Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 18: Sunset over the Gulf

We've been in Florida for four days now and as of this afternoon, I hadn't been to a real beach (I don't count the tidal flats of Marco Island as proper beach, though it did make for excellent shorebird habitat). So after a wonderful day spent with our host exploring Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary--one of Florida's best birding spots--and stocking up on fresh fruit and avocados for a late lunch, we finally got to the beach. We accessed the beach north of Naples Pier and were surprised by how quiet it was on this still warm afternoon. A mixed flock of shorebirds huddled nearby, while sanderlings and a few willets fed in the edge of the surf. I walked barefoot in the soft white sand, stooping to collect colorful shells as squadrons of pelicans flew past. Aah...

As the sun sank lower and the sky began to garner some color, we noticed that a throng had at last gathered down the beach for the daily ritual of seeing the sun sink into the watery bed of the Gulf. While hazy clouds muted the finale, it was still a perfect way to end our latest day in paradise. As we left, shells jingled in our pockets, and the ever-constant waves continued to lap the shore beneath the rosy clouds.

Let us go now, watch
the old sun set, birds feeding:
ancient rituals.

No comments:

Post a Comment