Tag: Alabama Coast

Watershed Beauty

Watershed Beauty

Dog River, Mobile, Alabama

Earlier this week I was part of a large group of individuals doing health assessments on the local manatee population. While the health of the animals is important and the work by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab biologists and volunteers as well as Sea World Rescue was outstanding, as I rode in one of the boats I couldn’t help but feel amazement at the beauty of our area.

Dog River–Cypress Trees

Dog River conjures images of mud from Will Kimbrough‘s awesome song, Mud Bottom. As I took time at our lunch break to cool off, I thought of the squishy mud Will sings about which always reminds me of Week’s Bay….where I grew up. And the mud is indeed squishy. But I digress….

Our watersheds of coastal Alabama are simply magnificent. The Mobile Delta is one of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet. Yes, it’s muddy. Yes, the water is dark….but it’s dark like a good roux in gumbo is dark. The darker the roux, the richer and tastier the gumbo.

One of the many launch points on the Mobile Delta

If you are a resident of coastal Alabama I invite you to visit the Delta. Take an eco-cruise with Jimbo Meador or take your kayak out….but hire a guide if you go far. The Delta is a maze of marsh grass and channels leading into a labyrinth of alligators, lotus blossoms and nurseries for baby sea life.

The Mobile Delta

Visit the rivers…Dog, Tensaw, Blakley, Fish, Magnolia….but leave the powerboat at home.  Take a canoe or kayak or paddleboard to really experience the essence of these special places. The Gulf of Mexico is where they all end up but their routes are fabulous water trails into the vast diversity of our area.

Volunteer to help…through wildlife agencies, water keepers….be a part of the solution!

Part of our awesome group of manatee-lovers and scientists.

 

Sunrise Together

Sunrise Together

For several mornings while cycling, I’ve stopped at sunrise and turned on the ‘live’ video function on Facebook and have connected with friends while I’m standing at the beach or at a marsh. When people join the conversation I can see them and then can read comments….some comments anyway. Then, as I finish my ride, I think of my friends and send them love and good thoughts.

Perhaps the most valuable takeaway is the feeling of connection, of unity. We are watching the sun rise together.

In these times of divisiveness and fear, it is so important to cultivate feelings of Oneness and connection. It doesn’t have to be through social media…that’s just a way that’s building community for me.

It’s important to be aware of what’s happening in our world. It’s vital that we build connections with others that hold a vision of peace and compassion and equality. Let’s not meet violence with violence but rather with a unified vision and practice of peace, compassion and joy….all over the planet.

*I’m still learning how to read comments and reply while using the video so if you type a greeting and I don’t see it I’m not ignoring you. I love you!

Frogs & Clouds–An Illuminating Experience

Frogs & Clouds–An Illuminating Experience

In preparation for a yoga and cycling retreat in Ireland, I purchased a light system for my bicycle. So when I woke up at 4.30am the trails called. Not sunrise yet? No problem!

The waning moon offered light as did the stars but in order to avoid Mr. No-Shoulders and little amphibians I used my new headlight. It was an illuminating experience.

First, being on the trail an hour before sunrise gave me a glimpse into creatures that I rarely see. And mostly, it was frogs with an occasional toady. Some appeared to have springs in their legs as they leaped in a single bound across two bicycle lanes. Others stared me down and refused to move, their bright, beady eyes sparkling with greed at insects swarming over their moist, green heads.

When I got to the beach it was clouds that illuminated my mind and heart. Every shape and color seemed to shine in the pre-dawn light. Stars, planets and that waning moon all joined with the clouds and Gulf of Mexico to create a remarkable experience. I found it difficult to get back on my bicycle and turn my back to the spectacle.

But eventually I did and the entire ride was filled with clouds and colors and yes…more frogs–who seem to love the new boardwalks across the marsh. It was one of those epic rides that I wouldn’t have missed for anything.

Illumination….shining light where there was none. Funny how something I bought for road cycling safety in another country brought me into another realm of beauty this morning. All I had to do was say, Yes!

Finding Home: The Life of Stella Sea Turtle

Finding Home: The Life of Stella Sea Turtle

It’s always fun to see a project come together. The latest is another children’s book about sea turtles. It’s illustrated by my pal Linda-Bell Schorer and we are donating a portion of each book sold to the Friends of Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge for sea turtle conservation on public lands.

If you love sea turtles, children and public lands I invite you to support this project by pre-ordering the book and/or sponsoring the project. We raise all printing costs before going to press so order now to help the project move forward for an early-December release.

Thank you as always for supporting the work of my heart. Visit the info/order page.

Going Home

Going Home

One of my favorite experiences as a wildlife photographer is to be present when an animal that has been hospitalized and rehabilitated is released. This loggerhead sea turtle would stop and dig her  beak into the sand and wait for something to register. While I don’t have a reptilian brain I guessed she was getting her bearings using her sense of smell. Can you imagine after being captured–injured and sick–after living in such a magnificent place as the Gulf of Mexico…dealing with confinement? And then that glorious moment when you realize you have made it home. Home! What a celebration…for everyone.