Wavy Skies

It has been so long since I posted anything here on my blog that I've almost forgotten how. But with the start of a new year — it already being January 4, 2016 — I thought it time. That, along with a most unusual sky this morning, was a much needed stimulus.

Yesterday was rainy all day and our unseasonably warm winter was replaced by some chilly temperatures this morning. Well, chilly for Central Florida at 48ยบ.
It seemed that the lingering clouds had more waves than the ocean. And the sun was only apparent while looking North. Say what?  That rosy glow on the horizon was due north.

This shot is looking South. So you be the judge of whether the world has been turned topsy-turvy today. Have a wonderful 2016.

"Cue The Birds..."

Someone mentioned that I haven't been posting to this blog lately and I realized that I've been posting to Facebook instead, so here's a recent FB post shared here:

I was walking with a friend on the beach this morning and stopped to snap a photo of our lovely sunrise. As I was readying the camera, she said "cue the birds." 
Huh? I was looking at the tiny screen and didn't even see them... until I got to the finished product. A string of pelicans, right on cue. smile emoticon

First Day of 2015 Turtle Patrol

What a Turtle Day! May 4 was my first day of turtle patrol for the 2015 season. First we were dealing with strong winds, high tide, and rain. (I borrowed a rain jacket that two people could probably fit into.) Then we sadly came across two dead turtles and one sick turtle which I had to hold in my arms all the way to the turtle hospital. Luckily it was a small green turtle and only weighed about 20-25 pounds. These guys can grow to 300+ pounds.

But that's not all. While patrolling the beach (me clutching the sick turtle) our ATV dropped it's drive train and we were stranded in the sand far away from any beach access. Fortunately the beach patrol responded quickly to our calls. Unfortunately the beach patrol vehicle got stuck in the soft sand while trying to rescue us. Another beach patrol vehicle came to help out and also got stuck in the sand. After much consternation, head scratching and planning how to complete our patrol of the beach, we eventually got off the beach, got a ride, and left our poor ATV immobile on the beach. 
Yes, there was a positive outcome. At low tide a tow truck came and picked up our ATV which has since been repaired. The only thing that remains — even after a week of tides and rain — are deep ruts in the heavy sand from stuck vehicles and the tow truck and of course my memories of this day won't soon be forgotten. Nor will the tongue-in-cheek comments from fellow patrol people about me being too heavy for the ATV. 

A new walk in the woods

My goodness it seems I haven't been on this little blog for ages. But after a delightful walk in the woods today and many, many photos I just had to share. Friends told me about this little piece of paradise and after twice being thwarted by "Trail Closed" signs and then on another occasion by rain. Today I made it.

Not being put off by the threat of alligators, today I was successful in my quest for a new walk in the woods. 
A 2.75 mile trail past salt marshes, through the woods, over sand dunes and then arriving at the top of a dune to view a sea of saw palmetto. 

It was wonderful. just wonderful. I can't wait to do this again.

Snow... Florida style

Considering the balmy December weather — I've been in shorts and short sleeves the past couple of days — it was a delight this morning to see Florida's version of SNOW on the beach... Sea foam. 
Mounds and mounds of "snow" all along the beach as far as the eye can see.
Many of us former northerners have commented that this is as close to snow as we care to get nowadays. You don't have to shovel this stuff and it isn't cold.

According to Wikipedia: Sea foamocean foambeach foam, or spume is a type of foam created by the agitation of seawater, particularly when it contains higher concentrations of dissolved organic matter (including proteinslignins, and lipids)[1] derived from sources such as the offshore breakdown of algal blooms. These compounds can act as surfactants or foaming agents. As the seawater is churned by breaking waves in the surf zone adjacent to the shore, the presence of these surfactants under these turbulent conditions traps air, forming persistent bubbles that stick to each other through surface tension. Due to its low density and persistence, foam can be blown by strong on-shore winds from the beachface inland.

Sunny progression

Upon my pre-dawn arrival at the beach, the offshore clouds looked very much like a ridge of mountains in the distance. A fellow beach walker affirmed my thought with a cheery "it looks like we're at the mountains."
As we walked, the sun made its progress towards brightening our day and we were anticipating its effect upon our mountains. Here it comes...
Ah, ha... now slipping again behind the "mountains."  
Then just peeking over the wall to brighten our day. It wasn't too long before mighty Ol' Sol had obliterated any hint that we may have garnered of living in the mountains by the sea.
No matter how you look at it... a great start to any day.

Be Strong Baby Turtle

Working with the Turtle Patrol this season has been one of the most rewarding, exhilarating, sometimes sad, but also one filled with a lot of aw-w-w-w moments. Watching this little guy head off to sea was one of those aw-w-w moments.

After 60 days and much tidal over-washing, my last assigned nest finally had an emergence, i.e. the baby turtles hatched and emerged from their clutch to head to life in the Atlantic Ocean. Three days after that event we evaluate the success of the nest by digging it out to count the eggs that hatched (78 on this one); check for unhatched eggs and to see if there are any baby turtles who are still alive and for whatever reason unable to escape. 
This particular nest had two live babies and after I freed them, headed off to sea to hopefully grow and thrive and maybe in 20+ years come back to this beach to lay a new clutch of eggs and start the process all over again. 
Mother Nature is truly marvelous, she has been doing this with turtles for more than 25 million years. Amazing.