Okay…in the interest of equal time (and because I CAN’T find my door photo!) I am sharing photos today of ‘the one that didn’t get away’. 😀
I love walking the pier at Ponce Inlet and there is always something special to capture with my camera lens. I am always ready to freeze those special moments when a fisherman gets something on his line; and in this case, the young man had good reason to be excited.
This one was a beauty!
I do believe I heard him ask his girlfriend to get a photo for his Mom to see. So sweet.
On the other hand, the redfish doesn’t seem so happy…..
which brings me to another fish story.
Two days ago I took a long walk on the beach. I forgot my earbuds and instead spent my three miles listening to the voice of the ocean, absorbing every ray of sunshine onto my skin and into my soul. As I made my way back up the beach I saw something large and glistening a few yards ahead. My heart skipped a beat, thinking I was about to find a beautiful treasure served up by the ocean, some exotic seashell to take home. Imagine my surprise and mild horror when I realized the truth of what lay exposed and helpless on the sand at my feet.
At first I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Then I wondered if the waves were washing up dead sealife. As I got closer I realized the mullet, about 8 inches long and quite fat, was still trying to breathe, its gills vibrating and mouth moving. The tide had been coming in with fairly hefty rolls and I surmised the poor victim had merely been caught up in a large wave and dumped into the little inlet, left there to die.
I looked around and quickly realized…
This fellow was not alone!
There were two similarly sized fish, both stranded, both gasping for breath. The only birds around were sandpipers and I thought what an awful death my silvery friends would face-slow suffocation as small ‘beach chickens’ pecked their eyes out, leaving their bodies to rot beneath the heat of the evening sun. I couldn’t bear the thought. So I picked the first one up by its tail fin. It was heavier than I thought and didn’t fight me. Was I too late? I quickly took it into the surf and walked out far enough to get it into the tide that rolled and tossed it into a retreating wave. The fish wiggled and swam away as I held my breath, waiting to see if it would just get washed back onto shore. No! It was gone.
So I went back for the other. It wriggled more but allowed me to hold onto its tail and make the same short trek into the waves where I tosed it in just like the first. I watched as it swam away, into the surf. I held my breath.
Did they make it? Would they soon become dinner for one of the dozens of pelicans scouring the shoreline for snacks? I have no idea. I only know they didn’t take their last breaths lying in the sand, with a final vision of that brilliant sunset to become their last memory of life.
This is my own fish story-and I’m sticking to it.