As with many vacation spots in the world right now Florida is not immune to the ramifications COVID has caused on tourism. The snowbirds, as they call those from Canada, have not made their way south for the winter. The locals seem to have Florida to ourselves; at least was the case when I was on the west coast of the peninsula this past December. My great friend of many years and her companion welcomed me into their beautiful home with the warmest hospitality. She shared her love of the beautiful sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico the first night I was there, as well as her love of shelling.
I had never heard of the past time of shelling. The wonderfully relaxing time of looking for shells is not new to me, but in Florida the act takes on a new level. The shells must be empty of its inhabitant to take off of Shell Island, just south of Marco Island. Shell Island is apart of Ten Thousand Islands. Guides await to take people out on their boats to go shelling. They offer advice of the best places on the island, and good conversation if you so want. We were booked in the afternoon, assuring another beautiful sunset.
Bird watching is another favorite past time in Florida. The pipers pull their delights out of the sand as they try to seemingly run away from the surf. The pelicans are a favorite to watch as they glide just over the water to find fish to eat. It has been said, I am not sure where, that they give us a look into the creatures of prehistoric times. Various other birds appear oblivious to those enjoying walks on the beach, as they hunt for their food. There is something to be said about the tranquility of winter in Florida along the coast. No wonder people from the north migrate there every year, and many more retire or just move there.