Quiet Saturday morning at Fort Desoto



Pretty pelican floating by.


A cormorant sleeping on the top of the light post.


Dolphins were cruising by the pier.


This osprey did not want to share his meal. After a closer look, I didn’t want it anyway.


Climbing a tree.


Great egret getting a snack.


It was a windy morning. The storm clouds had not moved in yet so the kiteboarders were out taking advantage of the wind. The park is pretty limited on wildlife sightings for the summer. Other than the usual laughing gull and reddish egret, there’s not much around the beach except tourists. When is summer over????

Skywatch Friday

Kites and crabs on the beach – Skywatch Friday


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.

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The “I’m sick all weekend” post – Skywatch Friday

What did I do over the long 4th of July weekend?  Sleep. I was sick with sinus and throat infections so I spent the entire 3 days on the couch. I was looking through some old vacation photos and realized we had taken a trip to Exuma, Bahamas right before I started this blog.  So here is my “I’m sick so I”m going to bore you with my old vacation photos” post.


Our hotel from the kayak. We stayed at The Hideways at Palm Bay.


Our little cottage for the week. I loved that we weren’t connected to anyone else. The walkway lead right on to the beach a few feet away.

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Looking out on the beach. Yes, the water was that clear and clean. I did not “clone” out anything in the picture.


Brett had just gotten into kiteboarding so he brought all of his stuff with him and kiteboarded almost every day. Now he’s been too busy to do this anymore.


One of the beaches we went to for him to kiteboard. I just walked for miles on the beach and took pictures. It was so peaceful. Since it was the end of the winter tourist season, there was hardly anyone around. This was mid-May.


Anyone looking for the old Love Boat?


View from one of the highest peaks on the island.


An old cemetery looking over a marina.


The best food on the island. The famous “Chat N Chill” Only accessible by boat or a long kayak trip. We had rice and beans and the best fresh grilled fish caught right there.


The old conch pile near the Chat N Chill. The big thing to eat on the island is Raw Conch salad.  Fresh right out of the water. No thanks!


Someone’s lunch waiting in the water.


Parking lot at the Chat N Chill. Our hotel had a little taxi boat that took us over.


The starfish were amazing.


I went kayaking every day. The beach was lined with kayaks to use so I would just paddle out for a few hours. Brett took this from our cottage. I had a shirt on because by the end of the week my back was getting a little crispy.


We found a secluded beach within a few minutes of walking distance. No one was there. It was just beautiful.

It was a perfect trip. No rain, perfect breeze. Years ago there were only a few hotels on this little island. Exuma is much farther south than the bigger tourist Bahama islands. No cruise ships here. It was very quiet and laid back. Almost too laid back though. The service is not the same as back in the states.  The only place we got really great service at dinner was at the Four Season’s resort (which I think now is a Sandal’s resort).  The last two nights we just called and ordered room service early and then ate our dinner out on the beach. That was even better. Some day we’ll get back there. These were all taken with an old Fuji point and shoot. I think then I only had an 8 megapixel.

Flying humans in the fog – Skywatch Friday


Kiteboarding in front of the Sunshine Skyway bridge on a foggy morning.


These guys were all the way across the bay, close to the bridge.




Up he goes!


Traffic jam on a windy day.


Still a lot of fog in early January.


Another one goes flying. The sun was just starting to peek out.


Uh, oh, lost a foot on his board.


He got his foot back on the board and kept going.


After an hour, the sun was coming out.

After walking around Fort De Soto looking for birds or any other animals I could find, I headed over to the east beach turnaround to see if there were any shorebirds hanging around. I forgot it was a windy day.  When it’s really windy out, the kiteboarders take over the east beach. I drove over and the cars were lined up. People were out in beach chairs watching the action. I got out and took a handful of shots even though it was a little foggy. It looks like fun and I’m an okay swimmer but I would probably drown.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday