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Ping Pong

The Nature of January

I’ve gone to Alaska, Botswana and the Galapagos Islands to see animals in their natural habitats, but I never thought of Sarasota for wildlife…until now.  

Here on Longboat Key, I can’t get enough of watching the waves lap at the shore while sandpipers skitter fast-forward-like pecking for their dinner in the wake of the retreating waves.  I say “Good morning” to the cormorant that dries his (her?) wings on a rocky ledge on the pond in front of our condo as I make my way back from the gym.  At sunset I watch the sky turn red and orange.

The yellow tufts on the heads of the male egrets or pelicans or herons or whatever the birds were, who visited the dock at the fish “shack” in Cortez where we ate our lunch the other day, were irresistible.  Even the trunk of the palm in front of our balcony, swaying like a metronome in the breeze, makes me smile.

The most surprising delight, however, was far from the beach.  We visited Myakka River State Park on a perfect early summer-like day.  We saw ospreys, pink spoonbills, egrets, tri-colored herons, buzzards, hawks, terns and vultures.  We saw wild pigs.  We took a guided airboat ride and saw at least fifty alligators sunning themselves peacefully on the shore.  We did the Canopy Walk.

It was a magical afternoon.

I will try to keep all this in my mind’s eye when I go home to the short days and blackened snow of Massachusetts.




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