Thursday, June 17, 2010

Seventh Walk of 2010

Today was our 7th turtle walk of the season. As we walked out onto the sand, it wasn't the usual powder that we normally walk through for a short distance. This morning the sand was packed down from the rain storm last night and felt crunchy as we walked. The beach was pretty but it was super hot, even as we started, before the sun came up. Not a breeze was blowing on the first 2/3rds of our walk. It helped keep my mind off the heat, looking at dolphins, birds, pink clouds, the sunrise and sand art, which are always pleasant distractions.

Many small seashells were left scattered by the receding tide.

Keyhole Limpets, like the one below, are fascinating. They look like lifeless shells, but an animal lives inside. It invites a worm to live under its shell, then when a starfish comes to attack, the worm pops out and bites the starfish to scare it away. Limpets can also run away from attackers, but they can only run a few inches an hour. They make a groove in a rock to live in, only coming out at night to eat algae. They follow the trail they made while eating to get back to their rock. Limpets get hit by thousands of waves a day, but because of their dome shape, don't get rolled around like other shells. Limpets live in tidal pools and other animals can live on the spots they have cleaned. When oil is spilled along the shore, limpets die. If they aren’t there to clear the plants, other tide pool animals can’t find homes to live. Chemicals from the Keyhole Limpet are being tested in the treatment of cancer. This discovery is just one reason why tide pool animals are important and should be protected. They are just one tiny expample of sealife that is in danger now, because of the huge ongoing oil disaster. This is an empty shell, but if you happen to see a Limpet on the side of a rock, give him a break and don't try pulling him off, because that will cause him harm.

A happy fisherman.

A happy sandman?

A mermaid on her way back to sea.

A fish out of water.

Two happy shellers, digging through someone's pile of cast offs.

A new sea turtle this week, but it hadn't dug a nest.

While I'm sure these are all fun to make and enjoyable to look at, they are like a maze sea turtles have to make their way through to find a suitable place to nest. I think their lives are already difficult enough. :( Maybe a turtle would just come to shore, take a look, and go back out to sea. It's pretty sad that we don't know how to share with the wildlife. They have no choice, but to share with us.

A group of chairs that were left out all night on the beach. There are signs all over the place, telling people not to do this. There are also signs by the condo pools, also telling guests not to take chairs away from the pool area, but here they are.

Two male Boat-Tailed Grackles were making beautiful noise to the female, trying to get her to choose between them. But from what I could see, she was playing hard to get.

Their black iridescent feathers looked beautiful in the sunlight.

This pile of chairs has been laying on the beach over a week. :(

Part of a Worm Shell and a Bubble Shell.

An Apple Murex and a Scallop.

Juvenile Florida Fighting Conch.

Another sea turtle and a friend.

Sea Horse

I hate to tell you this, but I had to confiscate Mr. Sandman's Corona eye lids.

Look for the treasure below.

It's a Juvenile Horse Conch. :)

Woo~Hoo, see if you can find the next one. :)

Yes, another brighter colored one.

There's another small treasure lurking below.

A small Apple Murex.

A Button Shell and a tiny piece of coral.

A Rough Scallop and snorkle trash. :)

There was a light breeze on the way back, but still hot, and the temperature soon was 92. We still have no sea turtle nesting in our zone.


Native Mom said...

Thanks to you, I'm now a Limpet Fan!

sue in mexico mo said...

Tootie, do you know the number to call to report beach violations? If so, do you call and is anything done?

When I'm in Sanibel next month I am going to make it my mission to get the correct number and report things like that awful pile of chairs.

The rules of the beach and the number to report violations should be posted in EVERY rental unit in Sanibel. Actually, I think they are posted in each unit where we stay, Ocean's Reach. I hope that most violators are just ignorant, not lazy uncaring tourists.

Getting down off my soap box now