A couple of weeks ago Mary met four people visiting San Clemente from Georgia. Mary invited them to come to our Tai Chi session the next morning, but they told her they had already made plans to go paddle-boarding. A friend of ours named Bruce moved here from California where he worked for many years as a life guard. He is an avid surfer and has many boards that he uses to give lessons on surfing and paddle-boarding.
After doing some tai chi we stuck around to photograph the event. The four looked confident carrying their boards down to the beach. The day was sunny and the sea was calm.
The group got some final instructions and did some board waxing.
Oh, wait a minute! Let me make sure you have sufficient water-proof sunscreen applied!
Okay – Looks like you have that covered! So, Bruce led the group out into the placid waters.
The problem with the ocean is that the small swells are often followed by unpredictable larger waves.
“Don’t worry” Bruce tells them, “just work your way out to the calm waters.”
Okay – Just forge ahead.
Whoops! Isn’t this where I started out?
Bruce showed the group how to work the board up over the larger waves.
Nothing to it!
Eventually the group made it out to the calmer water (after being drawn by the current a couple of hundred feet up the beach). Bruce took some pictures there and then swam back in for the paddles.
Mary and I had to get back to the house, so we never saw much of the actual paddle-boarding, but it was fun to witness the group experience their “first” day of surfing with Bruce.
A couple of mornings later we witnessed another “first”. This time it was a first flight.
We have shared photos of Ecuadorian Ground Doves nesting on a beam under the eave of our home. After the last pair of fledglings took flight we tried and tried to keep other doves from nesting in that spot. I got a long stick and dissembled most of the existing nest. And then for many days we kept vigilant watch over the area and scared off many prospective residents.
We love birds and actually want them to be around the yard, but directly below this prospective nesting site is an area where we have some lounge chairs and where we park our bicycles. Any one who has done it will tell you the hazards of parking or sitting beneath a bird’s roosting area.
But, the birds seek nesting sites all day long and our efforts to dissuade the nesters proved fruitless when one morning we discovered that a new young mother had laid eggs in the (now repaired) nest. Oh well. We were not going to dislodge the birds now that the eggs had been laid. We will just have to cover our bikes and regularly clean the chairs in the drop zone. After a few weeks a single fledgling was born and we watched to see how the young bird was developing.
A few days ago I looked up to see that the nest was empty. Momma and Pappa doves were cooing and calling to their young one who had fallen down to a small planter that we had directly below the eave.
The little guy clearly wanted to return to the nest or to get out of this little planter, but was reluctant to try flying again after the first fall. I set my camera to video and went around to see if we could document the first flight.
Well, not exactly soaring the heavens, but getting there!
Life is good (and full of “firsts”) in Ecuador!