It’s not often you get this close to a shark. Above are some of the bigger things under water at MOTE Aquarium in Sarasota.
The Aquarium rehabilitates and houses permanently injured turtles, manatees and dolphins. The turtle above was missing an eye.
We don’t have crocodiles in the Tampa Bay area, at least not yet. They can be found in areas much farther south including the Everglades. I’ve never seen one out in wild. They look very comical, almost like a cartoon.
Why would anyone go hang out next to a power plant? Because they use the water in the bay to cool the towers. The warm water comes out in the channel and keeps the manatees warm during the winter. Hundreds of manatees spend their winters in this channel. The power plant built a dock for people to stand on and watch the manatees come up for air.
One of the manatees near the dock.
For extra enjoyment, they hire sharks to jump out of the water and entertain us. (Just kidding, this was the first time we had seen this here before).
Little fiddler crabs and willets hang out on the shoreline under the dock.
Overhead, an osprey was gathering sticks for a nest.
We made our annual winter trip to the Tampa Electric Plant to see the manatees in late February. Even thought it’s been a warm winter, the water in the bay has been cold enough for the manatees to congregate in the warmer waters next to the plant. There were tons of manatees in the water but I think this time there were more people than manatees.
We had a big storm come through the area on Friday and then next morning I headed out to Fort Desoto. It was low tide and the beach was full of things we don’t see that often. Lots of live shells. We mostly see broken ones.
I think this crab took over this empty conch shell.
This starfish was missing a few limbs.
The beach was full of these. They were all empty though.
Horseshoe crabs were on the beach.
Another critter taking up residence in an empty shell.
The beach was full of the above. Some kind of sea plant? Looks like corn on the cob husks to me.