Saturday, June 29, 2013

Red, White and Blue

We're getting ready for the Fourth of July at our house.

But I don't think that these will make it 'til then.

Our thanks to Huganrian Facebook friend, Ancika Konyh├íja, for this fun idea.  She is always making incredible pastries, cakes, and delicious foods and shares the results (and recipes) online!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

From Sunrise to Sunset

Yesterday was a v...e...r...y.. long day.  From 4:15 a.m. when my phone alarm when off for turtle patrol, until sometime around 9:00 p.m. when I collapsed fully-clothed on my bed without bothering to take off my make-up or take my meds and supplements, it seemed I was on the move.  It's amazing what a good night's rest can do to restore the body, thankfully!

A lovely sunrise in the National Seashore.

After sunset I can see the lights from Gulf Breeze begin twinkling across Santa Rosa Sound.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mantel of Memories

I love my mantel of beach memories.  The starfish remind me of the beach renourishment of 2005/2006. The large clam shell in the middle reminds me of my parents and the time we found this washed-up fella and put it in boiling water to clean it out, all of us freaking a bit when it slowly started opening! 

The little sea turtles on either side of the mermaids remind me of special people or events.  The mermaids, of course, remind me of the wonderful group of friends I've made here on the beach.  The memory shelf is perfect for rainy mornings like this, mentally brushing off the good memories and reminding myself that life is good.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pensacola Beach Sea Turtle

Sadly, this is the only sea turtle (or nest) that I found on patrol this morning.  But it is cute, don't you think?  My thanks to the anonymous sculptor!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Santa Rosa Patrol - Thursday

It was a gorgeous morning for patrol in the Santa Rosa area of Gulf Islands National Seashore

I was already heading back west toward Park East from Navarre Beach by the time the sun was coming up.

So I was able to get some nice photos of the reflected sunrise in clouds on the west horizon, even though I took them from my rattling UTV.

Even a bit blurry, life on the beach is so good!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Boatin' and floatin'

I haven't seen this many boats on the water in ages.  Pensacola Pass was the interstate of boaters yesterday as all types and sizes of craft headed out into the incredible sapphire water.  The surf was calm and there was a nice breeze.  It was a boatin'/floatin' day, for sure!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

Another rainy day

Yesterday was like a monsoon season and although it is heavily overcast today, the rain has lessened.  It feels a bit like a sauna outside right now (79 degrees/90% humidity), which is definitely not good for my camera, so I'm using my time to get the house ready for our next round of company which arrives on Wednesday. 

I'm hoping to hear back from the Audubon Society soon with some information about the photo of a banded American Oystercatcher I sent them last Thursday, photographed in the Santa Rosa area of Gulf Islands National Seashore.  It was the first Oystercatcher I've ever seen for myself here on the island, so it was exciting to see it had been banded.  Hopefully they will be able to tell me the location of where it was banded. My guess is the Apalachicola area where they are more common.  

Friday, June 07, 2013

I love my sea turtle patrols!

There's just nothing quite as satisfying to me as my turtle patrols! 

We have a total of seven nests so far this season.  If the weather would cooperate, we should have several more very soon!

Oh, what a beautiful morning...

It's amazing that the Gulf can look like this today after what we saw yesterday!

And on top of this gorgeous view, we were also treated to another spectacular sunrise.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Santa Rosa Patrol

This morning was the first time I have had an opportunity to patrol the Santa Rosa area  Gulf Islands National Seashore.  It turned out to be quite a day due to the "side effects" of  Tropical Storm Andrea.  Although it was breezy, wind speed didn't come close to what I experienced the first week of May, but the surf was high and this morning's patrol coincided with a rising tide.

It's discouraging to face these type of conditions so early in the season, causing a lot of destruction to our nesting bird colonies:  Black Skimmers (Watch List status - Yellow), Least Terns (Endangered) and Snowy Plovers (Threatened).  This morning I discovered that the waves were running high ashore into many of the bird enclosures (nesting areas which have been roped off to the public due to nesting birds).  You can see how far the water has washed past the posts in the photo below.

As I neared Park East, the waves were also washing close to the dunes and sand fencing.

We may still have rough conditions tomorrow, but hopefully the Gulf will calm soon and we won't lose many of the newly-hatched chicks or nests.