We now have begun our days in this magical place: the beach. We spend more time outside than in and I find it glorious. My little on and I start the day with a walk to the pond to visit the turtles. They are lined up as if in traffic sunning themselves on the shore. We can tell they are still a little slow because they don't scuttle right into the water when we arrive like they do in the summer. We stand nearby and watch them watching us. A couple of mallards swim up hoping for a snack. There is usually a female duck in the pond. We hope she is nesting, the alternatives are too unsettling to discuss.
Later in the day we see two young Anhinga's sunning themselves near the turtles. Similar to the cormorant, Anhingas are water birds able to swim long distances underwater to capture fish in their long pointy beaks. They then spend long hours sunning themselves with their wings spread open. My little one has become fascinated with the Anhingas and regularly shows us her wings.
We look carefully for signs of the alligator who moved into the pond last summer. If he's there he is hiding well because we don't see him in any of the best sunning spots. We stopped bringing bread crumbs to the ducks and turtles last summer after seeing the alligator appear much too quickly for comfort. He was about five feet long and clearly could have come up on shore for more bread if he'd been so inclined. We now keep a healthy distance from the waters edge and enjoy the wildlife without providing refreshments.