Iridescent Plumage

shiver me timbers

The third of my postings about the peafowl of Cape Canaveral…..we had our most intimate interactions on a Oak Lane, a small unpaved road off a Circle K (roadside convenience store). At one point a peacock approached Pam on the open windowed passenger side and almost pecked her.

The iridescent coloration is an illusion created by the structure of fine feather elements, called barbules. The impression on peahens varies with viewing angle, between 90 (head on) and 45 degrees to either side. The peacock will shiver his train when faced with a favored peahen. 

Click me for the first post of this series, “Male and Female Peafowl.”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Train of the Male Peafowl

And some history about the “Peacock Neighborhood” of Cape Canaveral

February is Peafowl mating season and for Cape Canaveral the displays were especially fine. These were captured on a photography expedition via automobile, being especially fortunate in observing peacocks (male peafowl) on high perches oriented perfectly to display the magnificent train (trail).

Here is some information on Reddit from “Mr_mayhem77 “According to locals, the Eberwein family lived between Port Canaveral and what is now the Villages of Seaport. In fact a street is actually named after them (Eberwein Drive) at the northern edge of Cape Canaveral. They had the peafowl among many farm animals. The family moved in 1986 and abandoned the peafowls. Over the years the peafowl have slowly populated our community with the greatest concentration being north of Central Ave.”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Male and Female Peafowl

Peacock Neighborhood, Cape Canaveral I

On a day February 2022 Pam and I decided to walk the beach starting from Cheri Down Park, Ridgewood Avenue, Cape Canaveral headed north toward Jetty Park hoping to catch a postponed rocket launch rescheduled for that afternoon. We were encouraged to find video news crew positioned near the park entrance as these professionals were in the know for the best spots to watch the spectacle.

We walked a mile or so, more than halfway to Jetty Park, when the word circulated the rocket launch was cancelled. Rather than turn around, we decided to explore the walkway that opens on “Peacock Beach” as Google Map listed a public parking space there, quite a bit closer to Jetty Park. This park charges a hefty entrance fee to non-residents, so we were parking at Cheri Down, we saved $10 for each mile walked.

Having leisure, we decided to walk back to Cheri Down the long way. In what turned out to be a 1.7 mile stroll we encountered these residents for which the beach is named. Then and there Pam and I decided to return for a dedicated photography expedition, the results of which I will share over several posts.

Click Me for the next post of this series, “Train of the Male Peafowl”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

A Day in a Life

“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” Henry David Thoreau

Images saved from this winter day of beachcombing and exploring around Cocoa Beach, Brevard County, Florida

Sunrise

The Day Taking Shape

Beach Wandering

Kite Boarding

Beauty in Motion I

Beauty in Motion 2

Beauty in Motion 3

Manatee Park Wildlife

Biplane

I saved this to share with the grandchildren

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Two-Sided Story

Sea Oats and Sand

At first glance, Northerners may mistake this for fine snow blown on a bitter wind; but no, this is indeed a north wind, the temperature is above freezing, the material is beach sand. Keeping the sand in place is a concern for Brevard County.

Golden brown infructescences (seed heads) of Sea Oats grass on stalks growing from dunes, seen here in early morning light, are one element of this plant beneficial to the goal of keeping beach sands in place. Tall stalks and broad leaves catch blowing sand. Deep roots hold the plants in place, shallow root systems hold sand in place to form dunes.

Returning after staying away for COVID-19, we found new plantings of Sea Oats by the county.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Willets Feeding As Group

Ocean Bounty Brings Solitary Birds Together

Walking mornings along the beach I encounter, one after the other, solitary sandpipers, called Willets. Before encountering this group, I noticed massed Black Skimmers feeding in the surf and, on the beach, a single, tiny (1/8th of an inch) fish that I scooped up and returned to the surf. My surmise is these several days around the full moon, fish were being birthed and swarming to provide a bounty that brough these solitary Willets together.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Kite Encounter

catching the wind

Awhile after encountering the hydrofoil the same north wind powered a large, eight foot wingspan kite high overhead. Cheri Down Park, my meeting point for lunch with Pam, was in sight as I took a detour to talk with the kite flier.

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Seated in a comfortable beach chair, he turned a one foot diameter reel pulling the kite in. Kite flying was a relaxation for this permanent resident. As the kite descended overhead I caught this short video. In retrospect the beauty is ominous, a metaphor for the approaching novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Copyright 2020 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills Photograph

Handheld Sailboard

catching the wind

A week after Rough Surf pounded Cocoa Beach a north wind was up, I set out on a long beach walk. Our plan was to meet at Cheri Down Park, Pam driving up with lunch.

After I emerged from under the Cocoa Beach pier, I spotted this sailboarder. At first it was the handheld sail that caught my attention, enough to capture this video. Watching the recording, I see his board is equipped with a hydrofoil. He is about a foot above the water.

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This rider has nothing on the Man O’War, of the post header image. Click this link to visit “Man O’War Beach Walk” on my blog.

Copyright 2020 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills Photograph

Bright Surf, High Tide

Invasion

Morning walks through January 2020 were solitary events, more so on stormy morning such as this, January 23rd. Even the dog walkers stayed home. The surf surged to the dunes. Click me for my posting, “Rough Surf.”

Today’s photographs are a sequence of the surf’s high point. Click me for yesterday’s post including a video.

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The sun broke through between clouds to rake with light the beach scurf and wind scud. In the distance, a steady west gale blows surf onto itself as a white curtain.

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Copyright 2020 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills Photography

Dawn Rough Surf High Tide

beyond belief

At dawn I walked on the beach from North 1st street to South 8th Street Cocoa Beach. Tide was at peak of high, the surf still high from gale winds. Click me for yesterday’s posting, “Rough Surf.”

In the first video, set the effect of a strong west wind pushing surf spray back onto itself, the ocean brightly lit across dunes. I was standing on a boardwalk access from South 8th Street.

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South 8th Street is my turnaround, walking back the squall clouds broke, releasing sunlight for this video.

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Squalls returned, forcing me to hide the DSLR (digital single-lens reflex camera) under my waterproof shell. Then, the squall broken once again, releasing sunlight for this double rainbow.

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Click this link to visit “Man O War Beach Walk” on my blog.

Copyright 2020 All Right Reserved Michael Stephen Wills Photography