Sunday, August 3, 2008

Walk #14

The sun is coming up a little later each week, so this morning at 6:00 AM, there was still plenty of time for a stop at 7/11 for coffee first.

It was barely getting light out when we started. There was a dim pink glow just beginning. I could see the light house beacon blinking as I looked through the trees.

The temperature seemed very warm and there wasn't any wind blowing as we crossed over the boardwalk, but the palm fronds were blowing. I suppose we just weren't getting any of that air between the trees.

As we walked out onto the beach, we were met by a very pleasant breeze. There didn’t seem to be many people out yet. I could only see one person walking, further west and one person walking east.

The waves were pretty small this morning and didn’t appear to be bringing in any shells. All I saw were a few scattered ark shells. There were very few birds on the beach this morning. I guess food was a little scarce today.

I had gotten used to looking at the two nests just after beginning the walk. Today there was only one there and it had already hatched too. I wondered if there were any little turtles in there waiting to get out. Someone will go there in the morning to dig the nest, and then we will find out.

It was beginning to get a little lighter out and I could see a man standing with a coffee cup in his hand, looking for the sun to peep out. It was a little cloudy so there wasn’t going to be a pretty sunrise.

There was a lot of sand art left on the beach this morning. The first was a little puzzling; I couldn’t decide if it was a castle, a fort, or a birthday cake.

The second one was a little replica of a castle. Someone had spent the time to do a lot of detail work on it, which doesn’t show up in the picture very well.

I’m not sure what the next one was, maybe an Indian village? It had welcome written with shells, and the whole thing was bordered with sea grass.

Just a little further on, there was an enclosed parking area with a truck parked in it.

The next sand art seemed to be a wall; I’m not sure what it was supposed to be.

I just happened to look up to see a man sitting on the fence of a beach access. He had a camera with a large lens and seemed to be getting focused for a sunrise picture. I think he had to wait a long time for that shot.

We both already had a trash bag full, so we walked up to the public parking area to throw them in the dumpster. We had only just got back out on the beach, when we saw a pile of something sitting a little further on. But first, we had a few more items to pick up; a plastic sand shovel, several empty water bottles, a bread wrapper with left over sandwich pieces in it, chips, ants, ants, and more ants!

Then we got to the pile, and what a mess that was! A whole plastic grocery bag full of empty beer bottles, another bag full of trash and soda cans, another box that was full of left over picnic items, like chicken wings, chicken bones, partially eaten bags of chips and you guessed it, more ants! We both had our hands full and we each had to hold one end of the box together to get it all the way over to the dumpster by the light house. We nearly needed a pack horse for that job.

We walked back out onto the beach, picked up a little more trash, and then went to check out the last turtle nest. It seemed to be just fine.

We were surprised to see that we could walk part of the way around the tip of the island today, although it was a tight squeeze in a few places. We did have to take just a short detour in one spot.

Just at the end of the detour, as we came back out between the trees an osprey was taking flight with a big fish. I’m not sure who startled who, more.

Four men in a fishing boat seemed to be enjoying their early morning adventure.

Your guess is as good as mine on this treasure. Did this Georgia peach float all the way here, or did a bird drop it? I guess we’ll never know the answer to that one!

If you are taking a walk on the beach at night, between the fishing pier and the light house, be careful or you could run into some of the many roots that are partially buried in the sand. Believe me, they can sure do some damage to your shins.

Just past the fishing pier, a Snowy Egret was standing on top of a pile of sea grass, sort of like it was on a pedestal, standing patiently while I took its picture.

Next was the Great Blue Heron that seems to always be there waiting for us to pass by.

There was a lot of sea grass on the beach again today.

The campers were nowhere in sight this morning. They had not left any trash around, except for a couple of plastic cups and the usual deco scattered around in the bushes. GRRR!

We began seeing more shells for a little way, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Looking out across the water, you could still see clouds hiding the sunrise.

An anchored sailboat was a nice photo opportunity with the highest span of the causeway in the background.

As we walked past the big rocks piled at the water’s edge, there was a loader and a bobcat sitting in the homeowner’s yard. So I guess their project of moving the rock is about to begin.
When reaching the spot where we leave the beach, I looked back to see if the sun had come out of hiding yet, but it hadn’t.

It seemed like everyone’s sprinklers were on as we walked up the street, making everything in the yards look sparkling clean. I paused to take a look at another gated entrance, carved into the tall hedges.

I took a picture of this tree with the red flower spikes on it, so I could look it up to find out the name of it. I’ve seen several big, beautiful ones around the island and have been curious.
This is what I found out: It is a Schefflera; sometimes called an Umbrella tree or an Octopus Tree. Unfortunately, this Schefflera is also on Florida's "Don't Plant" list of nuisance trees. Schefflera is a nuisance for three reasons:

It seeds itself very easily causing Schefflera to grow where no one wants a large tree.
Roots are strong, aggressive
and can take over much of the surrounding soil.
Schefflera sheds leaves constantly creating a littered appearance below.

What a shame, I really liked that tree.

When we arrived back at our starting point, I could see the sun shining between the trees, so we’ll have a sunny day after all.

Until next time……

Did you know?

Loggerhead sea turtles are well adapted to life at sea, with long flippers and special glands so they can drink salt water. Some people think that when they lay eggs, they shed ‘Mother’s Tears’, but in fact she is just secreting salt that accumulates in her body.

They are relatively slow swimmers but will put on a burst of speed when threatened. (The largest natural threat to them at sea is sharks and killer whales).

Sea turtles cannot withdraw their heads into their shells; the adults are protected from predators by their shells, large size and thick scaly skin on their heads and necks.

1 comment:

Snowbird said...

I bet Lighthouse Point has never been so clean. God Bless you guys for picking up everyone else's crap. I just don't believe some people!!! Geez!