Thursday, July 8, 2010

Turtle Walk Thursday

Leaving the house this morning, I could tell it wasn't going to be very pleasant on the beach, unless there was some wind. It seemed to be humid and hot already.

We arrived on the east end of the island, at the Buttonwood Lane access. If you come here for vacation, I'm sure you know where the Lighthouse Cafe, which is well known for breakfast, is located. Buttonwood Lane is the first street past the cafe, that's where we turn right, to arrive at the Gulf side access.

Walking out the boardwalk this morning, the moon was bright and the sky near the horizon was pink.

There was only one lonely Moon Flower left blooming.

A nut was there, on the beach, waiting for us. :)

There were already several people walking the beach.

Yesterday this notice came from the City of Sanibel.

Today, east end beachgoers have reported various colored sponge-like clumps along the shoreline at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach. The organisms have been identified by the City of Sanibel Natural Resources Department as Sea Pork (colonial tunicates).

Sea Pork varies in size and colors such as brown, beige, gray and black. These tunicates are a filter feeder. As filter feeders, these organisms improve local water quality and are not harmful or dangerous. The presence of these filter feeders is normal in healthy marine fauna.

I suppose that the black sea pork could be pretty misleading. Today i saw some that actually looked different than what I had seen before. There were some of the black ones that were thin and had a little different look, I think because they had probably been laying in the sun for quite some time and were drying up. ?? Not sure, but I could see why people could get fooled by those.

The sunrise was beautiful this morning.

For your cyber shelling pleasure.....

This sand art was a little different from the usual, because I think somebody must have raided Mom's fridge of all the veggies. :)

Bad lady.....tromping through the dunes taking pictures of ?? things ?? Please lady, we're not supposed to walk in the dunes.

Drop the gun!!!

First red dolphin I've seen.

Hey Abby, did you see our new sea turtle nest?

Finally a nest in our zone this week!

You can tell by the flag, there is NO wind, none at all! It was hot with no air moving. Every time I stopped to pick up another piece of trash, noseeums would bite me. I should have sprayed on something before we started, but I hate using that stuff. Anyway, I had a bite stick to use when I got back, and that took care of the itchy bites. I dumped two full bags of trash here, at the end of our zone. By that time, sweat was running into my eyes. Ugh! But, a little while after we turned and started back the other way, there was a slight breeze that helped. It was still hot enough that I just wanted to get back, so I didn't spend any time at all looking at the shells. I was walking pretty fast and only noticed a few small ones that I grabbed and kept moving on.

This fella came walking across the beach with this board and a paddle. In just a few seconds, he was standing up on it and moving along, pretty fast. Darn, I wish my balance was that good; looks like a lot of fun, and relaxing. I've seen a lot of people doing this around the causeway islands lately. It's called Stand Up Paddle Surfing (SUP) and from what I've seen, it could involve an investment of nearly one to two thousand dollars or more. If you come here and want to try stand up paddling, check with Yolo Watersports on Captiva, I think they rent them for around $165 a week or by the day or hour. I'm not sure if any rental places on Sanibel handle them yet.

These guys had quite a fishing party going on. I don't know if the two dead catfish I saw laying on the beach were connected to their activities or not.

Four Snowy Plovers the young ones look almost as big as the parents now.

Just after I turned and began walking again, I was startled by a loud, splashing sound or more like something smacked the water. I turned to look and saw Mullet jumping out of the water again. I love to watch them. Today they jumped higher than I've seen before. This went on for a few minutes. There were around 6 or 7 of them coming up, at about the same time, some jumping several feet out of the water. They were all in a straight line, one after the other, jumping their way west. :) If you enlarge the pic below, you can see three of them on their way back into the water.

These are the only shells I carried home today. Oh, I did have another bag of trash to carry home too.

When we got home, I noticed that the temperature was 84, I sure thought it was hotter than that. :) It did get up to 93 this afternoon and no rain this evening.

Later this evening, we thought we hadn't had enough beach yet, so we went over to resident access 2 on West Gulf Drive.

Much to our surprise, there was a new sea turtle nest, with turtle tracks still there. So it must have been discovered this morning. :)

The tide was out and it was breezy, cooler and fun walking in the shallow water. I picked up a few small shells from the high tide line before we left. So went another great day!


Gayle said...

You sure do get down to the beach early! I'm afraid I'd be a sunset kind of gal. Never understood why people can't just follow the posted rules of a place they are visiting. No respect.

Kathi said...

I can never get enough of your walks on the beach! Thank you so much for sharing them!
I'm praying the oil never gets to Sanibel. I can't even bear the thought!

The Florida Blogger said...

Toots, do you know an organization that does turtle rescues/walks near Cocoa?

Tootie said...

You can sign up to take a guided night walk on the East Coast beaches to look for sea turtles nesting. The number of visitors is limited, so you need to call early to get a spot. Most walks start around 8 or 9 p.m. and may last until after midnight. Our Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation offers a trip over to the East Coast each nesting season. We have not yet gone on one, but others have told us that it was fantastic!

The Sea Turtle Conservancy has a guided sea turtle watch. Watches are conducted by both STC and the US Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in June and July. Cost is a $10 donation per person, paid in advance, to hold your space. Contact Donna Lee at the Barrier Island Center by calling 321-723-3556.

The Sea Turtle Preservation Society
offers guided Sea Turtle Walks at Satellite Beach. They began in June and will end in July. You have to get reservations: call 676-1701

Canaveral National Seashore(386) 428-3384. The fee for this program is $14.00 per person ages 16 and above, 15 and under are free. Persons with Access or a Senior Pass receive a 50% discount for the cardholder only. Children must be 8 years old to participate.

Tootie said...

I was just reading about another way to watch the sea turtle nesting. :) Be a volunteer on Wassaw Island, near Savannah, Georgia.

Volunteers pay $750 to spend a week on Wassaw during turtle nesting and hatching season, May through September.

The fee covers all food, housing and transportation for one week, while on the island and boat transportation to and from. The point of departure and return is the Landings Harbor Marina.

A few spaces are still available for this season. Check for details.