Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gifts

This was a glorious morning for a walk on the beach.  It was a bit on the cool side, but the breeze was gentle and the sky was clear and blue.  The past week had been quite windy and the gulf waters had been pretty rough so the sandy portions of the beach had been carved into steep step formations with a black reef uncovered just off the shore.  The entire character of the beach changes on a daily basis, so it is never boring.
Today it seemed like the most fitting place for us to be on a Sunday morning.  I couldn't have been more inspired or renewed in any church.
As we walked along the shore we could see a dolphin swimming just along the black reef, no more than twenty feet away.  It popped its head out of the water as if to look at us, then circled around a couple of times and came up again.  We felt truly that we were given a gift at that moment.

Yesterday we took a walk at the Marby Carlton, Jr. Memorial Preserve.  We took a trail around a wet prairie area and were able to watch a nesting sandhill crane, great white herons poking around in the marsh, and a huge alligator sunning his fat old self on the bank.  Later we walked to a pond where there were wood storks, great blue and little blue herons, ducks I could not identify, and swallows buzzed over the surface like a swarm of mosquitoes.

We also happened upon a family of racoons also out for an afternoon stroll.  Florida racoons get reall, really big.  I thought I was seeing a bear at first.  Two of them ran off as we approached, but two climbed up to safety and a tree and then watched us watching them for the longest time.

It is amazing to me how rural Florida becomes as you move away from the coastline.  It only takes a few miles to be smack in the middle of cattle and farm country, and a bit deeper into the interior and it is wilderness of scrub pine and palmetto trees that is both awe inspiring and just a bit scary.  I just love it.
Resurrection fern on an oak tree
Whose more curious? Them or us?

6 comments:

  1. Florida looks, sometimes, like a foreign country to me. Looking at your pictures, I can just feel the warm air!

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  2. I too love a walk at the beach to feel close to God.

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  3. I know, just 30 miles from either coast is another world and to me, the best part of Florida.
    If you ever get to the chance to see a sandhill chick, that is the cutiest baby bird going. Little balls of orange feathers.

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  4. My mind movie was running as I took this walk with you. The birds sound wonderful. But maybe not the fat old aligator!

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  5. Just thinking of a walk on a beach puts a smile on my face - and you got to see a dolphin, too! Also, I love the knit heart in your Valentine post and your title: domiKNITrix!

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