September 24th, 2020
This is obviously a piece of glass. I found it on the beach yesterday which, officially, makes it beach glass. I don't often find beach glass anymore so it was a very nice surprise. I have a couple of jars of beach glass collected over my many years sitting on the coffee table and I've just added this new one :) Happyhappy.
What does this have to do with yesterday's photo safari? Well I think I'm feeling a little philosophical today because it occurs to me that finding a rare piece of beach glass (which was one of the high points of the day) is a terrific illustration of the fact that things don't always end as they begin. A good life lesson. I need to be reminded of these things from time to time.
Joy and I headed out early, as we do, and since it hasn't rained in a few days, we decided to risk hiking in one of the local preserves. One of our favourites in fact, Carlton-Mabry Preserve. One of the reasons that we love it there is that there are so very many trails. And side trails off of trails and other trails off of those and well it's just huge. More then 24 thousand acres! It has 80 miles of trails! AWESOME!
So off we went. It's not far, right here in Venice (though obviously off-island) and we chatted about which trails to take and what photos we were hoping to get, as Joy drove, taking all of the necessary twists and turns to get there. And finally, there was the sign, we were almost there and, and, and.....the gate was closed. What the heck? There was no sign indicating why this happened. Hmmmm. I did a quick google check on my phone and according to my phone, the preserve was open for business. Clearly google was wrong. Very Disappointing. Now what should we do?
Well we passed another set of hiking trails on the way, Sleeping Turtle Preserve, so we decided to backtrack and see if that one was open. Sleeping Turtle is adorable but much smaller, only 174 acres with 5 miles of trails. Still, a trail is a trail and a preserve presents opportunity for photos so what the heck. Off we went. Sleeping Turtle Preserve was Open! Hurrah!
We geared up, made sure we were well doused in bug spray (this is the rainy season after all and bugs adore rainy seasons) and headed for the trails. The ground was very wet and kind of glistened in the sun. It was pretty.
Almost the instant our feet hit the trails, we saw birds. Lots and lots of birds. They chirruped and sang and flew from branch to branch above us. Hurrah! We froze in place and quietly began adjusting camera focus and snapped away. We tippy toed in absolute silence to get our shots and because we were so very quiet we could hear the noise. The humming, the buzzing the droning sound that is unmistakable.
As we stood there, silently, taking photos, the bugs arrived and began to devour us, bug spray be damned! The mosquitos particularly like Joy and in very short order she declared that she was being eaten alive. I looked over at her and watched as before my eyes, enormous red welts grew and grew! Mercy! Let's get out of here! And we headed back out. I did manage to sneak a few other photos on the way out.
Overall, it was not an auspicious beginning to our hike. Now what do we do? We decided to go back to do the Casperson Beach hike even though, this time of year, there just isn't that much to see that's photo-worthy. Late September/Early October is kind of betwixt and between seasons. Summer is mostly kind of over but Autumn really hasn't begun. "Oh well", we decided, if nothing else, we will have a nice walk. It is rare to have mosquitos at the beach.
As soon as we got out of the car and gentleman approached us and said that he noticed that we had cameras. We both held up our cameras in agreement. He was rather excited as he gestured toward the boardwalk and said that he had just seen an huge pod of dolphins right off shore. Wow! That would be exciting to see! We thanked him and practically ran to the boardwalk where we saw not one single indication of a dolphin. Not one. Dang. Another disappointment. So we turned around and headed down the trail prepared to be disapointed once again and expecting to see, well, nothing much.
And of course we were completely, totally, entirely wrong. It was a terrific hike! And we took a lot of photos! (Seriously, A Lot of photos. Get comfortable if you want to see these. It will take a few minutes to cycle through them all)
AND I found a piece of beach glass. Sprinkles on top of the frosting on top of the cake ;)
So there you have it. We thought the entire day was going to be a complete bummer since each step was a disappointment, but we kept trying anyway and were absolutely delighted by how great it ended.
It's sort of like how you "can't judge a book by it's cover". You cannot judge the ending by the beginning. Occasionally, I need to be reminded of that.
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.