Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

On the Water; On the Shore

Tuesday December 1, 2015                                                       Most Recent Post:
Curry Hammock State Park                                                      
That Was One Scary Missed Snorkel on Pigeon Key
Marathon, Florida


This dawn is again full of clouds and birds.   A reddish egret and a little blue heron are hunting just off shore.  Notice the beautiful colors in the waters all through the pictures this morning.




The dim light makes it hard to see the heron’s reddish neck and head.



Even in this dim light though, you can see the difference between the reddish egret and the little blue heron.




I think these are two Wilson’s Plovers scurrying through the wrack line with numerous others.


The colors begin to show and increase.  I turn my attention to the skies.



If I look closer the colors turn from pink to orange and I can see the sun beams.



The resident yellow crowned night heron shows against the pink in the sky.






As the sun rises above the horizon and becomes the orange ball, it’s bright white light darkens the foreground of the pictures making it look darker than it actually is. 






The reddish egret flies off and the little blue heron is joined by two white Ibis. I join Eric who is also out to enjoy the early morning show. 





This morning proves to be a morning full of more birds than I have seen here at a sunrise. 
Both the juvenile and adult Iris.


The little blue heron’s blue beak and feathers are clearer here


Just before Eric and I leave to go back for breakfast,  it becomes a feeding frenzy in the wrack line.  Dozens of sandpipers, plovers and willets are all furiously searching.





When I return from enjoying the sunrise, David is up and he’s seen a bird too and points to the  catbird in the bushes right outside the living room window.  How cute I think.  HA!  Little do I know what he’s going to be up to.


Don’t let his cute looks fool you.







The grand plan for this week had been to go to Pigeon Key to snorkel on Monday when the winds were 8-10 mph and then to take the boat to snorkel at  Looe Key today when the winds are even less.  But given yesterday’s hospital experience, we feel it prudent to stay close to home and monitor David’s blood pressure to see how decreasing the meds is working.

We take several readings in the morning and they are lower than I would have liked but not in the danger zone so in keeping with the easy does it day, we go kayaking with Laurel and Eric. Laurel writes the fabulous blog Raven and Chickadee. You will no doubt see much better pictures of our adventures over there.

They moved into site 13 which we had when we were here a month ago.   You can see Winnona and their Artic Fox in these two pictures.  Bet you can guess which site I prefer of these two I’ve tried.   







Laurel is the queen of purple and looks wonderful in that color as she stands beside their tandem kayak  Just look at the fabulous skies behind her.  Finally a wonderful weather day.




Her smile shows just how excited we both are to be able to get out onto the water.




You can see their rig in the background as they join us and we paddle out to the sandbar to look for rays and starfish.





We don’t get very far before Eric spots this Magnificent Frigate bird soaring overhead.  It’s the first time I’ve seen one here and I am very excited to have gotten this picture of her given the way she is moving across the sky.  What luck!
And I’m not the only one who thinks she’s magnificent.  That’s her official name “The Magnificent Frigate”.



Well, after that, what else is there to see?  Not much it turns out other than the beautiful blue sky, the gorgeous white clouds and the glorious shades of blue in the water.   No starfish and no rays on the sandbar.  We think perhaps it is just a bit too windy today and that’s confirmed a bit later.







Looking back toward the campground and day use are as we return from the sandbar.




David has broken away from the group and calls us to see the spotted eagle ray he has found.  Much smaller than the one I saw here last time we were here.  We all three hurry over and we see it but neither David nor I got any good pictures of it.   We’re thinking they may be closer in to the shore because of the seas and the winds.




We paddle around the bend and into the channel where we see a preening line up going on atop the breakwater.




We’re not sure who owns this private key across the channel from the park.  There is a small care taker’s house but nothing else and we’ve never seen any sign of activity on the island or at the dock..  Until today when  there is a noisy chipper out while some grounds crew manicures the area. It already looks like a park so we really can’t figure out what’s going on.






We don’t see anything in the calm channel today either so after a once around we head back.  David does see another little blue fishing at the edge of the mangroves.



We leave the kayaks on shore thinking we’ll come back for a sunset paddle.



After lunch, David takes a nap and about 2:30, I pack up and head out to go to Sombrero Beach for a few hours in the sand and water.   There’s no one to take pictures of me floating on the warm ocean waters but it’s absolutely wonderful.

