Friday, February 24, 2012


Juveniles and adults preen Lake Ingram in morning light

You may remember a post I did back in August of last year where I freaked out about getting to see my first flamingo in Florida Bay. Pete Frezza and I pulled around for nearly 15 miles trying to get a good glimpse of that one bird and I thought it would be my last chance. Oddly, this year for a period of about three months a group of 19 flamingos found refuge in Lake Ingram. A frenzy ensued with birders, photographers, and anglers trying to get good looks at these birds, and there they were; a mix of adults and juveniles not 20 yards from one of the busiest channels in the park. Biologists are guessing they're Bahamian birds and hopeful that they'll continue to use Cape Sable as a foraging ground. I just stoked I was able to see this incredible sight before they flew back home.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Gettin High

Alligator Bay and Joe Bay in Everglades National Park, flight courtesy of Light Hawk

I'm constantly trying to find new ways of seeing the Bay. I've been fortunate enough lately to find friends around South Florida and organizations willing to take me up in their fixed-wing planes. Of course I always fail to mention to the pilot, until I'm strapped in that I don't do well in small aircrafts. Once they start looking for any spare bags I then offer them the challenge of trying to get me back on the runway without incident, as if it were any measure of their skill.

Now that I think about it, though, I've always been the vomit kid. I can't read in cars, I'm horrible on tire swings, I chum the water in open ocean, and you'd be a fool to sit anywhere near me on a spinning roller coaster. Afraid of being forced indoors with all the allergy kids, I would never admit to having motion sickness. Instead, after filling someone's back seat with my lunch, I would say, "woah, that's weird, it must have been something I ate." 

Lake Ingram at low tide in Everglades National Park, flight courtesy of Light Hawk

It's this cognizant denial that keeps me booking flights and boating in the ocean. Regardless of the consequences, it's always worth the price I have to pay. As long as I can keep convincing myself that I'm getting better, I don't think I'll stop. In the coming month I already have 6 separate flights arranged. I guess if nothing else, I'll get to work on my figure.  

Murray Key with American white pelicans in Everglades National Park, flight courtesy of Light Hawk

Florida Bay, pilot Eduardo Ornelas

Tidal mudflats and creeks on Cape Sable, flight courtesy of Light Hawk