Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beach erosion

I ventured out to the beach this week after my friend Scottie told me how much beach erosion had taken place in the past few months. In addition to the low temps we've had this winter, we've also been subjected to periods of very high wind and surf. Just last Sunday the wind gusts were up to 42 mph here on Pensacola Beach.

Beach erosion such as this is inevitable on a barrier islands. Breaking waves sweep sand from one area of the island to another - eroding in spots and depositing it in other. Basically we live on an oversized sandbar. Sadly, this portion of the beach is where we generally have a loggerhead nest in the summer.

Island trivia: Did you know that our island is moving west by several inches each year. In the mid-1800's the tip of Santa Rosa Island was 500 feet west of the fort. Today the tip of the island is 4,000 ft. west of Ft. Pickens!

You may click HERE to see an engraving of Ft. Pickens which was done by a Mrs. Gilman and published in Harper's Weekly, February 23, 1861.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Rookery

I think the Rookery at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is one of the most magical places I've ever been. I was very happy that our visit coincided with the period of time when Great Egrets were courting and sitting on nests.

Walking along the extended boardwalks in the Rookery you are very close to the birds.

Portions of the giant old live oaks were covered in Great Egrets that day.

It seems odd that the Rookery is located in the midst of an alligator farm, and some hatchlings are indeed lost to the giant reptiles below, but the alligators actually protect them from other predators such as raccoons, snakes and opposums.

Building a nest.

Three's a crowd at this nesting site.

Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them so that you can see more detail of these stunning birds.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

First day of spring

At last, spring's cantata begins to swell.

Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival

Michael Smith (with his 'what are you doing' look as I photographed him at the Gulf Breeze Arts Festival last weekend), is one of our excellent Pensacola photographers. He will be exhibiting at the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival again tomorrow, so please stop by his booth, #124 at the intersection of Equality Street and Section Avenue to say hello and look at his work.

You will especially love Michael's seashell collection, which you can preview by clicking HERE.

I've come to know several of our area photographers and bloggers in the past few years and without exception they have all been generous, encouraging and supportive of each other. Living in paradise does that to people!

Jaunts & Journeys with DJ

More of my off-island photographs taken during our trip to central Florida and back can be viewed at Jaunts & Journeys with DJ.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Home again...again!

Ahhh...home again! In case you missed me since Mardi Gras festivities ended, I've traveled from the Southwest to the Southeast -- Dallas, Texas to Rockledge, Florida.

This evening after arriving home and being computerless for a week, I was excited to upload photos from this latest trip and see what I captured. One of the most exciting sidetrips was to observe beautiful Great Egrets at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery.

I have a lot to catch up on, but I can't wait to share some of my travel photos with you in the coming days.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Something beyond my wishes

What a spectacular day, living my dream!

"Destiny grants us our wishes, but in its own way, in order to give us something beyond our wishes."

~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Windy and warm

It's a beautiful day on the beach, but as you can see from the palm trees at Tiki Island Golf and Games, it's more than a bit windy on the beach today! Isn't it great to see that beautiful blue sky!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Pensacola Beach Trolley

Members of the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce were invited to ride the colorful beach trolley last week and give their input/suggestions on current routes and increasing ridership.

Did you know there are 20 trolley stops along Via de Luna and 16 along Ft. Pickens Road? There is also one trolley which is dedicated to a core area route. This free (and fun) trolley service will start up again in May. Be on the lookout for more information in the Island Times.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


This year more than most, we are all looking forward to spring -- and you can feel it in the air. Wait, maybe it's pine pollen blowing across from the mainland you're feeling on days with a northerly breeze. {{{sneeze, cough}}}

Almost overnight it seems, tulip trees, redbud, and Bradford Pears are budding or blooming.

We've been treated to a couple of blue-sky days and warmer weather -- just enough to tease us -- and this weekend we switch back to daylight savings time. Parking nodes are filling up with teenagers and small planes are flying along with advertising banners.

We've had little quality time on the beach for ourselves this winter, but I'm still ready for spring!

Friday, March 05, 2010

One day more

"Lovely, complicated wrappings
Sheath the gift of one-day more;
Breathless, untie the package—
Never lived this day before."

~~ Gloria Gaither

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out!

I was so excited to receive my hardback copy of Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! last week. A fellow blogger, Annie Patterson, who lives in Barrow, Alaska, did the beautiful illustrations for the book by April Pulley Sayre which tells of the dangers sea turtles face as they try to survive to adulthood. Throughout the book, young people do their best to help protect the sea turtles, showing how they can at times make a difference to the survival of these threatened and endangered species.

You may recall that a few years ago I managed to capture photos of a rare daytime emergence of loggerhead hatchlings here on Pensacola Beach. Annie was working on her illustrations at that time and I shared my photos to help her with the detail of the tiny hatchlings. What a fun connection our Pensacola Beach hatchlings have to this special book!

If you would like to see more of Annie's beautiful illustrations from the book, check out her post by clicking HERE. You can also follow Annie's blog about life in Barrow, Alaska, her delightful illustrations, and links to her work for sale on Etsy by clicking HERE.

If you are interested in purchasing Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out!, please remember that the edition shown above is the hardback copy. I am not sure what difference there may be in the paperback edition.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Dark and Stormy Night

Another front came gusting through last night, but luckily it held off long enough for us to enjoy a special party at Paradise.

Despite the blustery weather, we enjoyed a lovely celebration in honor of Matt Drees. It was a combination birthday and going-away party for Matt. He is scheduled to deploy for the third time to Iraq.

Matt's wife, Dawn, and daughter, Maci, were full of hugs and smiles to have him home for a few days. We wish him godspeed and a safe return. We appreciate all the sacrifices he and his family make for our country.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Slip away

"Too many times we stand aside and let the water slip away.
To what we put off 'til tomorrow has now become today.
So don't you sit upon the shore and say you're satisfied.
Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tides."

~~ Garth Brooks, The River