April 11, 2009
what a day...
When you plan ahead, you take your chances. You hope the weather is nice... you hope everyone will be healthy... you hope that you have chosen the right day, so that you will not be disappointed. When you plan ahead, you take the chance that your planning will pay off... and sometimes, it does. For weeks we have been planning this trek out to Shark Valley with my parents. A fifteen mile bike ride through the beauty of the Everglades... with the wildlife all around us. It was our day... spectacular in every way. Clear sailing down to the park, both kids as excited as ever to get there (oh, how thankful I am for a fifteen-year-old daughter who wants to be with her family!)... and stunning wildlife. Alligators by the hundreds... all right before our eyes, and some close enough to touch (but we didn't!) And beautiful birds that make your heart skip a beat and laugh.
Oh how I love to watch the purple gallinule skip around on top of the leaves... and I had never seen the turquoise ring around the anhinga's eye (mating colors!)
Can you see all of the baby alligators? We saw them in ever shape and size... some were a little too close to the road for my comfort. It certainly had me picking up the pace!
The sights from the observation tower were beautiful... the birds in the tree tops... the gators and turtles on the ground. With a swift wind blowing, I could have stood up there and enjoyed the view all afternoon. When we finally arrived back at the beginning of the loop, we were thrilled that the nest of baby anhingas was alive with motion!
It was a day I will hold close in my heart for years to come. Not just the nature, but the reactions to this beautiful world God has created for us. Not just the excitement of seeing the wildlife up close, but both of my kids taking the Junior Ranger pledge to protect it. And family... all together... just enjoying time.