7am. We crawled from our tent in the Florida Keys, a bit groggy. The sky had a tinge of pink. Hadn’t we read that the best times of day for photography are dawn and dusk? Yes, indeed. So, we took the opportunity, grabbed the camera, and hit the beach.
7:30am. Many of the rocks on the beach were fossilized coral. Nearby a little crab caught our eye. We found a little gem: a sea coconut (Manicaria saccifera) that was carried by the currents from the Amazon River to this place. That was an exciting find!
8am. Just before the beach ended, we saw a lobster shell. We climbed up to the road for a brief detour. Who should be crossing the road ahead but a white ibis; it blithely ignored walkers and cars in search of food — bugs, that is. As we stepped back down to the beach, we spied a bird in the distance. What was it? We approached very, very slowly. A yellow crowned night heron. It was stalking prey, successfully.
9am. No matter how enjoyable our walk, we just had to go back to our tent site for breakfast. We walked quickly down the road but continued to spy flowers and plants worthy of a photo and identification later. We dropped back to the beach, and, moments before we reached our campsite, we caught sight of a pair of mourning doves in the sand, protected by overhanging branches, and then a lovely butterfly.