On March 16, I spotted a distant object in the sky that appeared to be a helicopter flying dangerously low. A quick look into my binoculars let me get a closer look at this star falling from the sky. I did not wish upon this star. I think I would’ve wished for  better ways  to celebrate occasions without balloons. Michelle had her eyes on it, but it flew off to the other side of the road and continued its journey. I believe this will be the case for most balloons in any wilderness.

It is easy to believe that our National Parks are invincible. We mostly get to see them from a tourist spot where the sites are a marvel. Some people, like me and the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow crew, get to go deep and encounter how humans are affecting these areas.

On April 18, Katy and I were headed to explore a new plot. We scared up a ground dove and looked to see if we would find a nest. As we searched, I spotted something shiny out of the corner of my eye. A balloon with the character Olaf from Frozen was crinkled within the grass. It’s easy to forget that the Everglades lies right next to civilization (remember my blog post, The Everglades to Myself?), but after finding this balloon, it was hard to forget.

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During helicopter training, we were told that these balloons may be confused for someone using a mirror to signal for help. The pilots have stopped when they see something shining on the ground because they don’t want to risk ignoring someone in distress, but will usually find that it’s just a balloon.