Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back to Nature

Things are finally returning to normal here in Fort Myers after our "flood" and we have re-directed our attention to the outdoors and getting back to nature.

Earlier this week we went to one of my favorite places to walk on the beach - Lovers Key. The weather was perfect, the tide was low and the water was warm, perfect for wading. I concentrated on picking up lots of shells while Bill joined a guided beach walk led by a local Naturalist. The Sanderlings were running back and forth with the waves as I bent over again and again picking up shells - Scallops, Figs, Spiny Jewel Boxes, Olives, Tulips, Whelks, Jingles, Slipper Shells, Murexes, Cones, Nutmegs, Clams - but not one Junonia.

And Sand Dollars - I've never seen so many Sand Dollars on the beach! There were hundreds and hundreds scattered everywhere in the sand and in the shallow surf. I would have loved to bring some home - but they were dark-colored meaning they are still alive so I threw them back into the waves. It is illegal to collect live shells here in Florida. I did find one light one which was dead. I brought it home and, along with my other shells, soaked it overnight in a 50% solution of water and bleach.

Another day this week we went to Six-Mile Cypress Slough Preserve to walk the 1.2 mile boardwalk trail through the 2500 acre wetland. There were only a few wading birds - possibly because the water is too deep - but we saw quite a few turtles. We also saw lots of squirrels playing in the trees and some small birds that wouldn't stay still long enough for either of us to get a decent picture.

The pond cabbage was blooming - and it is beautiful.

One of our resident alligators napping in the water.

We had to go over to Cape Coral to register our car in Florida, so I wanted to check to see if the Burrowing Owls were still there. We only saw a couple - but they are as cute as ever sitting by their burrows.

We are back to the gym to try and lose the pounds we gained while on route and Bill is back flying with his buddies at the R/Sea Hawks Park. We had our bikes out a couple of times - riding to the store and back. The pool beckons most afternoons and we relax on the lanai in the evenings with an adult beverage and the early mornings with coffee. Life is great.

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