My kids and I were back in Florida this April visiting my parents, and again we visited the beach a couple of times. Soon after we made our first visit, we “put it out there” that we would see something (marine animal) we’ve never seen before, something that would be a nice surprise. About two minutes later, five stingrays appeared just feet from where we were walking along the beach. That was the first time we ever saw stingrays in the Florida Gulf, or anywhere in the “wild,” for that matter. Then we saw eleven together. And we saw more again and again throughout the day. It was a wonderful reminder to just ask!
When we went back to the Gulf to watch the sunset one evening, my daughter again asked for a “happy surprise,” something she hadn’t yet seen in the ocean. Minutes later, she found a brittle star (see picture—unfortunately, we lost the stingray photos). Then five minutes later we saw another one. We had never seen a brittle star before.