Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fourth Turtle Walk of 2010

We're still having very pleasant nights, around 72 degrees. Today the high temperature reached 87, but with a NW wind, it was very nice on the beach.

When we first started our turtle walk this morning, just before daylight, there wasn't much air moving and it seemed a little warm. The Moonflowers were still in full bloom, but were closed when we returned.

As soon as we walked out onto the beach, we felt a nice breeze. The eastern sky was glowing from the approaching sunrise.

As we walked to the waters' edge, we were greeted by jumping Mullet. :) We walked along watching them for quite a while. There have actually been studies as to why Mullets jump like they do. Some think they are taking breaths of fresh air because the water has a depleted supply, to rid themselves of parasites, or simply playing. Whatever the reason, it's quite entertaining. I tried to catch a shot of one in mid-air, but with my little cell phone camera, that didn't happen. The one below, does show the water after the fish went under. :)

This one actually shows the water splash! :)

There were a lot of small shells on the beach.

This appears to have been a big fish.

Someone must have made and decorated their own beach umbrella holder.

A lone fisherman.

An 18" hole, just waiting for a foot. :)

It was a pretty uneventful walk. There was even a lack of trash. The only thing I picked up was one balloon. Yay!!! There were no signs of turtle activity in our zone. We only saw one Snowy Plover that appeared to be hiding a baby under her wing.

Shells I carried home.

What if the oil spill does reach Sanibel Island, an article written by
Eric Taubert.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Third Turtle Walk of 2010

The temperature when we first started out wasn't too warm, since the temperature was down to 74 last night. When we left the house, there wasn't a leaf or palm frond moving and it felt pretty humid. That made us think we would be eaten alive by noseeums on the beach. Today was our 3rd turtle walk of the season and we still have no nests in our zone. I was so thankful when I walked onto the beach and there was a good breeze blowing. It was strong enough to keep the noseeums away. YAY!

We walked straight out from the Buttonwood Access and there was a dolphin swimming past. That was a great way to start the walk.

There were only a few people out at first, but by the time the sun came up there were a lot more.

My good humor was dampened a little when we reached the first area marked off for the Snowy Plover nesting. There were beer cans scattered all over the place. As we were picking them up, I noticed one can in the nesting area, that I had to leave. There were also foot prints inside the roped off area. Looked like they came onto the beach from the backside of it and just walked though to one side, where they obviously partied for a while. Then walked back inside, toward the front the enclosure and walked all the way across it again. What jerks! I have a more fitting name for them, but can't use it here. :(

It's such a shame that some people just don't appreciate nature. There was the tiniest little baby plover there this morning, that I have seen. It was so cute. You could hardly see it running across the sand. Those jerks
could have stepped on it last night in the dark, while it was sleeping. Or they could have mashed eggs in a nest. :( Their nests are just a shallow little dent in the sand with the eggs laying in it. They aren't easily noticed.

It's a great start to your day, when you watch the sunrise, while walking on the beach.

There were lots of pelicans hanging around today in large groups. I really didn't see them doing much fishing, they must have already had their breakfast.

There were three distinctive tide lines with shells scattered along each of them. There was also some green sea grass. I noticed yesterday, while crossing the causeway, that there was really a big amount of it floating in the bay.

People should smooth these sandcastles out at the end of the day, and fill holes, which they aren't doing. But I have to admit that I enjoy looking at what people consider beach art.

It's like they say, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

This was quite a surprise. Our first nesting sea turtle of the season. :)

We walked the one mile distance of our zone, before looking at any shells, and I was getting anxious to take a closer look to see what I might find.

When we turned to start going back the way we came, I saw a green sea anemone. I hadn't seen a green one before, so I had to stop to look it over. I'm thinking, maybe it's that color from eating green sea grass, since it appeared to have washed in with the grass.

I did my research and then decided to add this:The green sea anemone’s color is caused partly by pigments in its epidermis and partly by single-celled green algae living in it’s tissues. Certain individuals living in crevices away from sunlight tend to lack the algae; they are white. If you want to know more....

The castoff shell of a Horseshoe Crab.

There weren't many of what I call 'good shells'. Most of them were arks. But with so many white shells there, I wondered just how many Baby Ears may have been there, and I walked right past without seeing them. I wish I had an eye for those like some of my friends do.

I'm not really sure what this shell is, I think it is a Wentletrap. The top part looks like a Wentletrap but the bottom half is a little different than the white ones. I've found a couple of others like it before. ??Anybody??

A Sanibel police officer on the beach, stopping to talk to people now and then. I also saw him come to a stop, get out and walk over to pick up a plastic water bottle someone had dropped after we went through, picking up two bags full of trash. Thank you officer. :)

By bending way over and looking closely, I was finding small shells I wanted, along the way. It was beginning to get pretty warm out before we got back, so I didn't look as carefully as I would have liked. It always amazes me, after so many people have already looked these tide lines over, you can still find a lot of shells, especially the tiny ones.

I was walking across this area that had been a shallow tidal pool and found a Wentletrap. I had just been thinking that it was disappointing I hadn't found one this morning, and there it was! I found a teeny little mac n cheese a while before, so my morning was complete.

Today's treasures.

I'm hopeful we will find a nest next week.