Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Daybreak at Salt Springs

While on a camping trip with my family, I woke up early one morning while most of the other campers were still sleeping. I was awakened by the sounds of pileated woodpeckers hammering away high in the pine trees surrounding our campsite. Nature's alarm clock was sounding, telling us it was time to greet the day. I decided to take a walk down to the springs while it was still quiet. As I walked the path down to the springs, I noticed a couple of deer and a fawn, still with its spots, standing at the edge of the woods. I stood motionless for a moment and watched them until they spotted me and darted off into the woods. As I continued my walk, I was caught by surprise by several wild turkeys gobbling loudly as they crossed the path in front of me. The site of them made me chuckle. Looking out over the springs and toward the lake, there was a thin layer of fog lying over the water like a blanket. The sun was coming up and looked as if it were just perched on the water, slowly rising to start a new day. The otters came out to play; I watched in utter delight as they frolicked in the cool water as if they hadn't a care in the world. Suddenly the springs were bustling with activity; there were coots, ducks, and cormorants gliding across the water occasionally dunking their heads below for a bite to eat. Several egrets and a great blue heron took flight and landed on the banks of the water in search of their morning meal. I watched as the fish performed a ballet, springing from the water as if elated at the site of this beautiful morning. As I witnessed this miracle of nature, I thought to myself, it just doesn't get any better than this. There is no better way to start a day, and I was grateful to have been able to see it.

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