All of the birds were eating breakfast

I was out for a walk at the end of September and the tide was super low. I could see the gulls eating some type of puffer fish that was stranded in the grass beds. Although I never did actually see the gulls eating them, they just kept picking them up and playing with them. Maybe they were waiting for them to deflate.

An osprey cruises by with a tiny fish in his feet.

The little blue heron was busy eating.

There were several snowy egrets looking for food.They look so pretty against the blue water.

This boat must have lost anchor during Hurrincane Ian. It’s still there, stranded near the Dunedin causeway. It’s in pretty bad shape at this point.

A sunny hot walk in Dunedin

I took an early morning walk around the Dunedin marina in mid-September. The heat was stifling but the water was clear and blue. Someone fishing close by must have thrown out their leftovers and it washed up on the tiny beach at the marina.

This small boat club house was built in 1931. It’s amazing that it is still standing here on this small spit of land outside of the marina.

I took a quick walk up Main Street. The small downtown area is big on character. 8am is the best time to walk around and enjoy the quiet, before the parking spots and sidewalks are full (and it gets above 90 degrees).

Inspire Me Monday

Thankful and Heartbroken

This is a meme that is floating around social media from people in the Tampa Bay area. Maybe it’s a way of saying we have survivor guilt? For days Hurricane Ian was heading right to us and at the last minute it turned and made a direct hit south of us (The same thing happened in 2004 with Hurricane Charley). Total devastation from Fort Myers to Naples. Then massive flooding across central Florida. It was gut wrenching to watch the news. Most of St. Pete lost power but we only had yard debris so we were really lucky.

Sunset on the night of the hurricane, across the street from us.

We had super low  tide the day after as well as the day of. These were taken on Thursday, the day Ian was forecasted to hit Tampa. Later that night the water came back with a surge but nothing like it was south of us.

Early Friday morning I went for a walk at the Dunedin causeway and the tide was still crazy low.

You could see where seagrass had been churned up and left in the low tide.

This is a common sight all over the bay, stranded boats. Many had the anchor come up and floated towards sea walls and bridges. Some got stranded at low tide. (Although these are nothing like the pictures from Fort Myers and south with boats on top of buildings and in peoples homes.).

Here is a video from CNN that shows the aftermath of Ian.

Red Cross Donation site.

SkyWatch Friday

A busy condo building

I could see the purple martins flying around the bird house from arcross the marina. I had brought my camera in the car so I drove around to the other side of the marina to check them out. All of the babies were fully grown at this point. There were a lot of purple martins on this big condo bird house.

Parents were bringing in food to the babies who were screaming to be fed.

I’m not sure what’s going on here. At first I thought a pair were still mating but it looks like one of the parents was trying to feed the baby. Or was the parent trying to push the baby off the house to start flying? Or maybe this baby was in the wrong condo and was hoping to get a meal from the wrong parent?

A few were flying and one landed on the grown but eventually made it back to the house.

The sea fog rolling in.

I love being out in the fog so when I peaked out the window in mid-February I got ready quickly and headed out the door for a walk on the Dunedin causeway. It kept getting foggier as the morning went on. I guess the sea fog was rolling in. The tide was super low which made it even cooler.

I had my camera in the car so I pulled it out to get some shots of the oystercatcher couple that was feeding along the causeway. Someone walked up behind me and spooked them to fly to the other side of the causeway.

A few of the other birds included a sanderling, a snowy egret, a marbled godwit and a young ring billed gull feasting on a dead fish.

Later I saw the oystercatchers again and snapped a few more pictures before leaving. They seemed to be having a lot of luck with whatever they were eating (tiny crabs?).

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From one side of Tampa bay to the other

It was a two waterfront kind of day in late October. I went for a walk along the waterfront on the bay in downtown St. Pete early in the morning and then went to the Dunedin marina on the gulf side for a sunset walk.

I got to the marina late in the day right as the moon was coming up.

Fun boat at the marina.

This little spot is one of my favorites to catch a sunset. I think it’s also a lot of other people’s spot as well because it can get pretty crowded on the weekends.

Maybe it’s because watching the sunset here makes you feel like you are on vacation. Until you drive home and have to cook dinner and do the dishes. Then back to work the next morning.

SkyWatch Friday

A sad story on a beautiful afternoon

It was a beautiful afternoon in late January and I was able to get outside for a little while on a late Friday before sunset. I jumped in the car and headed over to Dunedin, thinking I would stop by the fishing pier and then go over for a quick walk at the causeway. I was snapping the shot of the water when I turned around and noticed the two osprey that had built a nest on top of the building next to the pier.  I was pretty excited to see the camera up on the top but when I got home and searched it, you could only see over the building so the camera wasn’t look down on the nest. Would have been fun to watch that nest up close.

I found this cute little boat in the marina that I hadn’t seen before.

I headed over to the beach area on the causeway and saw the sailboat that has washed up back in November during Hurricane ETA. I had seen many pictures of it posted on the internet, people climbing and playing on it. They had it roped off which didn’t make for a pretty picture. I have since heard that it was hauled away a few weeks after I took this. The state of these old damaged sailboats are sad. At some point years ago, someone paid a lot of money for this boat. Probably used it at first. Then it sits out there for a long time and becomes a hazard. The owner, if they had insurance, probably just collected and moved on. Many people with these old boats let their insurance lapse and the city pays for the haul. Not sure if they can sell them for scrap.

On a sad note, at the end of the causeway, a dead dolphin had washed up on shore hours before I arrived. Everyone was standing around watching the marine life rescue team (with Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where Winter the flipperless dolphin resides) get him ready to be taken away. They will do a necropsy on him to find out the cause of death. Was he old? Sick?  Eaten something bad? Hit with a boat? Swallowed too many fish hooks from stealing fish from the fishermen at the pier? So many questions.  Everyone was watching from a respectful distance. It was sad to watch these volunteers do their work.

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Always a perfect sunset

Nothing says Florida like a walk around a marina especially right before sunset. If you want to get a good sunset spot here, you have to get here early.

This was actually back in late October when I headed out for a long walk before sunset at the Dunedin marina. Even thought it sits on the intercoastal waterway and Clearwater beach is across the water, the sunsets here draw a large crowd. There was still plenty of room around the pier and marina the night I was there. It’s totally worth getting up off the couch on a late Sunday afternoon and driving 30 minutes away.

Since parking is hard to find around the marina, a lot of people who live close by have golf carts. It’s easier to get a spot for dinner at the nearby restaurants. The one above was decorated and they were very friendly, talking to everyone. I had to take a picture.

It was time to start hiking back to my car but I turned around and took one more shot.

SkyWatch Friday

Things at the marina

Trying to stay off my legs (due to hip bursitis) but not wanting to stay at home, I headed out for the Dunedin marina and fishing pier early one morning in mid-November. I spent the morning just hanging out, sitting on benches watching the activity around the marina. From the shots above, it was pretty quiet that morning.

I did see a manatee cruising around the boats in the marina.

This anhinga was having fish for breakfast.

Some of the birds also hanging around the marina, a green heron and lots of pelicans.

A spotted sandpiper was digging around the exposed muck at the boat ramp.

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Sunday night walk in Dunedin

I headed over to Dunedin fairly early for a long walk in late September. It was a hot sunny night. At least there was a breeze coming off the water.

The building above was built in 1927 and had been many things including several hotels up until the 60’s, It became Trinity Collage until 1988. It’s now run by the Marriott Corporation under the Fenway Hotel name.

It’s always a beautiful walk along the water here.

The pier is a perfect place to catch the sunset.

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