All sand, no birds

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.

SkyWatch Friday

Ghost town on the beach

A nice clean beach after Park supervisor Jim had scooped up all of the dead fish from the red tide algae bloom that lands on the beach during high tide. This morning in late October, Jim had told me that they had just cleaned up 6 miles of beaches, trying to keep it clean so the tourist can enjoy the beach. Even in late November, we were still getting some dead sea life but not as bad as it was in October.

It was still a beautiful morning even with a slight fishy smell.

The dog beach and the fishing pier were deserted that morning since no one wanted to be in the red tide water. It was like a ghost town.

I did see some dolphins coming out of the water from far across the bay.

SkyWatch Friday

A beautiful beach day before red tide rolled in.

Things along the trail from our car to the beach.

Out on the beach, it was a perfect quiet morning in late August. We get there early before it gets too hot and crowded.

The water was crystal clear but warm. This was before the red tide had brought dead sea life to the beach, the calm before the storm. I was traveling light this morning so all above were taken with my phone.

SkyWatch Friday

Visiting my favorite pier groupies.

A few of the regulars at the pier; the famous great blue heron/great egret hybrid, a ruddy turnstone, a reddish egret, lots of snowy egrets always looking for a handout and great blue heron and reddish egret fighting over space on the railing.

Skimmers were skimming the bait fish.

 

This reddish egret was bored with me.

Shots of a beautiful morning at the pier. These were taken in early September, before Irma.

SkyWatch Friday

Is summer over yet?

DSC_3435 DSC_3441 DSC_3446 DSC_3450 DSC_3466 DSC_3476 DSC_3479 DSC_3481 DSC_3486 DSC_3511 DSC_3491

Not for us down here in central Florida. September is one of the hottest months because we usually don’t get the afternoon summer rains to cool down.  It’s a perfect time to start heading back to the beach since most of the tourist are gone after Labor Day.  On a nice quiet Saturday morning, all that’s left are sea oats and ghost crabs.

SkyWatch Friday

Bored waiting for a flycatcher to show up.

DSC_6258

Tiny butterfly at Fort Desoto.

DSC_6245
Teeny tiny things flying around.

DSC_6232
There were lots of weird looking plants.

DSC_6188
Spiky plant.

DSC_6222

Moth on a flower.

DSC_6223
Up close.

DSC_6224
These moths were everywhere.

DSC_6194

I think these are sea grapes (although I wouldn’t eat them).

tree

It’s weird to see how this tree trunk has grown.

DSC_6230

Staring out towards the water.

It was an early morning on Saturday in late September. There had been a rare type of flycatcher seen at Fort Desoto Park a few days earlier. I knew it was a slim chance to find him still at the park but I figured it would still be a nice morning out either way. There were several other people also looking in the same wooded area for him. We stood around hoping he would eventually show up. I got bored waiting and started taking pictures of other stuff around me. After two hours of looking around for him, I headed out of the woods and up to the north beach area for a nice walk on the beach.

Mandarin Orange MondayShine the Divine

Storms coming to Fort Desoto – Skywatch Friday

DSC_4519

Up at the north beach lagoon, he was trying to get bait fish.

DSC_4571

With no success in the lagoon, he went over to the gulf. I never did see him catch anything. I don’t know if his form is bad or not.

DSC_4584

Sea oats into the sun.

DSC_4562
Trying to nap before the tourists hit the beach.

DSC_4626

A manatee was swimming by the fishing pier.

DSC_4622

Skimmers were still grabbing the bait fish in the water.

DSC_4595

Jim was walking around the snack shop to try to get a better angle on the storm coming in.

DSC_4603

Clouds were moving in. At least the wind was cooling things off.

DSC_4600

Storm across the water.

DSC_4609

Up in the sky.

DSC_4619

Looking back from the end of the fishing pier. The storm was coming in from the right.

DSC_4630

The tide was low and the threat of rain kept the beach empty (well, almost empty).

My morning in late August started out sunny. The two days before were stormy so I thought I would have been rained out. I headed out anyway thinking I could work on my storm shots if it rained. The clouds started rolling in right before lunch. The beach cleared out after a few sprinkles hit. It only sprinkled for a few minutes at first so I continued to walk around. I could see the heavy rain heading right for the pier so I headed back to my car just before the bottom fell out. Not many birds out but also not a lot of people so it was just nice to be out for the morning.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday