A walk on St. Pete Beach

Go for a walk. Realize that you are part of nature. That nature is not something you can collect. It is collecting you. Pick up some garbage. Pick up some seeds, some feathers, some stones. Examine your findings. Know that you cannot decide their worth. You have no way of knowing. Today, a look at one tiny part of the celestial body that owns us. That's right, it's bigger. Like few other precious things. Bigger than you. Bigger than your plans. Bigger than what you thought was going to happen.

The planet is bigger than you and you are living here, paying rent to other people. You are not paying rent to the planet. Your stay here is free. Appreciate that.

Value your relationship with the flora&fauna around you and let that value fill you from the toes up. Until it pours out of your ears, a sign that your brain is saturated with love for your habitat and that no ignorance can find its way upstream.

Below, appreciate above-water Florida. Some of you know what I mean when I say "above-water". When you explain it to other people, don't be surprised when they call you a paranoid, propaganda-monger.

A Brown Pelican, fine people.

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He is diving for mouthfuls of anchovies and sardines. While enjoying a margarita, I was able to peer over the side of the wall, into the water, and focus on the darting schools of these fish. I highly recommend this restaurant (Woody's Waterfront) for both the pelican-watching and the margaritas.

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On the way back to the beach, over the pavement bridges that connect the sand, I observed many of these beauties.

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That tiny fold of skin under the chin actually folds out into a bright yellow-orange dewlap. What's a dewlap? In lizards, it's a tiny fan-shaped protrusion from the neck that is mostly used to attract mates or to communicate with other lizards of its kind.

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Beyond the sea wall and the large obstacles that break the waves, I admired a pair of Double-crested Cormorants drying their wings in the sun. If you're unfamiliar with the bizarre process by which they dry their wings, check out this post from a while back: 2birdfeature #6.

And this little lady swam ashore to beg for food when I walked near her.

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Come back later this week for more wildlife. I'll still be here rooting for the planet. I'm not going anywhere.

Rivers of Grass on Marsh Trail

20160504-DSCN3400 20160504-DSCN3399 It's not necessarily a sixth sense, more like an enhanced combination of the standard five senses. I'm talking about the ability to find birds and other wildlife quickly. It takes practice. And if you would like to be completely overwhelmed, try your hand at the Florida Everglades. The photographs above are from an observation tower on Marsh Trail of the 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

Look at the second picture closely (if you click on it, it'll enlarge in a new window). Herons, egrets and alligators are apparent right away. But I can tell you that there is a Black-necked Stilt and a sandpiper right in the mix as well. Only a combination of relaxing and watching for some time will help you see all the hidden creatures in the Everglades.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be showing you different parts of the glades. I'm very excited to say that there will be a great number of birds, reptiles, and perhaps some mammals as well.

Here's a tiny taste for what's to come.

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Check in Sunday for ibises of Marsh Trail. It's incredible that so many creatures live near just a tiny mile-long trail.