Kitty Love

Today is my dad's birthday and I actually got to help him celebrate in person!  
Happy Birthday Daddy!

My parents are in Sunny (and chilly) Florida visiting and its been wonderful to have them here.  

Miss Aurelia has been slowly adjusting to visitors in the house and although her tolerance level is small, she has been making an appearance in the evening and hanging out with the family.  

I found her sleeping in the closest after dinner and couldn't help but scoop her into my arms and give her a giant bear hug!  My mom a.k.a Nana, captured the sweet moment before she quickly scurried off to find another sleeping spot.



Halpate means Alligator in Miccosukee

This guy.  

My staff and I headed down to Big Cypress National Preserve the other week for a bonding / educational field trip.  It was nice to get out of the office for the day and be surrounded by the environment that we are constantly studying for our work.

The sun was warm, but not too hot.  The favorable winter breeze whooshed through my hair as we walked several trails, enjoying the old growth hardwood hammocks and prairies. During the morning we saw herons and baby alligators, thick ferns, a dozen different white colored birds, turtles, and tiny carnivorous yellow flowers.

During the afternoon, we walked the Big Cypress Bend boardwalk in the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve.  Most of the trail is a wood plank boardwalk, but the beginning and end consisted of a fairly wide dirt trail.  A few tourists passed us as we headed back to the car and called out, "There's an alligator up ahead!".  We've all seen a million and one alligators so I really didn't think twice about it.

As we rounded a corner, I could see something large and grey taking up half of the trail.  I realized quickly that we were going to have to sneak by a very large alligator who had decided that THIS was the most perfect spot to sun himself for the afternoon.  I said a silent prayer as we neared closer that I would not get eaten or that none of my staff would lose a limb.  We quietly slipped by, (snapping at least one photo--of course!) and watched as his eyes slowly opened halfway and then closed again.  He just couldn't be bothered.

Thank goodness :)


Thoughts for a Tuesday

When you act and speak you must think of all your relatives--known and unknown.  You must also remember the plants, the animals, the living things, and the ancient ones--those that have gone before you.
-Hiyvtke, 2001