The laguna is starting to fill.
And it is its own performance art.
Not the type that upsets taxpayers when they discover their hard-earned money has been shelled out to a woman smeared in chocolate syrup reciting her own poetry translated into Urdu.
Nope. The natural kind.
This year the laguna was opened to the sea to mitigate the flood damage that was expected from the recent tropical storm. It worked. To a degree. If it had breached on its own, the flooding would have been far worse.
As a result of The Great Flush, the laguna’s character took on a Jekyll-Hyde switch. Though it is hard to tell which is which.
With the water went the water hyacinth and water cabbage in the main channel. And all sorts of garbage, snakes, spiders, crabs, and fish. Maybe even the odd crocodile.
For the crocodiles, the drain was a boon. They had their own beach free from human bother.
But that is all gone. The water is rising. And things are returning to normal. The crocodiles are now destined to skulk through the tule.
Without its hyacinth-cabbage cover, the water surface reflects the natural beauty parade around its shore.
And the wildlife is returning. Some of them new to me, like this ringed Kingfisher doing a credible Woody Woodpecker impersonation. A shot that somehow reminds me of my friend Howard Platt and how much I miss him at moments like this.
Or this great Egret. The Norma Desmond of the waders.
Even this Everglades Kite is new. I am accustomed to seeing the male, but I think this is the first time I noticed the female. Maybe I was wrong about him being a rogue loner. He may not be the compatriot I thought he was.
Even my little inlet is coming back to life. With a little more water, I may be able to gather up the dead cabbage and snag the living rafts.
It would be nice to start a new cycle with a clean surface. Before my friend the crocodile returns in full residence.