We went to Philippe Park on Saturday afternoon. It's a lovely park - 122 acres situated on the water. The nicest spot in the park is a ceremonial Tocobago Indian mound. Most every child who comes to the park rolls down the mound; I did, too, when I was a girl.
On Saturday, H and the kids tossed a football around atop the mound. Long before us, the Tocobago who lived around the mound were visited by Narvaez, De Soto, and Menendez. It's a bit of an historical place, yet families come there and have parties and play ball.
Long after the Tocobago left the mound area, Odet Philippe (who may or may not have invented his past) arrived and built a home near the mound.
In 1848, Odet Philippe and his family were saved from a hurricane and rising waters by standing atop the mound. It's believed that one-third of the mound was washed away during that storm.
While running on the mound Saturday, D spotted a lovely woodpecker.
I was sure it was a Pileated Woodpecker, a bird which I have never seen. Later, at home, my field guide confirmed my belief. It was a male.
Then, we walked along the shore, past Odet Philippe's grave marker, winding our way back to our car. H heard the hoot first. Then, D heard it. Everyone walked on, but I wouldn't budge 'til I too heard the owl. I never heard the hoot; instead, I saw the owl!
A Great Horned Owl was high in a tree, bathed in the rays of the setting sun.
I've never seen any owl in the wild before. A park ranger later informed us that there is a whole family of owls living at the park, though she has never seen them herself.
I was, of course, giddy as we exited the park. Not only did I see two birds I have never seen before, but I also got pictures and was able to use my Christmas present from H: photographic binoculars.
It was a very pleasant afternoon.