Sunday, July 20, 2008

Walk #12

This morning we made a quick stop by the 7/11 for coffee, and then made our way to Sanibel’s East End to begin our walk.

It was still a little dark as we started out the boardwalk. A small owl was sitting on the handrail and I think we startled each other.

As I looked to the East, you could barely see light on the horizon.

I looked to the West and saw the moon still shining brightly. Just as I looked, I saw another small bright spot, as I watched I thought I could see it moving, but I think it was up too high to be a plane. Now I’m wondering if it could have been the International Space Station or Genesis 1. My guess is the ISS because it’s supposed to be the brightest and what I saw was very bright. I looked it up later when we got home and the fly by time for our area code was at 6:12 AM, WNW; exactly right! I just wish my little cell phone camera could have captured it.

Walking out onto the beach was nice this morning because after we walked out from between the trees and bushes we were met by a cool, tropical breeze. The water was shining on the sand as the waves came and went.

I looked down to take a closer look and then took a picture of a crab that I expected to start running off sideways. But I’m afraid he was a ‘Crusty Crab’ because he didn’t move at all. (I hope it isn’t any of Hermie’s family, Chris.)

This morning, nearly the entire beach looked like a minefield that had all detonated. We’ve never seen so many holes!

There was another of those strange alien symbols too.

We were supposed to watch for red drift algae this morning and report in, as to whether we saw any or not. Everything on the tide line was sea grass until we got nearly to the light house.

Some of the things you see on the beach make you wonder. Why is a partial ear of corn with a couple of bites out of it, floating in on a wave?

Seems to me there are always coconuts floating in; but who knows from where?

The sun began to make a colorful glow in the sky that changed every few minutes. It was like watching a slide show as you looked toward the East and gradually turned to look back to the West.

Evidently some little girl was having a tea party and had to leave in a hurry.

I guess her mother had to hurry off with her!

Suddenly it was like someone turned a switch, changing the cool air to very warm. It was really strange and quite noticeable. Both of us turned to look at the other, like what happened. Very strange!

As the light house came into view, so did a HUGE pile of trash that had been left under the trees right behind one of the houses. There were two big bags and a carton full of glass beer bottles, fast food wrappers and other trash. We filled up 2 large trash bags to carry around to the dumpster.

After getting disgruntled over the trash situation, it’s always uplifting to walk back to the beach to such a beautiful view.

We noticed a couple of new signs along the edge of the beach today.

Looking through the trees at the sun as you walk along is wonderful.

Surprisingly we had not seen one person on the beach this morning until we reached the fishing pier. There were a lot of people and birds there. We had also begun to see a little more red algae mixed in with the seaweed.

On the other side of the pier there was a small amount of red algae also floating in the water.

A Snowy White Egret was limping as it walked in the water. I stood looking at it, but couldn’t see a problem with either of its legs. It must have been from an old injury. I could tell that it kept the bird from moving around as quickly as it would normally.

I looked back toward the pier and thought….maybe that’s why the Egret is here. It probably knows that the fishermen will be tossing fish back in that direction.

We had to make another stop to pull fishing line out of the bushes. It looked like someone had set up a booby trap because it had cans, bottles and other things tied into it and strung from limb to limb. Go figure!
We passed a man standing out in the water fishing. He seemed to be concentrating on the task at hand because he didn’t look up as we passed.
A little further on there was a lady sitting on a seawall sorting through a pile of tiny shells.
On the other side of the wall two children were wading in the water, along with their parents.
Just before reaching access to the street, I noticed I could still see the moon.

As we left the beach, I did my usual backward glance. The sun was so bright that I had to step around the corner to take my last picture.

As we walked up the street, I did have to take a couple more pictures, one of some of the pretty blooming flowers.

The last one was a joke for a friend.

Hmmm, did somebody take the ‘Turtle Crossing’ sign?
(Just kidding....this isn't the same one that I posted last week.)

Till next week.............

Did you know?

After incubating beneath the surface of the sand for approximately two months, the young turtles will begin to hatch out of their shells. The temperature of the sand surrounding the sea turtle eggs determines their gender. Higher temperatures produce females and lower temperatures produce males.

Hatchlings may remain within the egg chamber several days after hatching. Hatchlings found in the process of crawling out of their shell are called pipped. The movement of fully hatched and pipping turtles while in the egg chamber serves to loosen the sand, allowing it to trickle down to the bottom of the nest. This process acts as a sort of elevator: the greater the movement caused by hatchlings, the greater the amount of sand filtering down to the bottom of the nest, there by elevating the turtles closer to the surface.

Emergence occurs primarily at night. The temperature of the surface sand and sun/ambient temperature during incubation are key factors that determine when hatchlings will emerge from their nest. Once the surface layers of the beach cool after sunset or after a rain storm, the turtles will 'erupt' en mass and proceed to crawl down the beach to the water. Hatchlings orient themselves to light reflected off the water and beach, away from the darker vegetated areas typically found landward along the beach. Over a hundred hatchlings may emerge from a nest at one time. The journey from the nest to the sea can be hazardous. Crabs and birds stand by to feed on the young turtles and, once in the water, various fishes await the vulnerable young prey. Any babies still on the beach in the morning are easily picked off by predators or die in the hot sun. It’s not an easy life being a baby turtle!


ChrisC and JonJ said...

Hernie says that looks like it could be his mother.
And that sign has me wondering about you-know-who.They are in to contraband.....

Tootie said...

Hermie....That makes me very sad, but now that you know, I hope it puts your mind at ease.

About the contraband....I'm still thinking on that one. :-)