Posts Tagged ‘Everglades’

“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” – Edwin Land

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath

Great blue heron hunting for its dinner along the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades.

Two Photographs

When I haven’t a clue as to what I’m going to write about, I first turn to my list of potential blog topics.

That didn’t work this time. In fact it might be time for me to clean up the long list as I didn’t understand half my suggestions. Bright ideas, I’ve discovered, often lose meaning if left stagnating too long.

There is also the fact that what you write one day will never be the same thing you will write about the next day. Our perceptions about the meaning of life, or whatever, are constantly changing. Knowing this, I think, is why I’m such a fanatic journal keeper.

"Won't you step into my Everglades parlor?" -- Photo by Pat Bean

Anyway, with my written list failing me, I turned to my photographs and came across two that actually turned on the electricity in my brain. One was of an alligator lying in wait for a meal, and the other was of a great blue heron quietly waiting for its dinner to come into reach.

The differences had me thinking how all living things on this planet have the same needs. And about where each of the species fit in the food chain.

The two photos also spoke to me of patience, a thing I seriously lack. Without a bit of patience, neither of these species would have their next meal.

Then I thought of the different reactions the two photos would elicit from viewers. Oohs and aahs for the heron of course, and probably some yucks for the alligator. When I post a photo of one of these reptiles I usually get an e-mail from a daughter-in-law telling me not to get too close.

Putting two unlike things together, according to some of the self-help books I’ve read, is a good way to spark one’s creativity. I haven’t done it much, but I’m now convinced I should do it more. I mean it got me off the hook for today’s blog.

Now I’m curious as to readers’ reactions to the two photos. Tell, please.

Bean’s Pat: A Word in Your Ear; http://tinyurl.com/74zt46m For those of us who miss too many sunsets.

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Observation tower in the Everglades and my granddaughter, Keri. -- Photo by Pat Bean


And round we go -- Photo by Pat Bean

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An anhinga drying its wings. You'll be sure to see this bird along the Anhinga Trail. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

“There are no other Everglades in the world … Nothing anywhere else is like them … the racing free saltness and sweetness of the their massive winds, under the dazzling blue heights of space …. The miracle of the light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of water, shining and slow-moving below … It is a river of grass.” — Marjory Stoneman Douglas, The Everglades: River of Grass, 1947

Turtles and a cormorant face off for space along the trail. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Turtles and a comorant face off for space along the trail. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The 0.8 mile boardwalk trail is named for the anhinga, a waterbird that swims with only its long neck and head above water. This can give it the appearance of a snake about to strike, hence it’s nickname snakebird. We saw plenty of these birds along the trail, but many other birds as well.

If you go, be sure and stay on the trail. There are more than birds that call this area of the Everglades home.



Beware the jaws that snatch. Photo by Pat Bean



  Everglades National Park

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An anhinga trying to swallow a fish too large for its throat. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting things that can not be.” — Author unknown

I’m not a quitter. That’s mostly a good thing. But sometimes you have to admit you can’t reach the top of a mountain, fix a bad marriage or write a perfect piece of prose. So you come back down the mountain before you die; you move on with your life while you still have a bit of sanity left; and you send your imperfect article off to a publisher and begin a new piece of writing.

I watched an anhinga, while hiking the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park with my granddaughter, Keri, that might have taken this advice to heart. When we came upon the bird it was perched on a limb above a shallow pool of water trying to swallow a fish too large for its thin neck. We stood there and watched it for a full 30 minutes as it attempted this task.

Several times the fish fell back into the water. The anhinga would dive after it, spear it with beak, come back up to its perch and once again maneuver the fish head down into the opening of its throat. When Keri and I finally gave up watching and moved on, the anhinga was still at what just might have been one of those impossible tasks.

A cormorant and turtles keep a watch beside the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades. -- Photo by Pat Bean

A cormorant and turtles keep watch beside the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades. Photo by Pat Bean

There’s much to see along this popular trail that winds for nearly a mile through a sawgrass marsh full of wildlife. From the trail’s elevated boardwalk, one can almost reach out and touch cormorants, great blue herons, turtles and even alligators that call the area home.

The anhingas, which give the trail its name, are particularly populous. It is sometimes called the snake bird because its low profile in water often leaves only its long-necked head visible.

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