Some previous beach goers have built this little sand castle for me to enjoy by the waters edge as I read.  You can tell there is wind by seeing that there are waves.  Usually the water just laps the shore.  Amazing to me on the Atlantic Ocean Front.





A beautiful afternoon in one of my favorite places.





But at least for the time we’ve been in the Keys this year, the good times don’t last.  I had thought to stay to sunset but the clouds darken and when I look out, I see the rains coming down at the horizon.




I’m one of the last people on the beach and I love the quiet and having it nearly to myself but it’s time to leave.



One last look at those clouds rolling this way and I pack up my things.  We won’t get to that sunset paddle that’s for sure.




Before I left for the beach, Mr. Catbird had decided he needed to peck not at our windows but at the black rubber trim around them.  This was requiring constant window tapping to deter him.  I’d left Tiger and Piglet on guard.  When David got up he took this picture of them peering out. I’m sure they are glaring at the bird.  But it seems the catbird can’t see them in through the tinted windows so they are unable to affect his behavior.  We’re going to have to come up with another solution to this pesky pecking bird.  Any suggestions?





We bring the kayaks back to the site given the look of things.
The sunset is hampered again by those bothersome returning rain clouds but does a decent job of fighting them off.  
It rains all night long.



  1. How about a bobbing owl for that pesky catbird? The neighbor next door has one because of a large glass window. Temporary cover of some sort like one of those reflective sunshade foil things? Good luck!

  2. Oh catbird...why? There are so many more natural options!! Gorgeous birds and sky and water that day!! Laurel looks great in that hat! Love the color. So glad you got a paddle and some beach time..lovely day :)

  3. I'm glad you got out for a day for some kayaking. When we used to go down the Keys back in the 80's for scuba trips, we always had winds to deal with and we quit going because of that. We've since learned that's just the way it is in the Keys and you have to go to "plan B" when it's windy. When you catch those flat calm days, it it spectacular and I'm sure you'll get out to the reefs one day soon.

  4. Really great that you could share such a nice paddle with Laurel and Eric!! Even more glad to see David out there and feeling better!!! Does that little catbird thing he is a vulture...remember how the vultures would rip at the rubber on the cars in the parking lots?? ;-((

  5. How very nice to meet up with Eric and Laurel:) They are so much fun!! Lucky you two! Good to see David was feeling well enough to get out and kayak. Probably good to stay closer to home:) Even with the clouds, the sunset was still beautiful:)

  6. A much needed gifted morning. The colors and light are superb! Laurel and Eric truly scored on that site. Great shot of the frigate. You may not have gone back on the water but those storm clouds brought a glorious sunset.

    How about a plastic grocery bag flapping around the window? If you can stand that.

  7. Great pics as always, did not know cat bird, thought it might be scrub jay. So it got me reading and I learned something new. I have used a unwanted cd / dvd on a string so wind can move it, keeps magpies away. Not much outdoor fun up here, too dang icy. It is 13 degrees at 10 AM and I will never do this Christmas in Alaska thing again. Hope the rains have been tolerable, I check Fl weather daily.

  8. Glad things worked out with David and his 'spell', my daughter is still having fainting spells due to her concussion so I know what that is like. I think a trip to the keys is in store for us next year, probably late October or early November...something we have talked about a few times now. --Dave (GoingRvWay.com)

  9. Amazing shots. I wonder what could make a catbird do that sort of thing...

  10. I love seeing each morning waking up differently through the mangroves - always beautiful. It's my turn to be envious of your meet up. I can only imagine the wonderful conversations being shared with kindred spirits :-) Darling pic of Laurel! Your time on the water looks fun, but the time on the shore is my favorite - so peaceful looking even with the wind. Wonder if the bird could hear it if you shook a can with gravel in it when he pecks at the rubber? Not sure he wouldn't just come back when you stopped or left the motorhome.

  11. I'm glad you got out for some beach time and reading while I rested - no sense sitting around when the waether i so fine. Great sunset picture!

  12. What a beautiful photo of the Magnificent Frigate!

  13. Silly bird! Love the color of the water. I see you got a spam from the same person or robot I did :(

  14. So much fun to see you guys and to kayak together on our ONE decent day here so far! Love our site -- we have a wonderful view of the rain and wind over the ocean….

  15. Piglet and Tigger are enough to scare me away... :cD

  16. Say Hi to the Queen of Purple for me. I look forward to all your adventures together.


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