May 09, 2017

A Tale of Two Aprils

Wow, I didn't realize six months have passed since I last posted on my Blog...I can now play catch-up with two separate years, April of '16 and of '17, gads. I no longer go to the beach on a weekly basis, but do try to get there every two weeks. And I've been to the Gulf coast twice since January, to one of two major shelling spots in S Florida, Sanibel Island. But that comes later... first things first!

April 2016

Beach therapy is about 90% uplifting time with the sand and sea...and 10% less pleasant moments, like coming across this barely alive hermit crab. I placed the crab and shell right by the incoming waves and walked away. I know it must've been washed into the ocean, but will never know if it survived.



The sunrises continue to amaze . . .


I made a rare visit to N. Peninsula Beach last year, just south of Flagler Beach, and found these three whole angel wing shells that someone had collected and left behind...or so it appeared anyway.



There are many types of egg casings from many sea critters...this one is from a tulip snail...




Late winter / early spring seems to be when the royal starfish shows up the most . . .





The sunrise is always changing . . .



Sand dollars also seem to appear late winter / early spring . . .



It's always fun to find a heart shaped shell piece or rock . . . I see on Facebook that many beach-combers like to collect these hearts.



I'm still enjoying seeing the unique color of each shark's eye (a moon snail) . . .



Another egg casing, aka a mermaid's purse... this is a skate egg case.



April 2017

Last month, my regular shelling beach at Matanzas Inlet and other NE beaches had an invasion of Portuguese Man-O-Wars. Beachings are most common Dec. thru May; April and May are supposed to be peak months for abundance. I saw dozens, lots of tiny ones, to these larger sizes.







November 01, 2016

March in November . . .

I'm recently back from a four-week trip to my hometown in No. Calif.; I managed to be gone from NE Florida before, during, and after Hurricane Matthew tore through here! Our county was one of the hardest hit in Florida, but since we live west of I-95, our home (and my hubby) stood strong in the Category 3 winds, and the only damage was the loss of two smaller trees in our backyard and a fairly new microwave (and the power for 4-5 days). . .

So, here I sit, almost a week back home and aching to see "my" beach after both a long absence and after the storm tore up much of the coastline in the area . . . I do believe my beach fared well, considering . . . I'll get there this week, but in the meantime will continue my attempt of "catch up" with my photos from March . . .


This lovely knobbed whelk was buried in "muck" (sand submerged in shallow water) near the spot where I placed it after pulling it out and rinsing it off . . .


A wentletrap! I now have two of these gastropod shells . . . this is the larger of the two at 7/8". Yep, not even an inch long! They only reach 1" max., too.


From what I've seen on Facebook, in groups for seashell / beach lovers, finding and collecting heart shapes is kind of a thing . . . I have very few; they aren't easy to find! This one looks nearly perfect, made from an oyster shell.


Sunrise over the Atlantic . . . cannot wait to see one again!


Speaking of oyster shells... here's a cluster of striped acorn barnacles on an oyster shell . . .


Another small beauty, the thick-lipped drill. . . a not-so-pretty name. They reach 1.5" max. This pinkish tone is their natural color.


Another baby's ear . . .


And another lettered olive . . .


An angelwing . . .


. . . A small lightning whelk . . .


And a very nicely "carved" whelk piece.


August 03, 2016

February in August . . .

. . . Another glorious sunrise over the Atlantic, in Feb., the coldest month of the year here in NE Florida. And I do mean cold . . . during one beach visit, my feet were so painfully numb I had to cut the time there short. But the sunrises are worth it!





I continued to find interesting calico scallops in Feb. Above, this scallop has acorn barnacles attached. The gray and yellow one below, was an especially unique find . . .




I found my second common nutmeg shell! Don't let the photo fool you, they only reach a max of 1.7" (4.5 cm)



I thought this was a "turkey wing" ark, but it's a red-brown ark. I only have one turkey wing, from the Gulf Coast. I have about 3 of these red-browns, compared to zillions of the incongruous arks. There are actually 10 types of arks found in Florida.



This royal starfish was growing an arm back . . .



I know it's sad to see a dead sea creature, but I was also fascinated to see a puffer fish on the beach. This is a Spiny Box Puffer, or Striped Burrfish.



I found a mostly buried sand dollar . . . and was surprised that it was a whole one!




Ring-billed gulls were hanging out one morning . . .


As were these herring gulls . . . (note pale pink legs) . . . only seen in winter here.



Royal terns are seen year-round, but it's more fun to see their 'do in winter. The "Florida's Living Beaches" ID book actually notes that "Royal terns shun 'the comb-over' " !



The Forster's terns were chillin' too . . . note the black mottled crown above the eye patch ~ in late winter, their heads darken from masks to caps.



This ruddy turnstone's plumage is transitioning from breeding to winter colors. Ruddies winter along most of Florida's coastlines, but they live year-round along the panhandle coast.

July 17, 2016

January in July

....Now it's been QUITE awhile since I last posted, seven months in fact...so I'm going back to the beginning of 2016, re-starting where I left off... when the beach-combing is at its best no less...



I thought this looked really amazing, a feather floating w/ two water drops on it. (I did not put the droplets there!)




This is one beauty we do not touch!
This was the first Portuguese man-o-war I'd ever seen with its tentacles intact!




A very blustery morning on the beach...
The sand was blowing up the beach in streaks...




A January sunrise over the Atlantic . . .
I still go to the beach right before sunrise . . .




I found some more whole whelks . . .
(Above, knobbed whelk)




...And one Giant Eastern Murex piece . . .




This shark's eye was a deep taupe w/ black markings . . .




Finding whole whelks never gets old  . . . . .






The endless patterns of calico scallops never cease to entertain . . .







...And finding sea urchin tests is still a fairly rare treat!