Live conch at the beach

The winds were strong last night as we took an evening stroll on the beach. We saw several kite surfers “catching air” and were able to collect lots of cool treasures that the surf had washed up shore. One treasure we found, however, was still alive! 

Check out this conch’s alien-like googly eyes.  ūüėÄ

A Lesson on How to Fly

‚ÄčIf you think running is just another way to burn calories, then you’ve either never really tried it or just never really understood it. 

The act of running teaches you that pain is temporary but victory is infinite and that all those limitations you’ve placed on yourself were WRONG. It makes you one of the privileged few who gets to witness and ENJOY sunrises and sunsets regularly; it makes you cognizant of your surroundings and appreciative of nature. It helps you create friendships and strengthens the ones you already have. It simultaneously winds up your battery AND burns off a little bit of the crazy lurking inside of you. It takes you places you never thought you could go, both physically and emotionally. 

If you don’t believe that humans can FLY, then you’ve never really run. 

Do your part!

plastic bags and sea turtles

Yeah, I was lazy today… I skipped my run. ¬†It was just too hot and my heart wasn’t in it. ¬†My heart, however, is alway in for a walk on the beach. ¬†Today was no exception and it made me feel slightly less guilty about not running.

As I walked towards the staircase down to the beach, I saw a dispenser for plastic grocery bags, intended to encourage people to fill these bags with their garbage while at the beach.  I took one on a whim and decided to fill it as I walked to the inlet and back- my go-to 2 mile walk.

What I found was really surprising and disappointing. ¬†Empty chip bags, Starbucks cups, Styrofoam, soda cans and plastic bottles… What is wrong with people?

Did you know what most adult sea turtles have plastic in their GI system? ¬†Did you also know that plastic in the GI system of any sea creature causes them to feel bloated and full, resulting in them starving to death because they don’t feel the need to eat? ¬†These facts sadden me and make me feel concerned when I see people leave remnants of their picnics all over the beach with complete disregard for their environment.

Imagine how clean our beaches would be if we all committed to picking up our own garbage and making a commitment to filling one small bag with the garbage we find each time with visit?!  Fun thought and maybe something that we can encourage our younger generations to get into the habit of doing.

Besides¬†beach-combing for trash, I found some treasures which redeemed the evening, most notably a shark’s tooth!

Seining the Lagoon

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Red Mangroves

As a kid, who didn’t love a break from class to go on a fun field trip? ¬†One of my most memorable was a trip to Gumbo Limbo Environmental Center in Boca Raton, Fl. during 7th grade. ¬†We were given seine nets and taught to do the “sting-ray shuffle” in the shallow intracoastal waters so as not to get stung while walking and collecting fish, crabs, shrimp, jellyfish… you name it.

Everything we collected was placed in large buckets and, at the end, we were taught about all the different creatures we had found then released them back into the water.  It was a magical and interactive trip and I carry that memory vividly with me today.

I was researching things to entertain myself during the last few weeks of summer vacation a few days ago and… low and behold I found a link to Gumbo Limbo’s “Seinging the Lagoon” Program, but this time it was open to the public! ¬†Of course, I registered and went.

The program was comprised of a very informative 30 min presentation about¬†local mangroves and wildlife, followed by casting the seine in the intracoastal just as I remembered doing as a girl. ¬†We caught a barracuda which was large enough to be deemed worthy of the nature center’s beautiful tank, a large blowfish, jelly fish, a pipefish (related to the seahorse), shrimp, various small fish and one lonely hermit crab. ¬†As we found things and oogled at our buckets, the nature center’s volunteer exclaimed “its exhilarating isn’t it?!” ¬†It WAS exhilarating to see so much life in such a small, shallow area… even for someone who has probably assisted with hundreds of these classes. Imagine what exists in the depths of the sea! ¬†Conservation is so imperative as is educating our youth about the importance of appreciating seeing the beauty of their local environment so that they appreciate and care for it as adults.

Here are some pics of my fun little adventure:

Getting Centered

Today it was difficult to get out there and run. I’m both exhausted and lazy… but these are the rewards I must remember when I find myself wanting to take a day off.

Firstly, I feel so much more energized.  True, I was exhausted when I came home from work and almost passed out on the couch.  True, the LAST thing in the universe I wanted to do was anything physical.  But it is ALSO true that once you force your body into motion, you begin to realize that most of our day to day exhaustion is emotional or mental and not physical.  I have more energy after having run 4 miles than if I had slept an hour.  Go figure!

Secondly, I got some outdoor time. ¬†Most office jobs (or teaching jobs, for that matter) don’t allot for time outdoors. ¬†We spend most of our time breathing in the same stale air under artificial lighting. ¬†I’ve even had two jobs in which I worked in offices without windows! ¬†Can you imagine not getting a glimpse of sunlight for 8 hours of every day?!?!

After my run, I walked across the street to the beach and enjoyed this view. ¬†I saw a little girl chasing small water birds whose species I don’t know, a flock of prehistoric looking pelicans flying across the darkening sky and a sailboat with some very lucky passengers pass by close to shore. ¬†What could be better than that?

June 6th: First Day of Summer Vacation

first

So, although it was officially a “Teacher Work Day” I took Friday off to go for a run and disconnect before tackling the daunting task of creating the schedules for my middle school students for next year. ¬†Once I’m done, though, I’ll be completely off for the summer! Good thing is, my work day starts later and my office will be quiet and calm.

I decided to celebrate the end of a great year by doing my routine 7 mile run and follow it with a veg-out session at the beach.  I may not have run it fast but, I went out there and did the mileage with no excuses.  My reward was that I had gorgeous views of the beach and practically had it all to myself because of how early I arrived after my run.  Summer-time, I missed you!

Check out my splits!

first day of summer run

And other gorgeous views of the beach ūüôā

Beach-y Bracelets

bracelets

Check out these lovely bracelets I made with fun finds from the beach! ¬†My mom and I collected several during out trip to the beach last long-weekend. ¬†I got busy drilling holes and found some great beads in my craft closet. ¬†Some of the shells didn’t survive the drill but its a learning process knowing where to drill and which shells are best for the project. ¬†Look for the future post on how-to!