Sunday, June 22, 2008

Walk #8

It was Sunday morning again and time for another 'Turtle Walk'. Left the house at 5:30; it was still dark. We stopped for coffee and there was a pickup with a boat hooked behind it, in the 7/11 parking lot. The men were getting prepared for a fishing trip. That is the first time I’ve seen anyone else there that early and there were actually a couple of cars coming onto Periwinkle from the causeway this morning.

Warning: If you are tired of seeing the sunrises on Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach, run away now!

Walking on the boardwalk to the beach just before sunrise, you could see a beautiful pink glow, behind the palm trees. I can honestly tell you that is a sight I will never get tired of.

The sunrise this morning was something that an artist could make a fabulous painting of. The gradient colors went from a very dark blue down to a very light blue, then from lavender to shades of pink. There was a bright streak going straight up from the center of the horizon, as if a spot light was shining upward. I tried to capture it in a photo, but it didn’t show up very well.

After we were out on the beach for a few minutes, that one streak turned into several. Just when you think it’s the most beautiful sight you’ve ever seen; it gets better! I think that’s what made me think of the ‘Life Is Good’ motto this morning and smile to myself. It doesn’t get better than this! Each time I see an especially beautiful sunrise, I think that I will never see a prettier one or forget this one.

It was hard to look away, but I began to notice that we certainly weren’t the first people on the beach this morning because there were quite a lot of footprints along the water’s edge. There was a man standing on a boardwalk setting up a tripod to take pictures of the sunrise. He was certainly in for a treat today.

Then right in front of me, lying crippled on the beach, was a broken boat ladder. Now you have to get a mental picture of me dragging a boat ladder and Gary carrying a big trash bag, to fully appreciate the humor when we spied a beach ball rolling back and forth in the surf. We looked at each other like, who’s going after that? At about the same time, he saw more trash to pick up, so I dropped the ladder, retrieved the ball, dropped it in the trash bag, and we were on our way again. I can tell you that by the time we got to the parking lot area, where a dumpster was, dragging that ladder was getting pretty annoying.

Back out on the beach again, we saw a whole row of birds standing in the water, watching for little tiny fish. One of them held a fish in its beak while it flipped back and forth.
At the end of the group of birds, were three men and a lady fishing. They were all dressed in serious fishing regalia. None of them smiled or spoke as we passed. No doubt they were on a serious mission. Seems to me that a person goes fishing for the pleasure of the catch, but they certainly didn’t appear to be enjoying it. Yes, that peaked my curiosity. But then I wondered if they were watching while I was dragging that ladder and perhaps a little curious as to why we were designated trash collectors for this particular morning. By the time we passed them, we already had a growing assortment of sand pail handles, sand toys, paper and plastic bags, bottle caps, straws, water bottles, and cans.

It was getting much lighter out and it was clear enough that you could see pretty far; Ft Myers Beach, and quite a bit further south to maybe, Bonita Beach.

As we made the little detour through the path at the end of the island, I noticed how nice the trees and flowers looked. All the rain we’ve had lately has certainly enlivened them.

We followed the path back to the beach, and just after that, noticed something bright pink under the bushes next to the road that goes to the light house. So of course we checked it out. It was a sleeping bag, soaking wet and beside it laid one men’s shoe. That’s right, more trash!

Once again, the Ospreys started making noise and got my attention. Today there were two of them on the nest. Earlier we had seen one flying, carrying a fish nearly as long as it was. The poor fish was flying along head first with its tail going back and forth. It wasn’t a good day to be a fish!

A black-crowned night heron was walking along the shoreline looking for breakfast. I was thinking it must be about time for him to call it a night.

Just after passing the fishing pier there was another surprise waiting; a bright umbrella weaving back and forth with the waves. It was broken, so I folded it up and carried it back to the trash barrel at the pier.

As I started back up the bay side beach, I could see Gary bent over picking up something. It was some sort of fishing net that had washed up on shore and it was tangled in and around the plants covering maybe 25 or 30 square yards. He was able to pick up one small pile, but the rest of it was like fishing line. That was a time consuming venture!

There were pretty morning glories blooming. I had been looking at them for a couple Sunday mornings before this, and had been waiting for more blooms. So, today was the day!

I saw only one star fish this morning and it reminded me of a poem I read a few days ago.

A little boy walked carefully along a crowded beach,
Where starfish by the hundreds lay there within his reach.
They washed up with each wave, far as the eye could see,
And each would surely die if they were not set free.
So one by one he rescued them, then heard a stranger call,
"It won't make a difference ... you cannot save them all."
But as he tossed another back toward the ocean's setting sun,
He said with deep compassion,
"I made a difference…. to that one!"

Sometimes it seems like one or two people don’t make much of a difference in the whole scheme of things, but if each of us does just a little, it will.

As we walked off the beach and across the island on Buttonwood Lane, I took a picture of this mailbox for someone who will love it.

After we left and were driving, we had to stop to let this guy make his way across the street. Don’t you think that was kind of ironic? Who would have guessed we had to look in the street to find a turtle?

Did you know?
Loggerhead females return to lay their eggs on or near the same beach where they hatched. Unlike other sea turtles, courtship and mating usually do not take place near the nesting beach, but rather along the migration routes between feeding and breeding grounds.


Snowbird said...

Tootie, I LOVE your posts about your walks. I would love to join you and Gary one morning when we get back--if that would be ok. The pictures of the sunrise were amazing. Man, I miss the island!!!

Tootie said...

We'll look forward to it!