Downtown St. Pete

There is a man who fishes all morning

and feeds the birds all afternoon.

He is always surrounded by pelicans,

gulls, even great blue heron, and the

occasional wood stork flock to him for food.

Up at Mirror Lake, the egrets and ibis compete

with the ducks and moorhens for morsels from

office workers on their lunch hours and teenagers

playing hooky from school. Homeless people, too,

are generous with the shore birds and the geese.

One man who admits he gets only one meal a day

still shares what he has with a roseate spoonbill

who has somehow flown in from Fort DeSoto or

Lassing Park. “See,” he says. “This is God’s own

beauty, right here. An Audubon painting, eating

out of my hand.”

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