The Secret Garden: Hummingbirds & butterflies make High Island Roost a magicalplace
Jan 12, 2013 | 2:41 pm
Last May, I found utopia. As journeys go – I found it on my way to someplace else.
I had traveled to Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary in High Island, Texas, during the peak season when eggs were popping open in their nests.
From an observation deck overlooking a small island, I watched roseate spoonbills and egrets busily tending their hatchlings. On the bank below, an alligator lounged as motionless as a log.
It’s when I was leaving here that I discovered the little utopia. A thimble-like plot of land, directly across from the entrance to the Boy Scout Woods.
In another part of the sanctuary, I walked on wooden planks to a gazebo surrounded by long vistas of lush green marshland. The Gulf waters beyond.
It’s when I was leaving here that I discovered the little utopia. A thimble-like plot of land, directly across from the entrance to the Boy Scout Woods that looked straight out of the book, The Secret Garden. Nestled smack in its bosom was a cottage with a sign. The Roost.
Across the front in full bloom was a row of American Beauty Berry. Hummingbirds, I couldn’t count them all, dashed about feeding. I was mesmerized. I grabbed my camera and crouched down in a ditch near by. The rest was like watching the movie, Fantasia.
Only this was real.
Hummingbirds darted in and out – from every direction – feeding on the berries – probably laughing too, I thought, at this human holding a camera. How humorous. They buzzed away sounding like The Jetsons. Seemingly saying, “Now you see me - now you don’t!”
I drove home to Houston that afternoon but the place kept calling to me. A few weeks later, I returned to The Roost – happy to see that so had the wildlife.
This time, I trespassed. I slipped quietly inside the front yard and found a rock to sit on. Hummingbirds zoomed. Butterflies flickered. Ants worked below. Everything small was feeding on something and it was beautiful.
Later, I moved to another spot on the west side of the house and read where others had worked too but had written their names on wood.
I still think of the place. I see the details of that day and I’m not the human holding the camera. I’m an ant or a purple berry.
Living there in a thimble of life. Harmony.