When the weather cooperates, we like to take our beach chairs and books to a nearby lake. We have a favorite spot under a palm tree that is idyllic for reading and relaxing. Along with the splashing of small waves soothing the soul, what else do we need? Occasionally, a siesta. Typically we hear seagulls squawking, ospreys whistling, children laughing, mumbled conversations, music, boat motors and at times the sound of a pelican diving for dinner.
On a recent visit, we were surprised to see a limpkin (a large wading bird) near our chairs; the bird’s name derives from its seeming limp while walking. Taking a closer look, we noticed a snail hanging from its bill. Limpkins usually walk in shallow water in search of apple snails, their primary food source. It patiently began pounding the snail on the concrete boat ramp. After several minutes it came even closer to us. Quietly we observed how the wader utilized its down-curved bill with tweezers-like action to remove every bit of the snail from the shell. How fascinating to see that nothing distracted this bird from its daily snail. We never know what surprises nature has in store for us. Look up, look down and all around.