Last week’s Biodiversity of the earth Field trip to South Lido Beach was quite lovely, despite the cold windy weather. When I first started to walk along the beach, I was struck by how much nicer Lido Beach was in contrast to Miami Beach. It was calmer, quieter, and not to mention much cleaner. The water was very clear, which was nice to see. The smell of the sea felt very familiar to me; it was very nice to experience it again. I also wondered how different it must be for people here that were just experiencing the beach and ocean for the first time. It was also interesting to see the other members of our little walking party exclaim over birds (especially the blue heron) that I was already familiar with. I almost felt guilty that I took the sighting of these animals for granted because I see them so often, where other people appreciate their presence more. It was an eye opening experience for me.
I started to really pay attention when we got to the mangroves, because this was an area that I had experience in. I’ve taken countless fieldtrips to the everglades, east coast beaches, and airboat rides, so seeing mangroves is really nothing new for me. But it was nice to see them and remember the different types. I remember first learning about the different types of mangroves when I was in 6th grade on an overnight nature camp trip with my school somewhere near Tampa. While we were there, we went to the coast and we went with a guide and learned about different kinds of marine life and plants. I remember finding it particularly interesting that there are different kinds of mangroves. Red Mangroves are found closest to the shore, white mangroves are found furthest from the shore, and black mangroves are found in between the two. I found black mangroves most interesting because they are able to excrete the salt from the salt water they use and crystalize it on their leaves.
I also remember learning about sea purslane while I was there, some of which I saw while we were walking along the mangroves. The leaves are edible, and they tastes, unsurprisingly, like saltwater. The fieldtrip was very nice and nostalgic for me. I enjoyed the experience thoroughly.