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.
It’s not often we see whimbrels around here. The pair at Fort Desoto have been very accommodating when you can find them. They were right when you walk out on the beach the morning I found them in late October, feeding along the grass line before the sand.
It was extreme low tide and the buoys were exposed. The ruddy turnstones were picking tiny crabs off of them for breakfast.
This willet also found some breakfast.
The little tiny shorebirds are so cute creeping around in the muck. A snowy plover and a sanderling.
Skimmers cruising by.
Something spooked the birds way out on the sandbar.
There’s something magical about being out on the beach at low tide early in the morning. There aren’t many people out and you can walk forever and feel like you are out in the middle of the gulf.
Dead Australian pine tree graveyard on the beach. The stumps have all been smoothed down by the water and have been bleached out by the sun.
It was a cold quiet windy day at Fort Desoto in early January. I walked out to the north beach and saw nothing as far as the eye could see. Then this flash of movement caught my eye. A lone female red breasted merganser. She didn’t stay long and neither did I.
I headed over to the fishing pier and found a ring billed gull with a snack. The laughing gull was trying it’s best to steal it away but he wasn’t successful.
This was a scene all over the park. Osprey getting ready to start nesting and were coupling up. They both were eating fish.
Far away I could see skimmers, gulls and terns flying around.
The Clipper was cruising by the fishing pier.
It was a little creepy out on the beach. I only saw a few other people. We were all bundled up this morning.
It was extremely low tide. The clouds were getting darker so I decided not to head out on the spit. Even with the low tide I’d have to slosh through some water and wasn’t up for having cold feet this morning. I still love the beach here even on a day like this.
Pano of the north beach tip at Fort Desoto during the extreme low tide.
It was cold and windy and a perfect day for a walk on the beach. There were a few other people here but I still felt like I had the beach all to myself. This was the lowest tide I have ever seen here. Someone told me it was because of the full Snow moon (the tides are lowest during the full moon in February). I came out to see if there were any shorebirds but I think the wind kept them hiding somewhere else.
The backside of Outback Key was exposed and all of those little mounds had live sand dollars hiding under them.
A few of them partially exposed.
I’ve read that the pink sand comes from microscopic animals in the water.
Textures on Outback Key.
Walking back to the parking lot.
The beach was littered with the above.
This one had a lot of things living on it.
My stash from the morning when I got back home and washed them off. The beach was covered in whole dead sand dollars. It’s rare to find them not broken. I like collecting shells with barnacles. I feel like it gives them personality.