Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Flo-Rida Adventures Part 3

I love the ocean. I love the ocean except when it goes all tsunami! I love watching the infinite surge of nature’s tide against the shore. I like walking along the beach at night.

Susan's not so big on beaches at night, but I certainly enjoyed having her clutch my arm last Wednesday night as we made our way past oncoming strollers and twitchy crabs that quickly criss-crossed our path. Tristan snapped this picture of a crab with his iPhone 4.

We decided to walk to Ron John’s over-stuffed, over-advertised and stupidly self-promoting beach store at night, to pick up some chimes a friend had asked us to find for her. Wicked adventurers, we be!

We bought a flashlight and, once darkness had fallen, headed out.

Most of the crabs dash and dart, while a few of the more strategically minded, just sit motionless as we walk past.

Tristan figured out when it was time to head up across the sand to the parking lot and, as we left the beach, a couple of guys who were standing around, said, "Hey, how are you doing?"

I replied, “Fine” and then, remembering the courteous principle of reciprocity, I added, “What about you?”

As we kept walking past, he said, “Good, as long as the rescuers make it to the soup bowl.” Once we had gone a few steps more,  I, quite puzzled, repeated what he had said under my breath. Then, speaking louder, I asked Tristan and Susan, “What did you guys hear, because I heard, ‘Good, as long as the rescuers make it to the soup bowl’?”

Thankfully, Susan eventually figured out “Super Bowl” and then, I figured out “Redskins” and the rest is history. Man, my ears are hearing strange things these days! Maybe it was the heat.

During a daylight walk along the beach, I snapped a few photos of this bird, which, at the risk of  underscoring my ornithological ignorance, I’m going to refer to as a heron.

From our balcony and from the waves, we would watch pelicans dive bomb the water. Since we were on the top floor, pelican squadrons would regularly skim over the hotel roof! Ace photogtapher Susan caught this squadron on approach.

Then, they came in for the rooftop skim, rather odd looking creatures, huh?

Susan also managed to take some shots of the poolside lizards.

The only other wildlife we spotted during our stay, prompted a retreat from the ocean almost as hasty as the lightning and thunder incident that royally freaked us out that first afternoon!

Tristan stood up in the water at one point and said, with remarkable calm,“There’s a stingray swimming toward us.” By the time the last syllable had left his mouth, I had flown up on to his shoulders, twisted his torso around to face the shore and was heartlessly digging my spurs into his ribs, screaming, “Faster, son! Faster!”

Yep, adventurers, we be!

Some of our previous trips to Florida have left us with jellyfish stings but, this time around, the only jellyfish we saw were baking on the sand one afternoon as the tide went out.

Before entering the ocean, we would always assess AFS content. We rarely ventured very deep into the waves unless Alternative Food Sources were in there with us! High AFS and we are good to go! High AFS, of course, means nasty creatures of the deep will have to choose between several possible meals, lowering the probabilities of our being selected. We think of it as basic Darwinism.

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