A MORNING IN THE EVERGLADES
At times it is
necessary just to go out into
the swamps, the pinelands, around the ponds,
hiking through the saw grasses, over and around
shell mounds turned natural miniature islands
for just the chance to stretch my legs, and enjoy
open air views of our natural isolated land and
also with views of crocodiles slowly moving
in and out of mangrove swamps and creeks.
And maybe a rare sighting of a Florida panther
in the pineland habitat, if lucky, spotted only
just before dusk as it stalks its prey barely
yet seen. Maybe, if in the right area, a Great
Blue Heron, such a tall, majestic wading bird
which I often only see resting in a standing
position in the reed bushes alongside a pond.
If I look out over the ponds I usually notice an
Anhinga or two floating and waiting for fish,
then diving, grabbing and resurfacing some
ten to twenty feet away. And when I come
upon this fisher afterwards drying its wings
spread wide perched on nearby brush branches
it is impossible not to notice again and again.
Other times if I see an Osprey, often mistaken
for a Bald Eagle which it resembles closely,
suddenly leave its pond-side tree branch perch,
I watch itís diving down swiftly, for a bird its
size, as it grabs a fish with its sharp talons.
Survival of the fittest is natureís natural cycle.
While out here in the Glades it is easy to feel
the presence of ancestors dwelling, fishing and
hunting here when and where the area was nearly
deserted save for them and a then very common
array of birds, creatures, and critters. But now,
though one still finds and encounters such a
natural gathering, it isnít what I hear in tribal
stories from the old and wise elders of family.
Running Cub, Everglades