Zensights provides a space for gentle contemplation in a world filled with hectic action and stressed-out situations.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Wonders of Beaches

Every time I go to Vilano Beach, near St. Augustine, Florida, for my summer vacation, I am amazed by the things I get to see. Magnificent sunrises, powerful storms, and all manner of wild life. This year held many new things for me to see.

First, I got to see the porpoise. We were enjoying the swells of Hurricane Bertha. Perfectly formed waves rolled in for three days when we realized that the porpoise seemed to enjoy the waves as much as all the surfers. We observed from our deck vantage point a pod of porpoise one afternoon which frolicked along side of the surfers and swimmers. The porpoise often cleared the water as they surfed down the face of the waves next to their human counterparts--one little porpoise, maybe a juvenile, coming completely out of the water and turning a complete flip. Amazing!

Next, I saw evidence of sea turtles. We were graced by sea turtles coming up on the beach at night and attempting to lay their eggs. Their tracks were visible in the early morning light on two separate occasions. No nests were actually made on our beach, since the turtle tracks turned and went back to the sea before any nest was dug in the sand. Something had scared them back, we can only suppose. The turtle patrol told us that they had found nests farther down the beach, so hopefully, many little turtles will spill out of their confines in the 45 to 75 days that it takes for them to incubate.

I also got to see many sharks--the most impressive was what a fisherman friend of mine called a Spinning Shark. This shark was many yards out from shore, and it jumped high out of the water and spun around violently three times, almost as if it were a marlin caught by a deep sea fishing boat. No boats were anywhere so, this dance was spontaneous and not caused by man. Awesome!

I also saw many kinds of birds. There were crows, gulls, sandpipers, and my favorite, the pelicans. I loved how they would glide down the face of the waves with one wingtip nearly touching the crest of the waves as they coasted on the updrafts of the winds. Theirs was a graceful motion that played itself out time and time again as our vacation slipped by. I could watch the pelicans all day and did as I fished the surf for whiting and pompano.

I am home now. My fish are cleaned and frozen in the freezer, and even though I am already missing the sea breezes and salty air, I know that this wonderful place with many things to observe awaits my return next summer. My memories will keep me warm when the winter winds blow. All I have to do is defrost some fillets, make a great dinner, and relive all my summer observations with each bite I take. I love the wonders of beaches.