A dictionary provides two different definitions of “coast”.

  1. Noun – the land near a shore : seashore
  2. Verb (intransitive) – to proceed easily without special application of effort or concern

Not too long ago, Gini and I visited the “land near a shore” where we were very careful to “proceed easily without special application of effort or concern” for a few days. Hard work, but SOMEONE has to do it!

As the philosopher/sailor/singer, Jimmy Buffet, sings:

“These changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, Nothing remains quite the same. Through all of the islands and all of the highlands, If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane”

I’m happy to report there was much laughter and we returned no more insane than when we departed.

The coast is a wonderful place for us. In our sub-tropical paradise, the salt water is warm and the currents gentle. Sand caresses your toes and there is always a fresh breeze to cool your brow. We attempted to overdose on boiled fresh shrimp but were unsuccessful. There were plenty of birds to see especially if you put forth the effort to visit a few different environments. But we constantly reminded each other of that pesky definition. To coast: “to proceed easily without special application of effort or concern”. We wouldn’t want to violate an actual definition.

Here’s some stuff we saw while we were coasting through the days at the coast.

Sunrise from the back porch of the houseboat.



Ring-billed Gulls were abundant. And noisy.



Across the marsh a prescribed burn in the nearby national forest produced what Gini called a “smoke monster”. Happily, it didn’t head our direction.



A bright male Northern Cardinal provided a nice splash of color in the reeds of the marsh.



Sunsets were somewhat spectacular. A Great Blue Heron headed home after a day’s fishing.



On our second day, we drove into the national forest (past that burn area!) for a little exploration. Sunrise along the way caught our attention.



In the heavily wooded forest, a Hermit Thrush was curious about us.



A male American Kestrel was annoyed with us because he was tracking a small critter in the understory.



Back on the houseboat, we watched a pair of Bald Eagles fish as the tide receded. The two mates, perched on that sign made me think of Gini and I. Like the eagles, we’re partners for life and like the sign says, we’re going through life at a slow pace trying not to create much fuss.



The Laughing Gulls always sounded the alert when they saw us on the porch, hoping we had brought a helping of shrimp for them. Nope.



Brown Pelicans are fun to watch as they soar and dive onto a school of fish, scooping them up with their net-like beaks.



A final sunset from the porch. Heading home in the morning. Sigh.



We coasted to the coast and back again. Can’t wait for an encore. If you don’t have a coast nearby, coast away somewhere special for a day or two. Laugh a lot so you don’t go insane.


Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit.

Categories: Birds, Florida, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Coast

  1. This wonderful post, Wally, has clarified in my head a major factor as to why Lindsay and I fell in love with the Outer Hebrides on our recent, and first, visit. The islands are such that we were rarely more than a mile or two from the coast, much of the time we were driving at less than 5mph, and we dined almost exclusively on fresh seafood (prawns, langoustine, lobster, scallops, salmon, etc.). Our experience seems to reflect your own – OK, so we didn’t have your exotic temperatures, but we had great weather and miles of white-sand beaches with the only footprints being those of the birds, and a few of our own!

    Keep on coasting!

    With my very best wishes to you and Gini – – – – Richard

  2. What can I say except that I thoroughly enjoyed your coasting? I guess that makes you a coaster – a useful piece of kit where a glass of cold beer can be left, safe in the knowledge that the beer will still be in place later.

    A Hard Life you do not lead my friend.

    • One small correction: “… a glass can be left …” There is no guarantee such beer will “still be in place later”.

      Yes, this difficult life is not for the weak of spirit. Which is why I married Gini.

  3. Such a hard life you lead.
    Laughter does indeed keep me sane(ish).
    Thanks for the beauty you shared.

    • As long as we’re laughing, we don’t have time to go crazy! Thank you, EC.
      We hope you weekend has been great!

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