Seeing Beyond the Quagmire

Let me just get this out of the way: I wish I could say I've been traveling the world in my absence, but the truth is I've been stretching myself a little thin.Trying to become better at it all, and well, this blog suffered. Now, I'm back. Back from the beyond! Not the beyond of exotic, dreamy destinations - more like a local quagmire. Not the sea of tranquility, just life. I'm hoping you'll permit me a do-over; a fresh start.

It's funny how when you're stuck at home (in this case a self imposed restriction), you can begin to appreciate the places around you. Those you've taking for granted. I'm from Florida, 4th generation in fact (said proudly), I know it's a huge travel destination, but when you live and work in a place you don't always see it that way, especially your immediate surroundings. It's kind of like owning a pool you rarely swim in. The pooless neighbors and friends are all envious, but you've forgotten why. Well, I've been appreciating my surroundings a lot more lately. It is summer, which, in Florida, means it is unbareably sticky hot, but I've made my "stay in the AC self" get out there. For me, getting out there means photography and boating, my top two favorite activities next to travel.

Here in SW Florida we are very fortunate to have a coastline that is somewhat well protected. The wildlife, while it may not be what it once was, is plenty for this "pretend tourist". On any given day, no exageration, I see osprey, ibis, pelicans and not everyday, but very often, eagles. My daughter says, for me the word for distraction isn't "Squirrel!", it's "Osprey!" Her nod to the fact that I'm constantly pointing them out to her. I can truthfully say I've never been boating on this coast without seeing manatee, dolphins, and schools of rays. I love power boating and sailing, but kayaking really emerses you in nature. And, of course, there's no discounting our spectacular sunsets. I'm feeling pretty fortunate to live here these days and I'm sure many of you wish you were here. Until then, maybe you should go local. When was the last time you looked in your backyard? I'm willing to bet many of you have forgotten how great it truly is.Pine Island, FL Osprey!