Friday, February 13, 2009

Home Waters

I’m back to home waters. I love to travel and I love to come back home, although I have to admit that I could easily have spent a bit more time in Key West. It was only in the Keys that the sun penetrated these winter weary bones, so I could have stayed longer, plus Key West is funky and fun and I enjoyed it a lot.

I did get to walk on several beaches while we were away. In Sarasota, I wore my fleece jacket with a sweater when I walked at the beach on Siesta Key and watched the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico. That’s the picture at the top. What a magnificent beach! I have never seen or felt sand like that anywhere. It’s as white as fresh snow and feels like talcum powder. I am told it is almost 100 % pure quartz. No wonder the Travel Channel ranked it the number one beach in America.

In Boca Raton, the weather was a little warmer, and I wore sandals and a light sweater when I walked. The sand there is coarser and darker and the days we were there, the surf was up. This picture was taken from the fifth floor apartment of our gracious hosts.

It was only on the beaches of Key West that I walked barefoot and wore a bathing suit. Even then, I didn’t immerse my whole body as the water was cold, but the walk on the beach was wonderful. It was windy there, too, and the sparkling water was dotted with sailboats and wind kiters skimming the surface of the water, painting a colorful picture for spectators on the beach. Sunset in Key West at Mallory Square is a nightly celebration and the evenings we were there were no exception. Click on these pictures to enlarge them. You need to get the whole effect, although in truth, photos just don't do it. You should experience it all for yourself.

I saw many different waterways while I was away. I saw the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. I saw Lake Myakka and Biscayne Bay. I saw channels, canals, creeks, and swamps. I saw water ranging in color from deep blue to turquoise, azure, emerald and colors I can’t begin to describe. And yes, the ocean is different from Lake Michigan. It smells different. It feels different, and the surf is much, much more powerful.

I came home to the gray waters of Lake Michigan, which look a little angry at still being cold. Today the lake hosted a few gulls and ducks, not nearly as enticing as the egrets, osprey, anhinga, herons, and pelicans I had seen in the last week. However, this water is my water and these shores are my home. Now that I am home, I will turn my attention back to the Great Lakes for I have much more to learn and explore.

Still, I would enjoy the opportunity to learn more about the water at the places we visited. At some point, I may need to take field trip back to the Keys. There is much more for me to do there, all in the name of research, of course.

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