One of the tiny Oyster Keys floats in Florida Bay earlier this month a short paddle from Everglades National Park's Flamingo Visitor Center.
I was paddling my kayak on the mirror smooth waters of Florida Bay when two tiny dots off on the horizon caught my eye. Out there where the blue sky meets the even bluer water I had no idea how many miles into the distance I could see. But it was far enough for my mind to imagine the curving of the earth causing some distant islands to slip below the waterline just far enough for me to barely detect the tippy tops of the three-story tall mangrove trees.
I knew I was just an hour of paddling from the mainland, about four miles out, but with my back to the shore and my face into the sun facing South West, I pretended I was lost in a vast wilderness and needed to reach those distant fuzzy dots in order to survive.
At low tide the the mangroves revealed a tiny opening on the lee side just big enough for me to beach my kayak on dry land, climb out and begin soaking in the amazing sounds emanating from this island about the size of a city home lot. A chatty king fisher scolded me and great blue heron squawked, seemingly to complain about my presence. But a cricket hidden under a rotten log didn't seem to mind, nor the thousands of bees seeking nectar from the mangrove flowers high up in the forest canopy. I popped on my headphones and set up my recorder and began to preserving the sound of my wilderness island.
iPhone & iPad friendly link to audio recording.
During my assignments and travels I've been recording the sounds I overhear, and many don't have supporting photographs or stories. This occasional series will be my excuse to share my audio orphans, these Sounds Overheard.