Took my first trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida last week and it was perfectly peaceful.  We stayed in a boutique hotel directly on the beach in Nokomis at Casey Key.

The drive was just enough to get in some good conversation and good music on the way there and back.  My man and I enjoyed every bit of the impromptu get away.

We had dinner with a former teacher of mine from high school whom I keep in touch with through email.  He and his wife relocated to the Gulf Coast after retiring 5 or 6 years after I graduated.  It was nice to see them again.  He looks the same and his adoration for mathematics has not changed.   Wow.  It’s been too long since high school.  I barely remember which course I took with him.  It was either algebra II or pre-calculus.  Regardless, he was the best math teacher I have ever encountered.  He just knew how to break it down in a way we could understand.  His passion for his field has always been evident.  After enjoying a meal at their lovely home we went to see the area rookery.

What the hell is a rookery you say?  Well, that’s what I said.  Over the course of my time in South Florida I have become somewhat of a bird enthusiast.  I get excited when the eagles get here near the end of fall and I miss sitting and watching them when they leave for the summer.  One of the neighborhoods I have to drive through to get to my day job has peacocks walking around like it’s still their town.  The locals have embraced them as have I.  Is it a little annoying to wait for them to cross the streets?  Yea, a little but it is a small price to pay for the experience of being so close to such beautiful wild life.  We are also privileged to see flocks of gulls, pelicans, ergots (another name for a crow) and other species I have yet to recognize.

I have tried unsuccessfully to snap a photo of the peacocks with their feathers open.  I have only seen a peacock with the feathers open twice.  Don’t fret.  I am still on the lookout and I will post the shot as soon as I get a good one.  The eagles seem to be shy, too.  Whenever I go to get a recording device they fly away.  As if they know I want to photograph or record them.  I cannot be mad because I am the same way when people pull out cameras and randomly start snapping away and ish, even when I don’t know them!  We like to take pictures of the beauty we see.  I try to be flattered by that instead of creeped out, which is my first reaction.  Anyways, back to the birds.  The word I have known for areas where birds collect is Audubon, as in the Audubon Societies we see across North America.  (Named after the ornithologist and artist John Audubon)  In Florida, especially southwestern Florida (& some other places in the world), they call the places where birds gather and nest rookeries.

A rook is another name for a crow.  These crows like to gather and nest at the tops of trees.  They are particularly comfortable on the tops of trees growing on barrier islands which protect them from predators.

My teacher advised us to go just before sunset when the birds come back to their nest and gather for the night.   It was a calming display of the majesty of nature.

We discovered a local burger spot that I would gladly visit again called Culver’s.  The mushroom Swiss burger was off the chain.

The rest of the time we did a whole lot of laying and walking on the beach and sleeping and such in the suite to the sound of the waves.


And of course we caught every incredible Gulf Coast sunset.

My favorite shot of me at Nokomis Beach

We took some great photos and created some more great memories.