First things first.
SCCF Oil Spill Update: Small Algae Clumps, not Tarballs, on Sanibel Beaches.
Attached and embedded below is an e-mail sent yesterday by the City of Sanibel regarding clumps of blue-green algae washing up on Sanibel beaches that somewhat resemble tarballs. Marine Lab Research Scientist Dr. Rick Bartleson identified them as blue-green algae.
Other tarball look-alikes found washing up on beaches so far have been identified as sea pork (black colonial tunicates) as well as black solitary tunicates. Click here for photos of the tunicates.
Click here for PDF of the City's e-mail.
We arrived at the Buttonwood beach access, just before daylight this morning, for our 5th turtle walk of this nesting season. It was already pretty warm, but there was a southerly breeze blowing, thank goodness.
Going out the boardwalk, I noticed that there are not many Moonflowers left blooming. The Beach Hibiscus are starting to bloom now.
The Sanibel Lighthouse was sending out it's usual welcoming beacon.
There were no people in sight, in either direction, but right in front of me, was a lady that we talked to on our walk last week. She said that she only has two days left before her vacation ends. I felt thankful, once again, that I don't have to deal with that anymore.
The waves were leaving quite a bit of sea grass behind, along with a few small shells.
We heard some thunder in the distance and also saw a streak of lightning. That made us speed up our pace a little. But before we reached the end of our 1 mile zone, the clouds had moved on.
A Chestnut Turban. :)
I looked up to see the moon nearly hidden by clouds that were turning pink from the reflection of the rising sun.
Just as I noticed a tiny, rubber fish; our friend called from zone 4. She found sea turtle tracks, but it turned out to be a false crawl. It had crawled from the water, walked up near the dunes, then turned and went back into the water. Hopefully Ms Turtle will be back to lay her eggs another night.
The sun was hidden by clouds.
Neptune God Of The Sea, taking a break.
The skinniest shark ever!
Somebody 'hearts' Murphy.
This lady obviously doesn't know that it is unlawful to take sand from our beaches, or she just didn't care. When she saw us coming, she headed for the boardwalk. When she got there, she stopped again and started scooping more cups full into her bag, until it was full. :( I cropped this photo to give you a closer view. If I had been closer to her, I would have explained that millions are spent on beach renourishment and that isn't so people can carry it away in bags. I know, I know, it was just one gallon of sand, but still.....
A Top Shell.
Once again, there was no turtle activity in our zone. All we found was one full bag of trash, 2 beach chairs and 1 air mattress along with several empty beer cans and 1 big red energy drink that had been puked up in puddles (grrr), 2 floatation seats that were broken and abandoned to be carried to a trash can (grrr), and one man's flip flop. That's about all I could take for one day. :(