June 24, 2013

He Did It!

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Sarasota is still abuzz over Nik Wallenda's knuckle-biting, stomach-flopping, palm-sweating, awe-inspiring wire walk across the Grand Canyon last night. What a feat of strength (physical and mental), concentration, balance, fortitude and faith!  The public and most media outlets were kept 5-miles from the walk location. But, an acquaintance, who's a still photographer here in town, was invited by Team Wallenda to have exclusive access.  I cannot wait to see his photos.  Lots of folks turned out for a block party in downtown to watch the event. (Okay...quite a few people were stealing glances at the big screen because it was too nerve wracking to actually watch the 23 minute skywalk, with Nik balancing on a 2-inch cable 1,400 feet above the canyon without a safety tether.)  The community is so proud.  Congratulations again, Nik -- you are an inspiration!

June 19, 2013

Nerves of Steel

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Look!  Up there!  High above the cars...seemingly walking on air!  It's....Nik Wallenda!
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Sarasota's hometown hero and high wire daredevil, Nik Wallenda, is at it again.  This time he's training to walk across the Grand Canyon this Sunday, June 23rd. The set up for his training actually is somewhat subdued from the standpoint that the tightrope, while thick, is quite low to the ground -- perhaps 15 feet high at the maximum. (Compare that to the pending canyon walk which will be 1,500 feet high.) Without question, Nik knows what he's doing and will be properly prepared for his latest feat.   But, it's going to be a nerve wracking (yet awe inspiring) experience watching him stroll high above the Grand Canyon on live TV without a tether.
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During his training session last night, he sat down on the wire and fielded all kinds of questions from the audience. (And, it was a good size crowd, especially on a week night.) Reporters from around the globe have been descending upon Sarasota to produce stories about Nik training here.  From what I understand, though, media access at the Grand Canyon will be limited to invitation only.  We're all proud of Nik and we're praying for his success in Arizona. The walk starts at 8 p.m. EST on the Discovery Channel.   Click here to see a pretty cool promo with Nik sitting on the edge of the canyon.

June 18, 2013

Gotcha!

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Sometimes you're the bird.  Sometimes you're the fish.  Here's to a birdlike Tuesday!

June 15, 2013

Daisies & Deer

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This meadow is one of my favorite locations at Myakka River State Park, especially this time of year with all the pretty daisies blooming. And, it's a favorite with the Sarasota fauna.  Without fail, every evening I've been here, I've seen deer and wild boar.  I've also spotted turkeys and armadillos.   On this particular evening, this doe was keeping a close eye on me during her stroll looking for dinner. She must have thought I was Mr. DeMille... 
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 ...because she certainly was ready for her close-up!  (And, she strongly suggested her right side was her best side.)

June 14, 2013

Seashells Galore

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Wow -- look at all those seashells! The shelling is always good on Sanibel. But, it was especially terrific last weekend after Tropical Storm Andrea breezed by the island. The storm brought lots of rain...and then lots of shells. These are Florida fighting conchs (strombus alatus), a warm water sea snail.  They were all over the beach early Saturday morning. But, they weren't just pretty shells for a  beachcomber to collect.  They were homes.  And, the mollusks living inside, were wiggling out of their shells onto the warm sand.  Seeing that left me in a quandary. What to do?  Reunite these creatures with the Gulf of Mexico or let Mother Nature have her way? After helping a few return to the sea, I quickly realized I was outnumbered and opted for the photo opps instead.  The New York Times published a good article last summer about shelling on Sanibel.  Click here to check it out.  Hope everyone has been doing well!