Thursday, May 14, 2015

Birds and Blooms by the Sea

You never know what you'll find when you take a side trip to a shoreline location on a nice day. Recently I stopped at Enders Island in Mystic to have a few quiet moments in the gardens and by the water. I like to think of it as one of my secret spots, but obviously it's not a secret anymore!

St. Edmund's Retreat in Mystic, CT

St. Edmund's Retreat here is a spiritual center that offers all kinds of workshops. It may be more meaningful if you're Catholic, but they welcome all faiths and specialize in helping those in recovery.

When I arrived for my visit, I saw a lone bird sitting way out at the end of the rocky portion on the northeast side of the property.

I was very surprised when it let me creep closer and closer. I knew I should know what this bird was, but for some reason I wasn't sure, and I didn't have my bird book with me.

I wondered why it was just sitting there contentedly, not caring that I was nearby. When some Canada geese flew overhead, it looked up and squawked at them. Then I got too close and it finally decided to swim off.

Later I figured out it was a brant, a type of sea goose related to Canada Geese. I have seen brants lots of times before, at other shoreline areas, but always in groups and not so close up. No wonder I was confused.

I also saw a great egret (two, actually) fishing in the shallows around the island, because it was low tide. 

 I walked back up to the lawn and saw a gorgeous line of narcissus along the stone wall. There is a lot of natural stone around the property, creating walls, terraces, and other garden areas.

There is a panoramic view of Fishers Island Sound from the island. It is so quiet out there, which is one reason it is ideal for spiritual retreats.

In summertime there are several plots planted with annuals, but at this time the spring bulbs and other spring flowers were blooming. Here are some smiling pansies. Don't they look like little happy faces?

One garden plot is heart-shaped, but right now it's just dirt. It still makes an interesting photo.

The grounds are not large, but there are plenty of nooks and crannies to investigate and various things to see all year round, when different plants are blooming and the scenery changes with the seasons. However, it can get pretty cold and windy out there. We in southeastern Connecticut are so lucky to have a place like this for renewal and rediscovery. The folks in charge could always use a donation for helping to keep up the grounds!

Visit this blog again to see what's new from the southern New England coast!
Until next time,

~ Cheryl

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