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!

December 02, 2015

It's Been Awhile . . .


I'm still here, beach-combing on a weekly basis . . . this morning hubby and I had some beach therapy, he mainly sat in a beach chair and chilled, I did my usual stroll & shell collecting. We made it for a lovely sunrise and a major surprise . . .






Ta da! This big gem was mostly buried in sand muck, a few inches underwater, between a sand bar that appears at low tide, and the actual beach. I saw the striking, unusual black/white pattern and dug up this, my first Florida horse conch! The shell is 11" long; they can reach 19" max.



On Monday, I found this nice knobbed whelk. Not my first, but they aren't easy to find so I was still pretty thrilled.

Now that the weather's cooled down a bit, beach-combing is quite pleasant all around.





September 15, 2015

Beach-combing Bonanza

Despite the threatening weather, Beach Therapy on this past Friday was really, really good . . . look closely, there's the juvenile reddish egret wading in the foreground . . . look very closely, you can see a flock of brown pelicans heading north just below the horizon (on the left) . . .



It's always thrilling to find a whole whelk shell . . . this small (1.75") Lightning Whelk has very strong dark brown markings . . .



This is the first whole (double-shelled) Atlantic cockle I've ever found; it's small, but it was still an exciting find!




I do have, somewhere in my shoe box sized pile of "misc. clam shells", another one of these Lightning Venus clam shells, but I don't believe the markings are this distinct.



I found two pieces of aqua sea glass; this was the larger piece, approx. 1.25" wide.




Another first  ~  a Jujube Topsnail !




Not a first, but a second . . . a very small Thick-lipped Drill . . .




It was a very good day for finding whelk pieces . . .  my shell bag runneth over!

September 04, 2015

A Heron Beach Bum

This would've been much better with a SLR camera . . . there were several types of shore birds at my "winter" beach Thurs., which I hadn't visited in many weeks . . . besides this great blue heron, there were royal terns, willets, sandpipers (I believe), sanderlings, and more. That vegetation in the background with the pointed fan shaped fronds is called saw palmetto. It's extremely common, all over Florida. After living here almost 4 years now, I'm not entirely used to it yet!



Another sunrise over the Atlantic; the dark cloud is a thunderhead . . .




At NP Beach, I found 3 sand dollars . . . all good-sized and whole.



Railroad vine (morning glory) is named so due to the very long strands that grow running out onto the beach, vs. climbing. There is also beach morning glory, which is white, growing on the beach dunes right now. I use the term "dunes" loosely; the sand mounds here are nothing like the ones on the Pacific NW coast where I grew up.

August 22, 2015

Golden Sunrise

This is definitely a favorite sunrise shot so far . . . !  I made it to the beach on Tues., after about 10 days without any beach therapy . . . the sunrise alone was well worth the early rise. But I'm happy that the sunrise time is becoming later in the day!



This was a small, but exciting find . . . just shy of 2 inches long, a whole, channeled whelk . . .
it cleaned up easily.



And this pear whelk, about 1.5 inches long . . .



Not sure why, but I love finding jingle shells . . . this was a large, black one.

August 15, 2015

Sunrise and Spotted Horsemint

Sunrise on Friday . . . much needed beach therapy after 1 ½ weeks without . . .



. . . This was sunrise last week . . . a lone jogger . . .



. . . The same sunrise from last week, with low tide sandbar and pool . . .



One of the pools held this mullet fingerling . . .



A whole, but battered, whelk shell after I pulled it from the sand . . .



. . . A whelk piece in the shell hash . . . I never tire of finding these.



A large jingle . . . a bi-valve . . . though I've never found a complete one with both shells . . .



I've wanted a photo of this wildflower for some time . . . this is growing by the dunes/roadside along A1A . . . spotted horsemint, a native Florida wildflower ,  I'm happy to say! It doesn't smell like mint, however. It can be used for a "weak" tea, but ingesting the plant itself, is poisonous.