Floridian trio ~ Mama Anhinga and her tots


Veteran boaters call the Anhinga “snakebird” because it swims submerged with only its neck and head undulating above the waterline like a serpent. The lack of waterproof plumage enables it to travel effortlessly underwater in search of fish, but for every advantage there is also a hitch. When soaked to the skin, the Anhinga looses body heat and must find a nearby perch to warm itself after feeding. With spread wings and fan-shaped tail feathers drying in the sun, the Anhinga earns its other nickname, “water turkey.”

I’ve got a lot to learn about these birds, but I do know this. Anhinga Motherhood isn’t for sissies.

Toni 11/21/15




I read so I can live more than one life in more than one place.

So says the wickedly good writer Anne Tyler.  She’s not gritty, glammy, or trendy, but her voice and view of the world always surprise me. With The Accidental Tourist, Tyler raised the fiction bar.


I’m lucky enough to live in more than one place. And I like to believe that living more than one life is possible. Past lives, simultaneous lives, future lives, it’s all good.

But for now, there are plenty of idyllic easy days in this life. Time to read. Time to wander. Time to be an accidental tourist birder.  Like today.

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Surprises in unexpected places, marking another year. (THX, J. ♥)

Well today is your birthday
We’ve traveled so far we two
So let’s blow out the candles on your cake
And we’ll raise a glass or two
And when the sun comes out tomorrow
It’ll be the start of a brand new day
And all that you have wished for I know will come your way

Well surprise, surprise, surprise
Yeah surprise, surprise, surprise
Well surprise, surprise, come on open your eyes




Toni 1/24/15

*This ID-challenged birder has an unreservedly brilliant flock of birding gurus, including blog partner Patty, that comes to my rescue.  THX, Everyone!


NaBloPoMo: When is a Tweet Not a Tweet or a Cormorant Not a Cormorant? When One is the Number of Syllables in an Elizabethan Sonnet and the Other is an Anhinga. (A 420 CHARACTER, 9-LINE POEM)

When is a Tweet Not a Tweet or a Cormorant Not a Cormorant? When One is the Number of Syllables in an Elizabethan Sonnet and the Other is an Anhinga. (A 420 CHARACTER, 9-LINE POEM BY PATTY)

Double-crested Cormorant

Names don’t matter as much as what things ARE:

So, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,”

a Tweet is also the # of syllables in a sonnet*–or IS a sonnet–

and a cormorant is really an anhinga

who tosses & juggles fish so as to swallow it headfirst,

which is what I do when I juxtapose disparate ideas within 420 characters,

a # that USED to be the limit on Facebook “Updates”

but now I them call poems.



* THIS IS BILLY COLLINS commenting on himself and SOCIAL MEDIA (it’s a quote I caught in the NYT and reminded me of the equality of numbers twixt the sonnet syllable count and the Tweet.): “I can proudly say that I’ve never tweeted, but I am struck by the apparent coincidence of the 140 characters — sounds like a Balzac novel — and the 140 syllables in the Elizabethan sonnet. Instead of tweeting that you had great pizza tonight, why not read some haiku byBuson? Doesn’t poetry seem just right for our ever shrinking attention spans?”