Beach, Boys, Birds and Baseball

Brown Pelican Beach Patrol

At the end of June, I made the trek with my daughter and two grandsons to Gulf Shores Alabama. Not a fun drive but we had a mission. My youngest grandson was playing his last tournament series with the baseball team he has played with for many years. So a bittersweet tournament. They always do well and this year was no different. Not first but second in their bracket which racked up the third year in a row that they brought home some hardware. They were happy.IMG_0853

Interspersed throughout the week, we had time to stroll or just bask on the beach. And Gulf Shores beaches are magnificent. Sugar white sand so very different from the sand I grew up with on Galveston Island. It was a pleasurable experience and of course being near the ocean is always good for birding opportunities.

Gulf Shores with Sugar Sand

On this trip, Ospreys abounded. Everywhere I looked I found platforms with Osprey nests. Most had juvenile birds that had fledged from their nests but continued to return and beg for food from their harried parents. Even though they can fly, the juveniles have not honed the fishing skills necessary for their survival. Their parents may continue to drop food for them for many weeks until they master those skills. At one of our late afternoon baseball games I witnessed this phenomenon from my baseball perch. The juveniles were flying off and on the nest, yakking away begging for food and I spotted one of the parents in a tall pine tree very near the nest…close enough to monitor and intervene if necessary, but far enough away to encourage independence from his/her offspring. If the game dragged, I had another source of entertainment, up close and personal.

Osprey Juveniles

Beaches, boys, birds and baseball! How much more summertime can you get?

Happy bird searching!!!

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

Coming In Hot

Take me out to the ballgame….There is something very special about a beautiful cool Spring day drifting toward dusk as warm breezes skip across a beautiful pristine baseball field with its perfectly manicured grass and carefully swept and sprinkled pitcher’s mound and batter box. The two teams take to the field, young and energetic, each hoping for victory on this balmy night. And this scenario is being repeated all across our nation. Baseball is as American as apple pie.

The Wind Up

Both of my grandsons play baseball. Mistakes are rarely made now when they play their games. But in the beginning it was a totally different story. T-ball was the beginning. A baseball is placed on a “t” at home plate and the player swings the bat and hits the ball and run, run, runs to first base. The opposing team has a pitcher, but he doesn’t pitch in T-ball. He just stands there getting use to the feel of being on the mound. Once the ball is hit, the infield players run to get the ball and try to throw it to a base. In the beginning, many mistakes are made…balls dropped or thrown the wrong way. The outfield players rarely see action and they can often be seen daydreaming, picking a flower or yawning. But that was then.

Fast forward to today and the players on the two opposing teams are well oiled machines. They are intense, focused, always aware of the intricacies of the game and give 110% each time they take the field. Over the many years from T-Ball to High School baseball, these young men have learned many things… the rules of the game, sportsmanship, pitching, throwing and catching skills. They have developed friendships and embraced how to win gracefully, how to lose honorably, and have been molded into a part of Americana….Baseball.


The parents deserve resounding kudos for supporting their boys through all the phases of learning baseball. They arose early on weekends to ferry their children to baseball games and hurried home from work on weekdays to get them to practice. The parents tossed the ball with them, volunteered their time in concession stands and coached year after year. Without their sacrifices, Little League Baseball wouldn’t exist. It takes a village…

The thrill of seeing my grandsons learn and grow over these past years is the stuff grandparents live for…all joy and really not much responsibility. Watching their happiness after a win or the agony of a defeat has drawn me in as an unofficial team member. I attend every game I can, sit in the stands and cheer on the team. I scream, I yell, I jump with each exciting interchange. And victory is sweet!


Yes, I love baseball. Even when I had no grandsons playing. I still find baseball relaxing, exciting, a true game of anticipation. The crack of a bat can totally alter the outcome of the game. Anyone and everyone can experience Americana baseball at a local high school. Check it out. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

And yes, I take my binoculars to games because there are birds flying about…starlings, vultures, killdeer, grackles and the squawking of peacocks just behind the baseball field. See you at the ballpark!

The Joy of Winning!