SOUTH OF CHOKOLOSKEE MANY YEARS AGO……

The brilliant reds and blue-greens bursting forth as the sun settles into the water and the primitive sounds that surround me, made for intense competition between my senses.

While one incredible variety of life settled in for the night, other countless species, each armed with its own unique evolutionary skills, emerged to survive in a nocturnal world.

During this transitory period, countless birds descended upon their secure island rookeries sounding like a discordant reunion – every member competing to relate its more important story.

Perhaps one was boasting of the biggest fish, while another was lamenting poor Anhinga who had been seized by soundless demons, betrayed only by their eyes, while drying his wings.

I could distinguish a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron flying overhead, having left its daytime perch to feast on crawfish. I distinctly heard the buzzing of crickets, the croaking of frogs, and the background crackling of the thousands of oysters attached to the roots of the red mangroves.

This aural delight, which made all of man’s efforts seem mere contrivances, was accentuated by the occasional loud swoosh of a school of mullet being pursued by dolphins in the deeper water near Snake Bite Island. The estuaries are still intact. Thank God!

Tom Campbell seminoleagle@aol.com

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