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So my “24 hours in Florida” was a hit, so here is part deux! I made sure to take a better camera and both my sons today after school. That was no easy feat with a chatterbox and a slow poke. As I digested the non-stop chatter and questioning while trying to keep a short but invisible leash on Pierce, I managed to get us across two streets without any near misses or anything worse. We didn’t see any giant basset hounds or dead little snakes, today, but we saw plenty of dog poop that other shoes had stumbled upon before ours, thank God! It was about 4:30pm so we caught the sun in our eyes as we walked west toward the park—a nice pair of sunglasses that I wouldn’t lose sure could have been helpful. We saw some ducks nesting in the ditch and a squirrel squatting on a branch like a statue, hoping we wouldn’t spot him. My camera did, though…that was fun!

When we got to the water, there were about 25 Ibis, and equally that many seagulls. Between those two bird species, it was very hard to get the bread to the ducks, but some of them managed. The good ole boy’s club was there, but a couple of chicks showed up—and by chicks, I mean lady friends, not ducklings. Then Afro Duck and his Posse flew in for the vittles—this was the group of white ducks, some with the brown spots. It appeared that the king pin and his fancy doo found the “rotten apples” of the group to represent.

After the Audubon meeting, the turtles began to surface—and by surface, I mean come to the surface…of the water. Gosh, these guys are even slow when they are swimming! They missed out on most of the food, unless the ducks pooh-pooh our hotdog buns—then they got some crumbs. I got a picture of one that on further inspection I realized that he had algae growing on his legs and the side of his shell. Exactly how slow does a creature have to be to grow this stuff and not be considered a rock?

A nice elderly lady came down the boardwalk with a giant pair of binoculars. Stooped with age (or from the weight of her bird-watching specs)with weathered complexion to indicate her life’s journey, she was as engaging and interesting as a person in the twilight of her life can be. We chatted, and she told us the various names of the birds we were watching, and even let Mikey look through her binoculars.

Then it was time to walk the half-mile home that undoubtedly took 30 minutes with all the meandering and distraction. At one point, Pierce started walking quickly toward the side-walk right at the edge of the street—that freaked me out a bit, but I caught up with him and shamed him into listening to me.

On the way we saw a White Crested Heron ( I think that’s what it’s called) and the almost full moon high above the eastern horizon—still white in the blue sky. Finally, in order to get Pierce to “get the led out” I told him to go get me the moon. He would run for a couple of minutes and then get distracted like my boys usually do. When we got to the sidewalk to turn toward home, he ran a head, hopped, and then turned around to tell us “I win!” He loves to do that—whenever he does something exciting whether we are participating, or care, or not—he wins! He does win, because it makes me laugh and usually I give him a squeeze which is his prize.

Mikey stayed with me the whole time we walked and occasionally he would slip his hand in mine (which never gets old) and chattering about tall buildings and the twin towers falling down in New York City (which DOES get old). Do you think the day will ever come where I can forgive myself for trying to explain that horrific event to a five-year-old boy?

It was a fun walk, but I’m not too eager to do it again tomorrow!

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