The ocean is full of many mysteries. Most of it has not been explored. It’s estimated that we know more about the surface of the moon than we know about the bottom of our own ocean. New, even more amazing species of fish are discovered on a daily basis. The beach is our portal to this beautiful and wild world.
I have traveled to Lido Beach a number of times, and have discovered new things every time. I have seen dolphins traveling parallel to the shore, close enough to get a good look- from us, as well as them. I didn’t know that so many dolphins lived in the Gulf. I have also seen a vast number of marine birds hunting and scavenging along the coast. It’s fascinating to see species so different from the ones in the West. Some birds, equipped with thin, long beaks and and stubby legs, run up and down the beach, just ahead of the tide, to catch whatever was swept up with each wave- or what has come up for air (crabs?)
It was interesting to note that pigeons occupy the beaches in Florida as well. This is actually a recent development in California, but is almost certainly a result of humans bringing ample food to the coast. The gulls seem to compete with pigeons, but there is more than enough food due to the tourist factor (tourists who think it’s okay to throw food and feed the birds). There were also quite a few cranes and herons- birds almost unheard of where I’m from. They’re a surprisingly common sight in Sarasota and did not shy away from the beach. It’s almost relaxing to see them calmly wading through the waters, so still and graceful-and then they strike at the water and gulp down a fish with lightning-fast reflexes. It’s fascinating how beautiful and deadly nature can be.
I’ve only seen a tiny sliver of what is out there, but it never ceases to amaze me.