I Found Treasure!

It has been one whole week since I moved into my new little home here in Treasure Island* and I am finally settling in. I am renting part of a triplex that was recently renovated: new blinds, kitchen counter, oven/range, bath vanity, toilet, water heater, and a/c/furnace. The only tricky part was that it was unfurnished.

My new landlord is a very nice man who offered to help me move in. He was taken aback by how little I had (just clothing and some personal belongings that fit in my car). Thankfully, I found some good deals on furniture nearby, I still need a dinette set but my sofa sleeper gets delivered next week.

The neighborhood is mellow and quiet, my neighbors are nice, and the grocery store is a mere four blocks away but the best part? I’m only a five minute walk from a beautiful, white sand beach!

*Treasure Island received its name after a publicity stunt planned by a creative hotel owner. He “discovered” several treasure chests (that he had planted earlier) on the beach.

Happy New Year, Y’all!

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Nature’s Fireworks, Sarasota, Florida December 2019

Forgive me as I repeat myself, I find this song’s message just as relevant now as I did last year at this time. I wish all of you a bright and wonderful new year, full of magical moments and love! ❤

“So as we raise our glass, to the midnight fireworks blast,

leave our troubles in the past,

hoping this year is better than the last…”   

The Paperboys are an amazing band from the Pacific Northwest and I highly recommend seeing them in concert if you ever get a chance.

 

Lame Limpkin

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Limpkin, Myakka River State Park, Sarasota, Florida December 2019

I felt fortunate to spend a bit of quality time last week with this Limpkin (Aramus guarauna). It is the closest I’ve yet seen one, the others I encountered during my last trip to Florida were much more reticent to being photographed.

Two things I would’ve liked to have experienced: their limping gait (hence their name) and their wailing cry. I’ve read that you can often hear them before you see them. While it shares a common ancestor with cranes, the Limpkin is the only extant survivor of its lineage. Unlike cranes, which are resourceful, unfussy eaters, Limpkins primarily specialize in apple snails (up to 70% of their diet).

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For Perspective, This Bird Stands Over Two Feet Tall with a Wingspan Over 40 Inches

This one’s missing toe may be the result of a turtle attack (the birds often stand on floating vegetation and are therefore susceptible to turtle bites).

What Accent?!

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Beach Art, Treasure Island, Florida December 2019

This fun sand art made me chuckle during my beach stroll this afternoon. On my drive out here last week, I stopped overnight in Baton Rouge. After eight hours of fighting through road construction and heavy traffic I was exhausted, so I walked across the street from my hotel to a little pub for a burger and beer.

The beer was ice cold, the burger was tasty, and the staff was friendly. So overall, a pleasant evening. The only oddity? Three people asked me if I was from up north, because of my accent. Umm, what?

It took everything I had to not snort beer out my nose – I don’t have an accent, y’all do! Also, this country has other directions beside north and south (like west, for example). Oh, whale!

 

What A Gift!

Yesterday, I  stopped off at a park to stretch my legs and enjoy the warm, sunny afternoon. As I wandered around a pond I came across a Little Free Library in the shade of a giant oak. Of the odd assortment, one book jumped out at me:

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Intriguing Title

Curious, I took the book over to a nearby bench and dove in. The Instructions page made me chuckle, especially rule number 4: Instructions are open to interpretation. Life is much the same, no? In the ensuing pages, I discovered a bit of wisdom, a dash of whimsy, and a smattering of art.

Based on the various handwriting samples scattered throughout the book I am at least the fourth person to have interacted with it. And yes, I did make a few additions before returning the book to the library to start its next journey. While I enjoyed the experience, it was the message inscribed in the back of the book that was the most memorable:

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It is essentially my wish for all of us: “May your coming moments tell a story with sharing, and a journey worth living.”

My Beach

After eight hours of hard driving on Wednesday it was nice to just put in a half day behind the wheel. Even better was arriving in Gulf Shores to a mild and sunny afternoon. I needed some fresh air and to stretch my legs so I pulled into Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and hit the Pine Beach Trail.

I had my very own beach, my footprints were the only human tracks in the pristine white sand. The two other sets of tracks belonged to a Great Blue Heron and a Sanderling, and the size contrast between the two is quite striking.

A relaxing way to wind up the day!