the bathing suit post
I promised a bathing suit clad post didn’t I?
I did manage spend 10 glorious days in January on
Anna Maria Island just outside of Sarasota on the oh so astonishing Gulf coast of Florida.
So where’s the vacation post? I was having way too much fun to even think about work or blogging.
Here’s what I will say about my holiday- Holy Bio Mass Mother Earth!
Just a few scant years after the disastrous BP oil spill this extraordinary planet we are so privileged to call home is working overtime to repair the damage.
Never in all my time as a devoted amateur student of Nature have I seen so much flora and fauna .
Plants still dazzle me and although most of what I saw in cultivated spaces was familiar there were a few I did not recognize among the usual array of hibiscus, crotons, bird of paradise, ixora and the like. A beautiful tree with leaves like the sea grape -round leathery and blooms that looked very like hibiscus save for the fact that they began as buds deep red and changed to pale buttery yellow as they opened!
Oh and the wild areas – nature preserves, State Parks and even just along the highway, nature had my head whipping this way and that. Of late I have been trying to cultivate a more Zen like in the moment attitude and curb my virgo word loving obsession to name and know everything therefore I deliberatley DID NOT bring any books with me.
Since I dropped my Iphone in a toilet my roaming data plan was of no use either to cheat with!
The result alas no latin binomials to taunt you with- no pictures either !
So the Flora and now the Fauna
Firstly, the birds were amazing, migratory species and permanent residents abound.
I added at least 40 to my life list ( that is if I actually kept one!).
It’s hard to say what was the most exciting sighting – the 4 wood storks casually standing on someone’s lawn or the great blue heron perched on the roof above them.
No actually the I think it was listening to night hawks and wondering what species of owl was hoo- hooting in the large pine trees on the edge of the beach on the night of the full moon.
The flocks of green quaker parrots, phoebes, ospreys, bald eagles, red tail hawks, wood ducks, ibis, egrets, bitterns, king fisher- nah hands down -it was the saucy white cockatiel I met in Everglades City. First he made goo- goo eyes at me then climbed up my arm to my shoulder into, with nary an invite, the front of my t-shirt from which he had to be gently but forcibly extracted!
Skinks, snakes, teeny tiny ‘gators and whoppin’ big 14 footers, dainty little Florida sized raccoons, wild pigs, white tailed deer and a divine encounter with a river otter were just some of the inland animals we saw.
Combining two of my most favourite activities- horseback riding and critter spotting on a 4 hour trail ride through the Myakka River State Park was just heaven.
Last but by no means least the Ocean – We started each day with a long beach walk- Anna Maria boasts 9 miles of wide white talcum powder beach on the side we were on.
The water was a shade between turquoise and green and actually warm enough, for hardy Canucks used to the Great Lakes, to swim in .
Most astonishingly, the ocean just teemed with life.
I am not naive enough to think that all is well in the aftermath of 2010′s disastrous spill and I know from reading there are still hundreds of lives and livelihoods affected.
I suppose what this abundance of life made me think most of is what the earth must have been like before we humans started stomping all over it with our distorted notions of “dominion over all other life forms”.
We continue to wreak havoc and yet still our beautiful Mother Earth does not turn her back on us.
I am reminded of a quote from an First Nation’s elder at an early post rachel Carson environmental forum, when asked what we can do to heal Mother Earth , he replied “Stop hurting her”
So forgive me for my tardy delivery on the bathing suit post but I am still digesting the wonder of ten days of bliss in Eden feeling and bit starved on our more austere Nature diet here in the frozen North.