cotton mixes with blue,
urging me to offer up
humble thanks to you.
The shapes, the hues, tiny shells
each detail speaks to me.
Standing in your portrait,
I begin again.
You brush the waves across the sand
and gently touch my face,
with a wind so soft, but awakening
and leaving in its trace
The need to rid myself of words
held dormant in a heavy soul.
In awe of you, hope sparks within,
running from head to toe.
Inside a breathing portrait
you’ve left me in a state.
I have to try to share this sensation,
To live, be bold, create.
I’ll proclaim your love,
I’ll tell a story
of a girl who I once knew.
She covered her ears when you spoke to her,
too stubborn to believe the truth.
She’d lost her way,
She wouldn’t let you near.
But the rescuer, you held on tight
as she danced in the dark for years.
Tried and tested
she fell and fell again,
but you were always there.
Yet words don’t suffice to try to explain
a love to which nothing compares.
You are the one,
the only one,
who could communicate these emotions.
No words are needed; your portrait conveys it,
you use the sky, the sand, the oceans.
So I’ll walk away,
humble, yet brimming
with these words I must put to paper.
I’ll probably fail, but I’ll try to express it,
the awesomeness of our creator.
The ocean roars, reaching my ears
with the promise of a home up above.
Sand on my feet, sun on my skin,
I’m filled with gratitude for your love.
It’s time to go, words to write,
a purpose you’ve given to me.
I’ve been standing in your portrait,
I’ll begin again.
The day is here,
The people pass,
Hurrying down the shore.
There are sights to see,
Things to do,
Always hungry for more.
Look for dolphins,
Look for boats,
Some must exercise.
But urgency is not for you,
Patient bird with yellow eyes.
You calmly watch the gentle waves
And rarely even move.
The world goes on,
Hardly noticing you.
Yet something beckons me to pause,
Admire your intricate design.
I take a deep and cleansing breath
As people keep passing you by.
I think I’ll sit here for a few,
Reflect and learn from the watcher.
There’s something strangely magical,
watching you, watching the water.
~Sarah Elle Emm
So, this isn’t a gecko on steroids. It is actually an anole, and assuming my theory about Florida having an underground experimental lab that creates mutant larger than life creepy animals to be released in my zip code isn’t true, this is also not an anole on steroids. But believe me, when I was finishing up my jog the other morning in front of my house and I spotted this guy, I had a moment where the fantasy wheels went spinning wildly out of control.
I stopped, gawked at the genetically altered gecko that had clearly escaped the secret lab I mentioned a moment ago, which most certainly is in my neighborhood, and I burst through the front door of my house to frantically inform my husband about the underground mutant lab escapee. The eyebrow he raised at my delivery of information wasn’t because of the lab I mentioned. He’s quite familiar with my conspiracy theories. He didn’t seem to have words, and therefore remained mute, so I grabbed my camera, and shouted over my shoulder. “Don’t you want to see it? It’s right outside! Come on!”
Back outside I snapped photos of the escapee, delighted to finally have some evidence to strengthen my case. Suddenly, it occurred to me that my husband hadn’t raced out of the house after me to see my discovery. But wait! What if he tried, but he fell or something on the way out, and was in desperate need of my help? I abandoned my collecting of evidence and raced to save my husband.
Once back inside I discovered Charles…unharmed and in no way under any duress, sipping his coffee and watching the morning news. He didn’t even want to see my proof!
Undeterred by his lack of enthusiasm for my discovery, I rummaged through wildlife books and internet articles and finally identified my new friend outside. It was a Cuban Anole, also known as the Western Knight Anole. While this type of anole isn’t a genetic mutation or an escapee from that lab I’m certain exists, it is the largest anole in the anole family, which pleased me immensely to learn. Like I mentioned earlier, I knew that wasn’t your ordinary anole or lizard. Still, pride forced me to inform my husband that the anole was in fact just a very large lizard, and not proof of the secret lab, and I decided to let him know the truth. This piece of information didn’t seem to surprise him, though I’m not certain why. 😉
This is a link to some interesting information about the Western Knight Anole, including it’s nickname, “The Garden Godzilla”, if you’d like to learn more:
As we drove away from our house the other morning, my youngest child cheered enthusiastically from the backseat. “Look, Mama, ibis!” Sure enough, to the right of the vehicle was a group of them. I smiled, proud my kids are learning to point out varying birds they see along the way, just like some of their great-great grandparents taught their grandmother to do, who in turn taught her children to do.
The next moment she asked, “What are they saying, Mama?”
I smiled again, laughing to myself. I’m not sure if their great-greats taught anyone that. In an effort to entertain my children, I tell them stories pretty often, and usually ibises and other birds we spot along our drives end up in my stories. I tell them tales about the ibises spying on our house, to see when we leave so they can bother Shorty the Wonder Dog, our household hound. They love these stories because they’ve seen how Shorty reacts to a flock of ibis, or any type of bird in our yard for that matter, and it is always a comical spectacle. While Shorty might not have the same reasons, one thing is for sure, she is interested in birds. From the patio door she growls and barks at them, and when I open the door she takes off like lightning, chasing them out of her territory. After her mighty chase and from pure exhaustion at having worked her tiny legs so strenuously, she goes back to her bed, returning to dreamland. The dog likes to sleep. So naturally, when my child asks me what the birds are saying, I tell her they are watching us leave so they can go hang out in our yard and irritate Shorty, who is only concerned with protecting her family from the big bad ibises.
This morning, there were ten of them in our yard, and Shorty was dying to go after them, but I snuck out first and took a couple of photos. I thought about my youngest child as I watched them. What are they saying Mama? The ibises seemed to tolerate my presence but studied me cautiously. I’m quite certain they were discussing whether or not I was going to let them enjoy their breakfast in peace or whether I would release Shorty the Wonder Dog to disturb them. So after a few minutes I went back inside, and did what all good pet owners would do I suppose, and I let Shorty out. 😉 Those birds were gone within ten seconds, and Shorty could go back to sleep with a burden lifted. She had defended her family from the tormenting ibises. 😉
‘Sunset Celebration’ by Sarah Elle Emm
We’ve come to bask in your majesty.
To feel the warmth of your kiss.
We celebrate this day
With our feet dancing in the sand,
Confident we lived it to the fullest,
Grateful you were witness.
We venture closer to you, and cool water chills our toes,
Sending echoes of laughter and gratitude your way.
Twirling, smiling, humming, running on the shore,
We let it all out.
As your flaming power descends, out of our view,
We sigh, fully spent with thankful hearts.
We gave this day our all.
Your trail of pink hues fades away before us, and we bid you goodnight.
Sleep will come easy now.
A new dawn will lift us up soon enough.
And we’ll be ready to dance in your glory again.
Meet a pair of snowy egret entertainers, if you will. My mother was visiting recently, and we watched as these two stealth-like creatures took bait from a fisherman’s bucket… when he wasn’t looking. They were quite comical, these two, and had my mom laughing for a good hour. I enjoyed the show as well but didn’t want to give them away to the fisherman, so I waited patiently to photograph them when he was packing up to leave.
It was quite nice to watch the birds with Mom, especially considering the peacefulness of the afternoon. The first half of my life includes a movie reel of near collisions and off-road adventure thanks to Mom excitedly pointing at birds along the drive. Inheriting the bird watching trait was inevitable, though I prefer to watch birds from a stationary position myself. 😉