May 23, 2015

Scotch and Nutmeg

Yesterday was amazing, filled with several firsts. Once again I hit the beach just before sunrise, trudging past a few surf fishermen that had planted their rods and themselves not far from the beach access stairs. I moved north first, stopping to admire the red and orange sunrise...

After strolling near the surf, I made my way up to the high tide line once, then twice…the 2nd time I found this gorgeous Scotch bonnet shell!  It's in pristine condition, and I was thrilled silly!

Not long after that, another awesome 1st find…a common nutmeg, which wasn't common for me at all.

Eventually, I headed back south, past the fishermen…and found my first lined sea star...

There were a lot of small thorny starfish as well...

…And one royal starfish, which was alive, so I tossed it back into the surf, though I know it was probably pointless...

This wasn't the first green mussel I'd found…I'd found a single shell once, but it wasn't in as good of shape, plus this is a whole (open, empty) bi-valve. The green mussel is an invasive clam from Asia, unfortunately. According to the U of Florida, "In Florida, green mussels have already caused problems for some coastal industries. These dense assemblages of mussels can be costly problems when they clog seawater intakes, weigh down navigation buoys and foul the hulls and engines of boats. Green mussels can also have serious effects on Florida's native fauna. In Tampa Bay, some native oyster reefs have died off after being smothered by green mussels."

…Later on, at home, I saw my first great crested flycatcher perched on top of the bird feeder pole…they don't eat at feeders, so it was just checking out what all the other birds were up to, and left…before I could get a photo. Ugh. But hey, I was thrilled to see it, a lifer!


  1. You had quite a day! Hope your holiday weekend is filled with more beautiful discoveries.

    1. Thanks, Janice! Hope you had a great weekend too!

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