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:

May 17th: Beach bummin’

cool beach 2

Whenever I feel conflicted, confused, hurt, sad, happy, excited, thoughtful or joyous… the perfect setting has always been and will always be the beach.  No matter what sentiment, the beach is there to either drown out your thoughts with its noisy waves or accentuate your joy with its colors and movement.

I am a beach bum to the core.  Thank you God for such a gorgeous weekend!  The sun, wind and colors could not be more beautiful.  Unfortunately, the yellow flag made me too timid to go swimming.  In just a few more weeks summer vacation will be here and I’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water 😉

May 10th: We’re So Cultured!

saturday 1
I went for my second 20 mile bike ride this Saturday morning… and what an epic fail of a ride it was.  I don’t know if it was because I was exhausted, if I was just having an off day, or if it was the CRAZY gusts of wind that were threatening to push me down the whole ride but, it was NOT a fun ride.
I was obnoxiously slow and sweating profusely the entire ride.  My legs felt like jello and my heart felt like it was trying to escape my body via my throat!  Regardless, the photo above is how I posed at the half way point.  (A view of the ocean is truly a cure-all.) 
 
After the ride, we washed up and headed to my school for the yearly school carnival.  I collected tickets at the dunk tank for a brief while then was relieved of my duties.  We took advantage of having traveled South then headed to the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art.  They had an amazing exhibit of the American painter, William Glackens’ work as well as an exhibit of Civil Rights photography by Ben Adelman and multiple works by artists from the CoBrA era.  Very cool stuff!
Here we are engaging in the interactive display after the CoBrA exhibit….  🙂

April 26th: My first 22 miler ever!!

Saturday I did my very first long ride on my bike!  The furthest I had ever gone up until this point was the leisurely (but very scenic) 13 mile course we did in the Everglades a few weeks ago.  I don’t really consider that a true 13 miles because it was very stop and go and not at all a straight shot like this Saturday’s 22 miles were.

I was worried that I would be embarrassingly and annoyingly slow or that I would just zonk out towards the end but I surprised myself.  I held my own pretty well, especially considering it was my first legit intro to the road.  At one point we were averaging 19/20 mph… Unfortunately that was not the average pace of the entire ride but, my goal is to be able to maintain that pace.  Slowly but surely I’ll get there.
Our turn around point was the lovely Lake Worth Pier where we got to stop for a second and enjoy a view of the ocean and the bluest sky ever.  When we got back, Casey treated me to a very romantic brunch and we toasted the occasion with mimosas.  I did it!  And not only did I survive, I had a blast!
Brunch was followed by a trip to the ocean, a walk through an art festival and then a very well deserved nap.  The combination of exercise and heat really did us in!  Could not have asked for a better Saturday.

April 24th: Change of weeknight route!

stronger

I am happy to say that I have changed my route for 2 out of my 3 runs this week.  Rather than go the same 3 mile loop around my vicinity, I have done two 5 +/- mile runs along completely different routes.

Tonight’s run was south on A1A ending at a peer where we stretched and took a little walk to enjoy the view before heading back to our cars.  When we got back, we took off our shoes and cooled off our tootsies in the ocean before driving home.

While today was not one of my best runs, I must say that I feel myself getting stronger.  In general, I’m running faster, feeling stronger while running and becoming an all around better athlete.  This summer’s training is going to be insane!  I plan on running in the mornings when I feel most energized and get stronger through cross training day by day.

Summer vacation could not come fast enough!!!

March 23rd: La Vie en Rose

Today was just an all around awesome day!…  It began with a long-run by the ocean with this view:

sunrise

Then moved on to brunch and a walk through an art festival with this view:

delray

Then ended with me getting a kick-ass bicycle thats very, very PINK!!!

bike

I TOLD you that I was going to attempt triathlons this season…  getting this bike is the first step.

I’m sooooooo excited that I’m seeing life through pink-colored glasses as the French chanteuse Edith Piaf once sang…. but my bike is so kick-ass that I’m channelling more Steven Tyler than Edith 😉

Edith:

Steven: