I have always loved trains. Not in the ‘I must have toy trains’ kind of way, but in the love and awe over this large machine that went so fast. I see that same love in my son’s eyes today. On our little travels across the state of New Mexico, we always managed to see at least one train. Sometimes, multiple trains and the wonderment or excitement never faded. Every time, someone would announce the sighting of a train and we’d look out our car windows with ridiculously huge smiles on our faces. Seeing the trains always made every drive way more fun!!

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As a child growing up on the Florida gulf coast, seeing different birds on a daily basis was quite normal; all different colors, sizes, and shapes. I remember many times fishing with my family, enjoying the outdoors and watching the birds wading in and out of the water for food. The roseate spoonbill was always one of my favorites. Like the American Flamingo, they get their pink color from their diet. This particular bird was not camera shy and allowed me to get up quite close to just sit, watch, and snap away.

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Many of us love to fish and enjoy the outdoors but how many of us do not think about something as simple as the fishing line. We buy what we need to catch the fish but that is as far as it goes. If it breaks we fix it or replace it but what do we do with the broken line? It can be a vicious hazard to many different kinds of birds, causing not only serious injuries but sometimes death.

When a bird gets entangled in a fishing line they tend to struggle which only tightens the line. The bird also has movement restriction that can cause a lack of flight or drowning. If the line is around the bill, it can cause starvation just as swallowing the line restricts food digestion. The line can easily be picked up by birds who mistaken it for nesting materials. This not only can harm the hatchlings but can cause future bird populations to decrease.

Hooks and sinkers are Just as harmful as the fishing line. Hooks can lead to serious infections and the sinkers can cause lead poisoning along with suffering from ingestion.

What can we all do to help the birds? Start by discarding any line that you come across or break while fishing. States like Florida have a monofilament recovery and recycling program where people can deposit old fishing line they find. Many areas have phone numbers posted to call if you find a bird entangled with line or a fishing hook, including bird rescue organizations.

The most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings and how each action we make can help or harm our planet.

Originally built in 1932 by the CCC, this bridge is located at Hillsborough State Park in Florida.

It’s a lovely park with a few  trails to take in the almost primordial forest. There is an abundant amount of  life that we found in just two visits that includes a variety of spiders,  lizards, birds, alligators, snakes, and insects. The only negative that I  could find was the  mosquitoes but that was quickly resolved with some natural  eucalyptus spray found in stores.

There is camping for rv and tents. The sites are nice and mostly covered with trees.

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Curiosity got the best of me one day and I took a drive down a dirt road located in the northwest Rio Rancho, New Mexico area. With intentions to take photos of the small canyon that I believed to be at the end, I came across this beauty all by its lonesome. There was another vehicle at the bottom of the canyon that was tossed over like piece of trash. This one seemed to have been given another fate and left for me to look through and photograph. With appreciation and a sense of  reverence, I captured it forever; unchanged.

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The family and I took a hike up to Williams Lake yesterday. It was exhilarating and gorgeous!!
Williams Lake sits at 10,040 ft above sea level, surrounded by Taos Mountain and Wheeler Peak. This is a beautiful hike and can be quite challenging without the proper foot-wear in the early fall. We hiked up there in sneakers and slid quite a bit. It wound up being fun but fell a few times. I have a few bruises to show for it!All-in-all it was so worth it!!