The cold temperatures are still with us; low last night of 32 and the high today was47. But, as you can see from the photos below, that didn't stop some of the people from shelling. These were taken near resident access 5, off West Gulf Drive, late this afternoon.
There were shells, and I saw several people bending over and then seemed to be excited about what they had just picked up. I'm happy that the tourists were having good shelling luck, they certainly deserve it, since the weather has been so uncooperative. You could definitely tell that things have been stirred up by what was left on the beach. I'm thinking the shelling is going to be very good for a while. But, what I noticed more than anything else, were dead fish. The Gulf water temp has dropped down to 50, which is said to cause highly stressed conditions for this area's subtropical species. It was evident that we are loosing a large number of fish. There were also several starfish, crabs and sea urchins. Each of the photos below is taken in a different spot, so the fish you see here, were located in a strip of beach less than 150 feet. That was very depressing and the cold wind was unpleasant. So, after only picking up one shell in that distance, we left.
These are the two shells I picked up yesterday and the orange scallop is the one I got today. :-) You may have seen more keeper shells in that picture yesterday than I found.
We went across the causeway today and there was not one person on the spoil islands and I only saw one boat sitting hear one of the bridges fishing. That is hard to believe. There were no birds around, of any type. I think that's the first time that I have seen that happen. Usually the seagulls and pelicans entertain you as you cross. There are usually lots of little lizards running all over, around the house, but I haven't seen any for several days. I sure hope they've all found some shelter from the cold. Also, there are hundreds of sea turtles that are being found on beaches suffering from cold-stun. I have information about that on my Turtle Talk Blog.