I tried to let it go. Right. I was excited to get away from the unforgiving New England winter, wiggle my toes in the white sand and write a novel. The true state of our environment was definitely inconvenient; it was a shock
Spoiled, I come from a pristine world with little or no crime, clean air, safe water and a community that cares about recycling and sustainability. My world does not consist of factories or energy plants and there are no puffs of white steam or black smoke from looming brick stacks or overcrowded highways.
What was I thinking? I missed the clean white snow before I even had a chance to dig my toes into the sand.
I am generally unimpressed by the inland suburbs of Florida. The crime rate is high and there is a great deal of poverty and apathy. I am highly concerned about the toxicity in the water, air and soil, as well as the rapidly growing endangered species list. (There are less than 100 Florida Panthers to date).
However, the beaches are a different story. I absolutely fell in love with the warm turquoise water, the gentle tides and the dazzling shells. I visited 32 beaches and 3 islands during my first winter. Aware of the depleted fish population, erosion and other dangers, I was elated when I discovered that the sea life on the beaches seemed to be thriving.
Everywhere I go, I see long legged wading birds…in marshes, trees, canals and even in large puddles in parking lots. After the sobering drive down the eastern coast of the United States, the presence of the beautiful water birds took me aback. What a relief. The birdlife is alive and well.