A thought to leaf you with

A tale of two leaves … one still with life coursing through its veins and one that was intent on giving one last hurrah with a burst of color before it said goodbye.

I was at Englewood Beach on the weekend and the youthful bikini-clad tourists contrasted heavily with the aging snowbirds that occupy the place for the winter months. It would be easy to only take in the youthful beauty of the former but the little old lady who stopped by me as I took these shots, still had a loving twinkle in her eye and her own beauty shone as bright as the yellows and reds of the leaf we were both admiring.

True beauty knows no age …

Have a wonderful week!

Soaked to the skin

… this little Anhinga yesterday, stretched out his feathers to dry in the early morning sun. As I watched the steam coming up from his sodden feathers it made me think of how lucky we are to not have to hunt our food.

No need to creep through the underbrush, fighting off other predators, stealthily approaching the counter for that elusive quarter pounder with cheese.

As I wander the trails here in central Florida, I see life and death struggles play out on every trail and it reinforces that we are all just part of a circle of life.  And yet I cannot think of any other animal that kills for fun.

Hunting has become a sport for humans however we may view it and this week’s headline of that miserable excuse for a human, Bryan Harlan, paying over $100,000 to murder a beautiful, rare, and gentle mountain goat was not just shocking but repulsive. If you haven’t read the story, here it is:  https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/13/asia/pakistan-markhor-goat-trophy-hunter-scli-intl/index.html

Despite evidence to the contrary, I don’t believe cruelty is natural human trail but an aberration and maybe one day we will find the cure for it … I live in hope.

Have a thoughtful week and be kind to the little creatures you come across on your journey through it.

Did he say “meet” or “eat”?

Getting numb to the dangers while on a wild trail is never a good thing. It is one of the aspects that I try to remind myself of, but habitually forget. Just because a creature like this one (attached) is smiling at us, does not mean that he is happy to meet us.

On the contrary, alligator smiles are as deceiving as they are broad.

We got to within three or four feet of one of these large guys the other day on the trail and the speed of his leap caught us by surprise. Just happy his leap was away and not towards. ?

Familiarity (as in many parts of life) gets us to drop our guards and become vulnerable to those around us. I need to remind myself that not all that glitters is gold.

Hope this guy adds a little smile into your weekend.