Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mangroves And Mysteries Beyond the Bling

A cold front swept through South Florida, bringing the wind chill on the beach as low as 21 degrees last week, so if you see some winter jackets and heavy sweaters here in my photos of this part of the Sunshine State, you will know why.

Adventurers, we are,but considering the cold air, we decided to forgo a canoe/kayak trip to the Everglades for the Oleta River, backyard of Trump Towers and the other trendy monoliths of Sunny Isles, Florida. Brian and I were accompanied in our venture by my good friend noted poet Alex Cigale, who shared the canoe with me while Brian took off in his homemade painted kayak.

There is another world out there in the river of ibises and herons and mangroves that harkens back to a time when Miami was covered in lush gorgeous greens, abundant tropical flowers, and the wildlife that fed off it, and we discovered that the Oleta River, once you abandon the view of the city, is still, thankfully, very much alive. It was fascinating to see all the little bridges and the warning signs to watch for manatees, and then even an old abandoned ship was lurking out there to add some mystery.

Brian was a champ at maneuvering his kayak along the miles of river, which halfway out decided to throw us some unexpected surprises when the current started turning against us. The water was cold and deep and I knew that my heavy jeans would be a burden if the canoe capsized. I was thankful that navigator Alex moved it swiftly and confidently and even assured me that he could "probably" save me from drowning!

The photos tell the story of three adventurers having a wonderful time at sea on a cold day in North Miami Beach, very much the way it used to be.

Photos from top to bottom: Abandoned ship faces Sunny Isles towers, Alex guiding the old canoe, Brian gliding in his homemade kayak, flocks of ibises, Sandy beach beyond the cities' high rises, Taking a time out in winter garb.