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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Living in Paradise - aka Florida.

Living in Florida, we are blessed to experience warm, sunny, tropical weather, lush, colorful, foliage and beautiful birds, reptiles and animals year round. 
Iguanas, sea turtles, turkey vultures, egrets, blue herons, ibis, ducks, crows, eagles, and other birds are in our backyards on any given day. 
Mangoes, lychee, oranges, blackberries, papaya, custard apples, guavas, chikoos and coconuts grow in our backyards.
A variety of palm trees grace the front of our homes and the side of the roads.

Alligators and snakes are unwelcome guests that sometimes make their way into swimming pools and back yards. 
I've personally found a 4 feet long, black snake on our back porch. Last summer, I found a 15 inches long snake curled up in our home. I wrongly assumed it was dead as I took a broom to brush it out of our home. 
Imagine my surprise when the snake slithered to another position to inform me that it was very much alive.

A friendly neighbor with a long stick and a brave heart is good to have.
My neighbor carefully picked up the snake and relocated the snake back in the lake where it belonged. He informed me that it was a harmless, water snake.
Harmless or not, I like my snakes far away from me. 

Meet the graceful but vicious Anhinga. 
This is a native Floridian bird that is graceful with it's long neck and gorgeous black feathers.
Some even have zebra-striped feathers. 
 Two of these gorgeous bird have been gracing us with their presence every day for the past few weeks.
I noticed one sitting on the fence edging the lake, while the other one sits on the bank across the lake.

These birds fish for their meals by diving in the lake for fish and water snakes. 
Then they rests on the banks or in this case, the fence.
As the afternoon sun makes it way across the sky, these birds literally fan out their feathers to dry them. 

Check out the webbed feet and the gorgeous markings on the feathers.
This one has been sitting on this fence for the entire day.
We suspect that this bird is getting old and thus, just resting and living out it's last days with us.
We're just so grateful that it's chosen our back yard to retire, allowing us to witness and enjoy it's beauty.

Check out the gorgeous, fan-like tail. 
These next pictures are of the bird fanning it's feathers to dry them.
They usually start to fan and dry their feathers in the late afternoon/early evening.
Sometimes, they fan their feathers for an hour or two to dry them.

This bird in the picture below, sits on the bank, across the small lake behind our home. 
Here it is, fanning and drying out it's gorgeous feathers.

Thank you God for blessing us with these beautiful creatures.
Thank you God for allowing us to witness YOUR creations.
Thank you God for allowing us to slow down and notice the beauty around us.
Thank you God for allowing us to live in paradise, aka Florida.

Love and Light,
From one sufi to another,

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