Lots of weird things on the beach at low tide at Fort Desoto. The first three look like brains to me but they call it sea pork. Maybe some time of coral. The bottom one is a moon jellyfish. There’s been some articles in the news about how the beaches in the area are full of them. Thinking one of the last big storms blew them close to the area.
It was very quiet in late September. Hardly anyone on the beach. I walked out to the end of Outback Key and had the place all to myself.
This guy was feeding in a recent rain puddle near the parking lot. I can’t ever pass up taking shots of a spoonbill.
Because I’m a member of the Tampa zoo, I get in free to the Florida Aquarium in September. Which works out perfect because by the time September comes around I’m tired of being outside in the heat and want to do something indoors. I get there right when it opens before the crowds cover the glass. I was using Auto mode on my camera with no flash since the flash would just put a big spotlight in the picture. And most of the exhibits don’t allow flash anyway. It’s too hard to bring a tripod in with even the smallest crowd. A lot of these were taken with my phone as well.
Seahorses are everyone’s favorite but it’s really hard to see them. They keep it dark in the room and no flash allowed. These were taken with my phone.
Always fun to see jellyfish floating upside down.
I call these boob jellyfish.
This little guy was so cute. He was very animated.
I took a ton of pictures since it was nice and cool inside so more to come. The Aquarium is fun until it’s crowded. When I left before noon it was wall to wall people and you had to wait to get close to the glass. I would suggest going during the week when school is in if you can to keep from bumping into kids.
It was too hot to be outside in the middle of August so I headed indoors to the Florida Aquarium. It was nice to walk around and take pictures in air conditioning. I cheated and took all of these in Auto program mode (with no flash) since the Aquarium was going to be way to crowded to be using a tripod. Even 10 minutes after the doors opened, kids were running into me. It was still a fun morning and I walked around for about 2 hours.
You can barely make out my reflection in the above. Even without using flash, there’s a slight light that shines for a second while focusing. Trying to use regular flash against this thick glass is crazy. You’re only going to get a big white light across your pictures. You also have to watch for shadows and reflections on the glass which is apparent in the above. I was able to keep other people’s reflections out of most of the pictures.
All of the above were taken at Lighthouse Beach at the end of Sanibel Island. There’s a small beach that wraps around the lighthouse and it was full of large jellyfish that were stranded on shore. We had heard there a lot of them in the water in the area but we did not see any at the beach or in the water at our hotel. You could not go up in the lighthouse but could walk around the grounds.
There was a manatee right in front of the fishing pier. He stayed in the same spot for a while before moving on. They usually swim past quickly the few times I’ve seen one here. As I leaned over to take a picture, he stuck his nose up for air.
Dolphins were swimming all around the pier.
The water was full of little jellyfish. I haven’t seen the water filled with jellyfish here before like this. They were floating far out at the end of the fishing pier so I don’t think they were bothering the people swimming close to shore.
Someone caught a fish.
The cormorants were diving under and getting fish. They seemed to be catching more that the fishermen on the pier.
It was a busy morning under the water around the fishing pier at Fort Desoto.
Before I left Fort Desoto Park on a recent Saturday morning, I headed over to the East Beach turnaround area which faces the Sunshine Skyway bridge. I thought I’d check out the little beach area to see if there were any interesting shorebirds there (still looking for that avocet). This is what I saw as I was driving toward the beach so I know there would be no birds here. It wasn’t super windy but just enough that these guys could kiteboard.
They were cruising all across the water.
I got out of my car and walked down to the water to get some closer shots as the guys were coming by. When I got down to the beach area (it was low tide) I saw the below.
Thousands of little fiddler crabs covered the one corner of the beach.
It’s hard to get them close up. They are very skittish and start running for the mangroves when they see people.
As I walked out on the sand, they all started marching away.
He was shaking his claw at me like “Stay off our beach”.
I was thinking “If I was a bird, I’d be on this beach chowing on some crab legs.”
They have pretty colors.
The sand was also covered with big jellyfish globs.
You just never know what you’re going to find at Fort Desoto on a Saturday morning.