Yes, date night. A date night is still important for us even though we’re approaching our twelfth year as empty nesters and have six grandchildren. We have a special place that has made us fall in love with its attractive lake water, marina, parks, and overall uniqueness and has become “our date place”.
There’s one thing that’s a must-have while we’re there! PIZZA! Greek salad, garlic knots and PIZZA! They’re the best! We order the largest pizza on the menu, I eat the salad and Chuck eats the garlic knots while we wait for the ginormous pizza. (They know us by now and bring us a pizza box to take the pizza home and put in the freezer.) After we each eat one piece of pizza and share the another, we waddle our way to the car to deposit our precious pizza and head off for our walk.
Normally, we head towards the War Memorial and make our way down the walkway along the lake. Since it was Prom Night, we noticed all of the beautiful and overly anxious teenagers having photos taken by all of the parents, aunts and uncles. So beautiful and handsome. And, so young! Hubby and I needn’t say a word to one another. A quick glance and wink to one another and we knew what each other was thinking without speaking a word. (That’s what happens when you go on this many date nights with your life partner over a span of nearly 35 years.) We both understood each other’s thoughts, “Crap! We’re old!”.
Arriving at our date night relaxation location, we made a decision it was time for some much needed ‘fowl play’. As I unzipped the zipper on the accessory Chuck was carrying for me, I quickly got to work while he assumed his position at the picnic table.
These two ducks were so adorable and reminded us a lot like us. Simply put, enjoying the beautiful evening and hangin’ around with some friends.
There were many varieties of Florida’s waterfowl at this pond across from the lake. They’re very polite, gentle, domesticated and well-fed. Quickly, I noticed they were also showoffs and very photogenic.
These two female Ibises were gorgeous and delightfully tame. It was as if they were posing for the camera.
All of the different species of birds were mingling with one another, eating bird food all around, and swimming peacefully in the pond. The Muscovy duck (above is a female) has become a very popular duck in Central Florida. This female has such beautiful coloring in her feathers.
The sun began to go down and golden hour was arriving. A quick check on hubby and noticed him sitting at the picnic table smiling and surprisingly intrigued with watching the wonderment of nature all around us. It was so peaceful, every bird getting along even though they were all different, eating the same food, swimming in the same water, sharing the same space, all without even a feathered being ruffled. This is nature.
This thirsty male Ibis was quite the showoff. He loved to tease me with his antics of running in and out of the water.
I caught him in some of that delicious light grooming himself once he decided he was finished swimming for the time being.
Mr. Muscovy Duck made his presence known by blowing through his beak and making a really funny growling sound. You can see the hole through the beak here. He looks rather mean and aggressive, but I didn’t find him acting in either manner. I also found his skin to be the texture of leather and all the details so intricate and interesting. Of course, the small tufts of hair sticking up on his head
quacked cracked me up.
Mrs. Muscovy Duck with her beautiful feathers has even more facial details and intricate features. The females come in several varieties of colors. Another check on hubby. He’s getting a little restless. A glance at the sky and noticed it was getting a bit too dark for my photo taking preferences.
“Before we head home, is there anything else you want to do, honey?”, I asked my date. Smiling, he replied, “Can you take a picture of that Mallard out there on the pond? He’s so pretty.” Wow!, I thought. That was a first. The first time hubs asked me to take a photo of something for him. Usually, he’s as patient as can be and basically is my backpack and accessory holder. This time was different. This date, this photo session, he was in it, he was involved, he was enjoying the beauty, the peace, the joy of nature. I had been waiting for this day to come for so, so long.
Before we left, I looked back and noticed the two love ducks on the shore once again. Pops seemed to be scratching his itch while momma was looking out and enjoying the evening. Good-bye my dear friends, I thought to myself. Thank you for helping us make this date night one for the books. Silently, I was thanking her for opening up this opportunity for this wonderful evening and opening our eyes and mind to enjoy and see the good in nature, to really take it in and feel it, appreciate it and love it. So much in life takes time. Time that we are not in control of. Thinking back to the prom teens, I hope they learn to appreciate nature. There is much to be learned from her in time.
“Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life.” ~ Buddha