Still Life with Gators

. . . or more importantly, still ALIVE in spite of gators and interstate travel in Florida. We left Key West Friday morning and made our way along the Overseas Highway, marveling yet again at the amazing shades of blue on both the Atlantic side and the Gulf side. We had hoped to stop again at Bahia Honda State Park, but the line of cars was out to the highway and we had a long way to go. Instead we stopped on the side of the road for a few quick snaps.

Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park

Our goal was to avoid the freeway as much as possible this time—been there, done that and YIKES—so instead we headed up 41 and across the Everglades. In a canal at the side of the road, we spotted alligators just hanging out enjoying the sunshine. Super cool. I’ve never seen gators in the wild, so loved it, especially from the safety of our car! But of course, that’s not how you get good photos, so we pulled off at a visitors’ center and found these . . .

Double Trouble
Double Trouble — Don’t remember them being this blue.

. . . and this guy . . .

Still Water with Gator
Still Water with Gator

Super scary when they stared at me, so I was grateful for the fence! This Great Blue Heron seemed relaxed . . .

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

. . . right there, next to the gators. But we weren’t there very long, so not sure how dinner time goes!

We spent Friday night in Naples, and although no Key West-style sunset from our hotel, we were able to enjoy the sun lighting up the clouds . . . Clouds at Sunset -- Naples. . . then continued north in the morning. We were supposed to stop for lunch with some cousins in Fort Myers, but somehow got our signals crossed, so David took me instead out to see Sanibel, famous in Bridge family lore as the site of a maddening family photo session, with teens on mopeds, so you can imagine how easy that was to manage. Like herding cats. Here’s David on the beach . . .

David on the beach, Sanibel Island
David on Sanibel Island — 43 years since the last visit

Then we decided to risk I-75 to drive the remaining two hours up to St. Pete Beach, and the angry, reckless drivers were still out in full force, but we made it. The condo itself is a little disappointing, and the beach in spots is thronged with spring-breakers, but dwelling on the negatives would be insane. A short walk has us back to shell-seeking and admiring the blues, so we are NOT suffering, I know. Makes me think of this:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. ∼Philippians 4:8

So here’s a little admirable loveliness for you . . .

St. Pete Beach
St. Pete Beach
St Pete Beach Blues

Photogenic, no? I promise to keep sending you the warmest, most colorful photos I can to help you through the final weeks of winter!

One thought on “Still Life with Gators”

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