Saturday, July 16, 2016

Fourth of July Fireworks over Lake Killarney.

A week before July 4th, I sat on the end of a dock with my toes in the water admiring a gorgeous sunset over Lake Killarney. The underbellies of the clouds turned a bright watermelon color and the horizon was bright yellow and orange. As the last of the color faded away from the clouds, I heard a series of pops on the far shore. It wasn't the quick hectic sound of a pack of fireworks going off. It sounded more like a series of shots from a rifle with a pause between each trigger pull. Should I keep sitting at the end of this dock, I thought. How far could a bullet travel if shot across the lake. The wood around me didn't splinter, so I lay back and watched the stars. At least a horizontal target was harder to hit. The sound probably was fireworks, but after living through several weeks of Pulse related vigils and fundraisers, I must have experienced a mild case of post traumatic stress disorder. Any loud noise would be associated with an assault rifle.

On July 4th, I returned to the dock to watch fireworks as they illuminated the sky and water. In Orlando there are fireworks every night at Disney, Universal and Sea World, so I had no desire to fight traffic to get close to Lake Eola. Lake Killarney offered a relatively peaceful alternative. The distant fireworks had to compete with a far more inspiring display of heat lightning in the clouds. Odin ignited severe bright light in bolts to the ground which was as impressive as any fireworks burst.

A young couple began setting off mortar tubes which just set up fountains of sparks maybe ten feet high on the boat ramp near where I was sitting. It was fun to watch their childish delight as they would light the fuse and run away. Although not as impressive as a profession show, these smaller fireworks were just as fun. The wildlife, I usually see, were nowhere to be found. The ibis, egrets and a large grey owl were probably as far away from the fireworks as they could be. This human instinct to blow things up isn't part of the natural order.

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