Monday, August 16, 2010

She's Alive!

A crazy work schedule, hot temps, humidity and stormy weather have resulted in a lack of posts on my blog for a few days. Or, as no less than eight people have pointed out, I haven't posted since August 4th! I actually didn't realize it had been that long!

The photo above was taken during my sea turtle patrol at Ft. Pickens yesterday morning. The weather was not good, as you can see, so I didn't stop to take photos, opting instead to shoot a few from my UTV as I drove along. Vibration from the vehicle resulted in less than crisp photos, but I think you can see the water spout in the Gulf as it was either forming or dying. In all the time I've lived here, this is the first I've seen for myself. Being in the middle of nowhere (for cover), I decided it would be best not to linger.

I have another heavy work schedule this week unless bad weather affects us. The remains of Tropical Depression Five have looped back into the Gulf of Mexico and may regenerate later today. This could bring heavy rain to our area again later this evening. If a weather standby/stand-down does not occur, then I will be working approximately 11 - 12 hours overnight shifts Monday through Thursday this week as a Wildlife Observer for one of the clean-up crews on the beach. I generally arrive home each morning after these shifts around 6:30 a.m. whereupon I immediately grab a cool shower {{{ahhhhhh}}}, then type up a shift report. At last, 'bedtime' -- or at least nap time.

I can't complain because I have other sea turtle patrol friends - Melanie Waite, and Cathy and Jim Holmes who are working even more hours than I do or in combination with other jobs. I don't know how they do it. For example, last week my friend Melanie not only worked four nights (which means up to a 48 hour week), but also did her own sea turtle patrol and subbed for two other people that week! It is a crazy time for us.

I have to add that Ft. Pickens did not look good yesterday morning. The beach was littered with sargassum, June grass, and some other type of long grass I am unfamiliar with. There also appeared to be a lot more weathered oil washed ashore, but can't confirm it was oil since I didn't stop to examine it more closely.

I have a little gadget ordered which should arrive this week which will allow me to verify the presence/absence of oil when I check...on my own time, of course. I'm hoping to share photos with you at some point, but I cannot take my camera to the beach under the conditions we've been dealing with lately: high humidity, heat, occasionally high winds and heavy rain. It has been difficult to work around.

Is anyone ready for fall????

Please be forgiving of my posts until my schedule returns to normal. Not just the frequency, but the quality of photos and the grammar/typos you may see. At the end of a busy week, or even a long shift, I find myself scattered and unable to keep my train of thought on anything other than looking for sea turtle tracks and other wildlife...and a power nap!


Loui♥ said...

we understand!!!
we'll all be here whenever you get a chance to return to Normalcy..
we salute your tireless efforts doing what each of us wish we could also contribute..
we love you!
warm sandy hugs..

Novice Naturalist said...

I understand. I start my day when possible reading posts from the blogs in Google Readers--well, some of them. And it always gives my morning a boost when yours pops up! So Thank YOU! Jay

Kathi said...

DJ, I was just wondering about your whereabouts. I am very interested in this oil gadget you are talking about. Also, just knowing you are out there reporting back for us is reassuring to me!

Susan said...

Dear D.J.,

I have seen oil on the beach on the Ft. Pickens strand about half way to the Ranger Station at the Entrance on the shoreline:

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you are back! I was almost in withdrawal.

PJ said...

Interesting observations, DJ. I've been wondering if it's worth it to buy a waterproof housing for mine. Do you know anything about them, I sure don't. Keep up the good and very important work.