12 years use to seem like such a long time, and yet just 12 years ago I met my Lily in the delivery room at Halifax Hospital in Daytona. She was looking rather bored this weekend, and so I asked her if she needed an adventure, and she said she wanted to go to the beach and then Pasha for her birth day. So we loaded up the car, grabbed her little sister, and made our way back to her homeland. Lily is a water baby and even before she knew how to swim, she claimed she did. My neighbor, in Lake Panasoffkee, believed her, but then had to pluck her from the pool when she realized Lily wasn't swimming. She is great in the water now, and though she does not care for pools, she loves the Ocean and the Springs.
It was a beautiful day at Ponce, and no, I did not bring a fishing rod. I am a father also, but with fishing gear I revert quickly to a little boy, and it was my oldest's birth day so we let her take the lead.
The salt air and water worked wonder for our allergies. It will clear your head in no time, and make you wonder how it is that you ever got so far away.
The water was beautiful and clean; I love the transitions of green and blue.
Oh the joys of having a younger sibling. Lily is changing a lot and often seeks solace away from Drew's antics. They are funny though, if they are apart then she misses her, but as soon as they are together a fight ensues.
I believe these are Sand Pipers, and what lovely markings they have.
There were a few gopher tortoises out munching foliage, and some apple slices that a tourist provided.
Above is one of my favorite African cichlids from Lake Malawi. Demasoni have such deep color and beautiful contrast. One of my favorite aquarium set ups is a simple colony of these with a colony of Labidochromis.
I spent a lot of time at Daytona Aquarium as a young man, and Gary Johnson was not only my boss for a time, but always my friend. He put up with a very zealous and obsessed hobbyist and took me to places that would have been inaccessible otherwise. I saw fish farms, lived in the side of his shop and poured through books on tropical fish daily. There was really no one around that offered the quality of cichlids he kept and also bred. I remember shipping to customers all over and Gary often indulging me with keeping something rare in the shop. When Lily was born, he was one of the first people there to welcome her to Daytona, and time really does go by too fast; it has been years since I had the chance to talk to him. We spoke a bit yesterday but that shop is always so busy with hobbyist on the weekends.
A beautiful day, God has truly blessed me with some wonderful children. Happy birth day Lily, I will try to get you back to the coast more often.
Thank God for Pasha too, that was great!
Forty years old and still in awe of the outdoors.