Tuesday, June 19, 2012

# 287 - Roseate Spoonbill Moment is Needed!

Deputy Dave has been enjoying this bright, beautiful weather here in Texas because it allows him to go fishing more often. We've been having a few storm systems move through, but they usually pass fast to leave a sunny day remaining. Since he's working so hard, due to a lot of over-time required of many deputies working for the Sheriff's Department that is publicly known as being undermanned, he's needing to blow off some steam on the weekends.

Some deputies rush away from their department job because they have extra jobs in the private sector to attend, but Deputy Dave is one of the guys who stays free from outside commitments, so he's one of the deputies able to fulfill over-time demands, even when he's dog-tired. He's loyal to his job.

He likes to says he's going "fishing" but to not expect him to come home with fish to eat or he'd call the outing "catching" instead of "fishing." We have a freezer full of fish froze while extremely fresh. So, we're not in need of more fresh fish and it's sometimes great to get out on the water and to simply enjoy being in the midst of nature, especially after having to work in downtown Houston every day, inside a skyscraper. It's great to get away from the coldness of working near the 20th floor and to instead enjoy floating on the water while getting back in touch with the more basic aspects of life.

In the distance, he spies a Roseate Spoonbill which is a brilliant bird with pink plumage. Their eyes and legs are red. The younger the bird, the paler the color. You can see the red legs in the photos below. It's interesting to me, as a Texan, that breeding of these birds in North America is limited to coastal regions of Texas, Louisiana and Florida. They feed in both saltwater and freshwater while traveling in a flock and can weigh up to four pounds.

These birds are fascinating to me because they find a mate, court each other with awesome rituals, build a nest together, they mate in the prepared nest (after he carried her over the threshold) and soon, 2-5 eggs are laid. Both Momma Bird and Daddy Bird take turns sitting on the eggs until hatching occurs, then they take turns caring for and feeding the chicks for six weeks. At that time, they can both experience the empty nest syndrome together as well.

(Internet Photo to give close-up of bird.)

It's easy to see why the feathers of these birds were highly prized for use in a lady's fan at the turn of the century, which made them sought after by "plume hunters" and decimated their numbers. Fortunately, they are making a comeback. And yes, Flamingos are a close relative of the Roseate Spoonbill.

This odd bird's diet consists of crustaceans, aquatic insects, small frogs, small fish, and such. They wade in the shallows and keep their bill beneath the surface of the water while swinging it back and forth until they find something to snap in their bill for lunch.

Moments like these make a day out with God's goodness even more exciting. I can tell you that special moments such as these, with a Roseate Spoonbill is much more joyful to Deputy Dave than to be watching inmates in orange jumpers all week, attorneys in their high dollar threads, and politics swirling in the air to make everyone tense at the criminal courthouse.

With that said, it appears the current District Attorney in Harris County Texas is on her way out the door and one of the judges in the courthouse is up for the seat. A lot of people are expected to lose their jobs after the new District Attorney is officially on the job. Sadly, if you campaigned for the losing side, you might lose your job or your position could be impacted. The smart attorneys at the courthouse keep their voting preferences close to their heart and away from their mouths.

Pat Lykos has been our District Attorney. Personally, I like her a lot and am sad to see her being ushered out for someone else to clog the court system that Pat has worked so hard to get moving efficiently. She is also the D.A. in our county who set up a team of investigators to work cold files, I believe they've now solved over 50 cold cases. To me, that is amazing.

So, the tension in the courthouse is thick. Besides politics, the courthouse had yet another bomb scare and partial evacuation this past week. in the big city. Working in this kind of environment introduces a high level of stress for those who are dealing with the most unstable part of society.

I think that's why he loves to go kayaking, fishing and to simply be at peace while observing everything in nature that works harmoniously together, except when the shark makes an appearance.

For the moment, all of the concerns of yesterday are melting away.

And then it is over as fast as it began, with a surprise. She shared her unique beauty and is now on her way to offer a delighted exhale of content for the next onlooker to savor. She's a powerful beauty with pink vibrancy. Spoonbills fly with their necks outstretched and glide majestically upon the winds.

Away she carries a man's stress, his discouragement with humanity and his emptiness after being drained by too much work and after being too close to the tragic side of life. This feathered friend leaves him feeling renewed at being reminded that there are innocent creatures sharing the environment with us and his contentment with life begins to surge again. Such is the many cycles of life.

This cycle is about balance.

Working or living in a highly stressful environment requires a person to decompress or they will end up like the hot kettle blowing on the stove, eventually the building pressure will start to seep out. It's better to allow the seeping to happen in a way that is positive and in your control.

Take charge of your decompression.

Laugh with your friends, spend some time with the chickens, play a video game or get out the cards or dominoes, listen to some hard at working hard, but don't forget to work just as hard at playing. You never get too old to play. If you have forgotten how to play, then you have become truly "old."

I hope you have a magnificent "Spoonbill Moment" very soon!


Dreaming said...

What a great post. Great thoughts about life and de-stressing. I love the bird - to see that in the wild must be wonderful!

LindaG said...

Great post, Lana. *hugs* and God bless you all. ♥