Heron at the marina

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

I saw this heron fishing at the Tween Waters Inn on Captiva Island a couple of days ago. Forgive me for not taking more photos…My kids were running circles around me, and I can’t have any kids jumping off of the boat docks on my watch… 😉

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret at Blind Pass Beach

Snowy Egret at Blind Pass Beach

On our bike ride to Blind Pass Beach earlier today, I was thinking about how wonderful it was to be biking on a gorgeous, sunny day in southwest Florida.  At this time last year, I was dealing with the sixteen degree temperatures my mother is currently experiencing in Indianapolis.

I had to take a pic of this Snowy Egret fishing at the beach and take a moment to enjoy the fact this is the closest I will be getting to anything ‘snowy’ for a long time…unless you count the extraordinary number of snow birds (the human ones) who have arrived on Sanibel…

Wishing you a blessed and happy holiday from Sanibel Island!

 

Why did the alligator cross the road?

Today, I was on my way home, literally slowing to turn in my driveway, when a baby alligator crossed the road in front of my car.  Another car stopped to look at the gator, and the man cheerfully called from his convertible, “Gator Crossing!  How about that!”  I didn’t exactly share his enthusiasm because after all, the gator was crossing the street right in front of my house.  Since moving to this house last summer, I have seen four snakes and one baby alligator ‘crossing’ the road.  Let’s not forget their brethren behind my house.  There are nine-foot gators, snakes that can make a grown man scream like a girl, and all sorts of animal kingdom members out there.  (Last night, again, I awoke to the the howling of some poor soul being killed out there.  It’s the cycle of life and the Discovery Channel right outside my door.)  Maybe you understand why I don’t let my kids play outside…ever.

My charming friend, Michaelene McElroy, perhaps you’ve heard of her literary fiction, The Last Supper Catering Company, a must read you can purchase at Amazon and beyond, mentioned something about how I couldn’t just live somewhere where chickens cross the road, and I had to agree…Where are the chickens when you need them?  Did the alligators eat them?

The whole chicken crossing the road thing got me thinking about the animals that do cross my road.  Obviously, we should change the question…  Why did the alligator cross the road?  Why did the six-foot snake cross the road?  Suddenly, it hit me.  Why DID that gator cross the road?  To get to the other side, like that chicken??  NO.  The gators, the snakes, the panthers, the bobcats, the scorpions, the bears, and all of the other island critters cross that road because that road is not supposed to be there.  This is their island.  They were here first…likely before the Calusa Indians Ponce de Leon fought when he ‘discovered’ Sanibel Island.  I might be the only one on this rock who seems to understand we are invading their space.  Maybe that’s why I look out into the wild around me from the safety of my scorpion-filled walls.  Maybe it’s just because there is generally a gator outside of my window.  (Even if the babies are kind of cute…I admit…I got out of my car and crept as close as I dared to take a photo of the baby gator.)  I may never be able to figure out the riddle of why the chicken crossed the road, but I can tell you this…The baby gators, mama gators, snakes, and Lord knows what else, are crossing the road in front of my home because…that road isn’t supposed to be there!  😉

Baby Gator

Baby Gator

Bad Alcoholics, Rain clouds, or Vultures?!?

I’ve seen so many Turkey Vultures since moving to Southwest Florida, flying in large groups around the area, I started to wonder if I was in an Alfred Hitchcock movie…What’s up with the swarms of vultures soaring around me…everywhere I go?  On the road, behind my house…Is this like the rain cloud that won’t seem to go away?  Well, I’ve been reading about my new pack of friends.  I still don’t understand what it is those vultures are up to, but I did get some insight.

This is the most interesting article I’ve seen: http://vulturesociety.homestead.com/TVFacts.html

It talks about the vultures flying in groups, sometimes just playing, other times searching for ‘roadkill,’ and some of their other quirky habits.  Supposedly, the Turkey Vulture has a bald head to make it easier to stick its head inside of a carcass.  They have an unbelievable sense of smell.  They strike funny poses, (spreading their wings in the ‘horaltic pose,’) they urinate on themselves, and sometimes throw up if they sense a threat.  Now that I think about it, the turkey vulture kind of reminds me of some bad alcoholics I may or may not have crossed paths with back in the olden days of my travels.  😉  Whatever it is the vulture is up to behind my house, I’m not certain.  There could be an array of carcasses out there.  Maybe one of the nine-foot gators didn’t finish a meal and left something for them.  For now, I think I’ll just watch from the window…

Kind of cute, right?

Kind of cute, right?

 

Turkey Vultures soaring above my house

Turkey Vultures soaring above my house