corner of Cayo Costa Island
arriving to Cayo Costa Island
view from Cayo Costa Island


My family and I had quite the adventure this past weekend…We escaped the island…only to go to another island!  We took a boat out for the day and left from Captiva Island, venturing to the nearby island, (about a twenty-minute boat ride,) Cayo Costa Island.  Imagine my delight when we arrived and yours truly, bird girl, spotted an Osprey sitting in a tree on the beach.  My husband so kindly carried my camera from the boat, which was anchored chest-level off of the shore, and got it safely to the beach so I could take some pictures of the Osprey.  That Osprey didn’t move from the tree the entire time we were there.  It must have been basking in the beautiful view of a perfectly wonderful lazy Saturday.  I enjoyed it immensely…and now I know what Opsrey do on their days off.  (I can’t say that I blame them.)  😉





Osprey in flight

Osprey in flight


Osprey perched in tree watching the spring


Funny how drastically my Saturday nights have changed since my twenties…Last night, I watched a couple of Ospreys hunting in the spring behind our home.  The good news is that the alligator did not bother me while I stood on the edge of the water, and also I got a pretty clear photo of an Osprey in flight!  🙂


Call of the Wild

Red-shouldered Hawk ‘calling’

Usually, when I hear a cry or ‘call’ like I did coming from this Red-shouldered Hawk this morning, it is coming from one of my kids.  Seriously, my kids sound like hawks or descendants of dinosaurs a lot of the time.  So this morning, I was on my wildlife patrol, (I know…I am such a geek, but I don’t care,) and I saw this hawk.  I pulled off the road, got out my camera, and was SO excited when the hawk called out!  What a cool sound.  (Again, I am easily excited in this stage of my life, I know.)  Of course, Sanibel being the town of Mayberry that it is, someone driving down the road recognized me as a parent from the school and pulled over as I was waiting for the ‘big’ picture.  (I wanted a photo of the Hawk in flight, since the one I have isn’t very clear.)  Obviously, the hawk decided to fly away right as the car stopped in front of me, and I didn’t get that photo.  Guess that means I will be back on bird patrol again soon.  I am so cool I can’t stand it, ha ha ha.  Hope you enjoy the photos! 🙂

Look at the Hawk!

Red-shouldered Hawk

The curse of Jacque has been cast upon me…  You see, Jacque, (my dear, dear mother,) is the original ‘Bird Woman’…(Well, that’s one of the names I have given her over the years in addition to G.I. Jacque…You can read about my life with Rambo and G.I. Jacque and my first manatee encounter here.)  Growing up, my siblings and I got into the habit of pointing out birds we saw along the highway or road as the Bird Woman trained us to do this.  (I have heard stories of how this bird trait has been passed down over generations…Jacque was taught to look for birds from both of her grandfathers.)  Even as adults, we still do this.  “Look at the Hawk!” we will cheer out excitedly, and whoever is in the vehicle with us will generally give us a strange look and say, “I didn’t see a Hawk…”  We are constantly looking for birds…We can’t help it.  THANK YOU, Jacque.

I think it’s getting worse for me.  Now, I find myself purposefully looking for places I have spotted certain birds before.  I make my way to certain trees…A few days ago, I was on my ‘bird patrol’ when I spotted this Red-shouldered Hawk in a tree.   Kind of hard to miss I suppose.  I was alone when I saw it, but I couldn’t help but laugh at myself as I called out loud, “Look at the Hawk!”  I glanced around.  No one was there to hear me or say, “I didn’t see a Hawk…”  So, I took some photos to share with cyberspace, and in the hopes that someone is paying attention to this post I will once again proclaim, “Look at the Hawk!”  😉  Again, thank you, Jacque…   🙂

American Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle on bank

Having a drink?

Look at those claws…

I was having one of those, ‘I’m-so-overwhelmed-by-my-list-of-things-to-do’ type moments, when I decided to go to my window and take a look out into the wild, (my back yard.)  A rush of excitement had me running for my camera, and joy filled my heart.  The man up above must have been reminding me of how blessed I really am.  I’ve never in my life seen an American Bald Eagle.  (Just photos.)  Today, I saw a Bald Eagle…right behind my house.  I am so thankful.  I’ll likely be talking about this one for a minute.  🙂