Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Island Beauty

“Beauty before me. Beauty behind me. Beauty above me. Beauty below me. Beauty to the left of me. Beauty to the right of me. Everywhere I walk, I am surrounded by beauty.” -Navaho wisdom-

Sixteen minutes from my front door lies a jewel of an island and a bit of Florida little changed since the Timucuan Native American people fished there. A sudden midday wanderlust took me across the Intracoastal Waterway to Honeymoon Island, one of many barrier islands coughed up by the restless comings and goings of the Gulf of Mexico.
My destination was out past the causeway restaurants and kayak rentals, beyond the beach with its gaggle of Canadians working on their tans. At the north end of the Island, I headed into the interior, a two-mile nature trail and home to an amazing assortment of critters.

There be Armadillos here and this trip I saw two of these prehistoric-looking beasties snuffling in the leaf litter for beetles and grubs. One even came out to have its picture taken.

Honeymoon Island might as well be named Osprey Island, for these big fish-hawks were everywhere – sitting nests too numerous to count, standing guard in nearby trees, or circling over the inlet, looking for lunch.

With my awkward point and shoot camera method, I was able to nab a few photos, but missed the highlight of the trip – a protective Osprey dive-bombing a Bald Eagle that flew too near its nest.
On the watery edge of Florida’s most densely populated county, I saw Swallow-tail Kites, White Ibis, Read-headed Woodpeckers, Brown Pelicans, Red-winged Blackbirds, Cardinals, Sea Gulls of course, and one lonely Gopher Tortoise.

I was not the love it was looking for, so I left.