Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sanibel's Last Cold Day of the Week?

The record cold temperatures that Florida has been experiencing is taking a serious toll on the fruit and vegetable farmers. I've been reading about how they have lost millions and there will be a major trickle down effect involved. So, we had better brace ourselves for higher prices, which has already begun. Nursery owners and Tree farms are also suffering losses.

Animal caretakers have been having an extremely difficult time keeping their animals warm. There are many places here in Southwest Florida that have animals on display, as well as the zoo. They have taken all of them inside, that can be, and are using heat lamps, blankets, piles of hay, hot water and tarps around cages. You may have wondered about the birds at Jerry's, here on Sanibel. All of those birds have been taken to a warm place, until the weather improves.

One of the news headlines today, stated that southwest Florida's fish are going belly up in the frigid waters. Monday morning the water at Blind Pass was reported to be 46 degrees. Low water temps are extremely hard on Snook, especially the larger ones. SCCF reported seeing dead mullet, hardhead catfish, tarpon, mojarra, filefish, cowfish, and gag grouper at Tarpon Bay. There have also been ladyfish, pinfish, angelfish, snapper and other species dying.

To survive the cooler water here in winter, our area manatees normally migrate to areas with warm-water discharges, such as power plants, natural springs and thermal basins where the water cools slowly. I hope they find enough warmth to avoid cold stress.

I haven't read anything about Dolphins having a problem with cold stress from the sudden drop in temperature. I sure hope that is the case. This evening there was a pod of dolphins putting on quite a show in front of the Blue Dolphin cottages. It looked as though they were rounding up some fish for dinner and they seemed pretty lively.

This afternoon on the beach at West Wind Inn and also the beach in the area of resident access 6 and 7 there were a lot of dead Snook, most of which were 2 to 3 feet long. I don't know my salt water fish that well, but I saw several other kinds that I think were Sheepshead, Catfish, Needlefish, Redfish, Ladyfish, and a small Pompano.

The following is an email notification from the City of Sanibel today.

Fish Cleanup Underway Due to Record Cold Temperatures

Today, Sanibel City Manager Judith Zimomra authorized the Public Works Department to collect fish on the beach killed during last night's record cold temperatures. The priorities for collection are public beaches, public beach accesses and then beaches adjacent to private properties. No tractors are being utilized. All fish are being collected by hand and transported off the beach by City trucks. Zimomra stated, "The volume of fish lost during this event is unfortunate. However, we are fortunate that we are not in turtle or bird nesting season at this time."

Beach at West Wind Inn this afternoon. I tried not to photograph too many of the dead fish today, just enough to give you an idea of what's happening. Not a pleasant sight. There were some small shells.

The tourists are still trying to enjoy their time here. There were people walking on the beach, some shelling, and others sitting in the sun with sweatshirts and long pants on. It didn't feel too cold to me with a fleece jacket on and the sun felt nice and warm. It did finally get up to 55 today after dropping to 39 last night.

Poor, pretty crab! A little further on I noticed another crab crawling out of the surf very slowly. Seemed as though it was trying to get up further on the beach, in order to get some warmth from the sun.

The first bird I saw today. It was feasting on what was left inside a pen shell.


Talk about being quiet and peaceful at the pool.

The one little driftwood treasure I picked up.

Resident access 6 and 7 area beach this evening.

Walking out onto the beach, I thought for a minute there was a man down! But as I got closer, I could see that he was down to look through the smaller shells. :-)

The second bird I saw today on the beach. I only saw those two. I wonder where all the birds are hiding out.

West of the Blue Dolphin there has been some erosion.

I'm thinking this fish died happy. It has another small fish in it's mouth.

A family that was enjoying the dolphin show.

This video was taken a little west of resident access 7 off of West Gulf Dr in front of the thatched roof house.

1 comment:

Little Black Scrap Cat said...

I hope it warms up soon, before more damage is done to the wildlife. Keep warm!!