Pensacola Beach Blogger

Pictures, News, Reviews, and Info on Pensacola Beach

Archive for the 'Nature' Category

Bird’s the word

I’ve seen this guy around before, but today he landed on my back deck. Standing there like he owns the place.

Anyone know what kind of bird this is? Looks like some kind of heron to me. (click the images to enlarge them)

Leave a comment if you know! I’m curious!


Snorkel Days

Hopefully everyone made it out to the beach yesterday. The water was calm and clear… a perfect time to do some snorkeling!


We found all kinds of shells and creatures. Look at this little guy:


We had a few jelly stings, even though we didn’t see any actual jellyfish. Their tentacles can still float around and cause a bit of pain, but sometimes I don’t even notice it until I’m out of the water. Here’s a tip for the jellyfish stings: If you feel a sting, don’t rub it or rinse it with fresh water. These actions will only make the sting worse by activating more nematocysts (poison filled sacs) on the tentacle. I simply try to ignore it and the pain usually stops within 10 minutes or so, but if you feel the need to take action, try using meat tenderizer on the affected area. I’ve personally never done this, but I suppose if I ever get a bad sting I would give it a try. Of course, if you’re feeling severe pain, light hotheadedness, chest pain, or shortness of breath, get yourself to the hospital!

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Its Not Easy Being Green

Green Anole lizards are common on Pensacola Beach, and the rest of the Gulf Coast area. I often find them right outside my door, or running up trees as I walk by.


They eat insects, so I don’t mind them at all. The color of their skin can change from green to brown depending on their mood, or their surrounding colors, but they usually stay green when the temperature is above 70 degrees.


You can tell the males from the females by a white stripe down their back. The females have one, the males do not. It is a little hard to see in the first two photos, but you can see it on the tail here:


Sorry these pictures aren’t “tack sharp”, but I’m still getting used to my new 50mm lens! I went a little overboard with the aperture. I guess you don’t learn if you don’t make mistakes!

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Sea Turtle Nests Everywhere!

I smile every time I walk out to the beach now that they’ve fixed our neighborhood walkway. Erosion from the passing of Gustav caused the dune under the walkway to wash out, and the SRIA boarded it up. Well, as of a few weeks ago, it is finally fixed. Thanks SRIA!

But what was even more surprising, was the fact that I have not one, but TWO sea turtle nests within a stone’s throw away!

I’m not sure how I missed these the last few days, as they couldn’t be any closer to my house. Last year, one day on the beach, Barrier Island Girl told me what the numbers and letters on the posts represent, but my memory is spotty now. Hopefully she can chime in and remind us all what’s going on here. I’m guessing the first few numbers represent when they were found (6-03 and 6-15). How can we calculate when they are going to be hatched?

I do know this: the eggs are very fragile, and should be left alone. It is unfortunate that we see what appear to be children’s footprints and drawings over the nests. This can put the baby turtles at great risk. Parents, please keep kids and pets out of the nests!


Into the Everglades

My camera is undergoing some maintenance right now, which is the reason for the lack of posts, but this is a perfect time to present some pictures of a recent off-island excursion. Here are some interesting photos I took in the Everglades on my way to Key West. Enjoy!

About a month ago, my friend Randy and I took a ride to Key West via the Tamiami Trail highway (US 41) in his Jeep:

Driving through the Collier-Seminole state park, we could see sawgrass prairies, typical of the Everglades:

Nature at work: Vultures eating a dead alligator!

But not all the gators we saw were dead:

How about an afternoon nap?

On the outskirts of the Everglades, there were a few palm farms:

I snapped a pic of this gator by hanging the camera out of the top of the Jeep. Not bad, eh?

That’s all for now. I’ll get back to Beach Blogging now!

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One brave kid

Now here is something you wouldn’t catch me doing… this kid was holding onto what I thought to be a Portuguese man-o-war. Now, I’m no ocean-life expert, but I’ve always assumed this action to lead to certain discomfort. If someone is more knowledgeable about what this kid is holding, please comment. I’m curious to know what I’ve been avoiding on my early morning walks down the beach.


Pensacola Beach Erosion

Pensacola Beach has a different shape this fall, after several weeks of the Gulf re-claiming its sand, or, at least shifting it around. Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike seemed to have left their mark on our beautiful beaches. There are four, seven, and even some ten-foot drops on the east side of the island:

I’m curious to see what the future holds. Will the SRIA somehow bring sand in, or reshape the beach? Will the beaches take their normal, flat shape again over time? Leave a comment if you have any input on this:

The walkway near my home is officially closed now, due to the big drop off at the end of it:


September Sunrise

This morning I was up early enough to catch the sunrise on Pensacola Beach. In fact I was up before the sunrise:

At 6:30am this morning, you can still see the moon at the top of this picture.  It was a very peaceful time to be out on the beach, but the sand was kind of chilly. The Gulf, however, was very warm. It felt great to walk on the warm sand down by the water.

Here comes the sun:

There were plenty of pelicans out, ready to “obstruct” my shot:

Sun is up. Time to head back and make some coffee!


Crab Catchin’

If you’ve spent any time at all on Pensacola Beach (especially near dusk), you’ve seen the crabs! But have you ever tried catching one? Check out the crab we pulled up in a net:

If you hold them from the back, they can’t pinch you:

Of course, soon after we caught this guy, we let him go:

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Hurricane Ike is flooding my neighborhood

Hurricane Ike is causing some high tides and flooding over in my neighborhood on Pensacola Beach, the sound-side in particular. I woke up this morning to a beautiful sunrise:

But water rushing down the street is never a good sign:

Looks like the Gulf is coming over the dunes! Not a good thing for our expected turtle hatchlings on Pensacola Beach.

In fact, I found this screen covering used to keep crabs out of the turtle nests. I’ll be sure to let Barrier Island Girl and Traveling Turtle Girl know.

The Santa Rosa sound is rising:

And it is causing plenty of problems for my neighbors on the sound-side of the island:

I took many more pictures down at the pier this morning… I’ll have them up shortly!


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