Pensacola Beach Blogger

Pictures, News, Reviews, and Info on Pensacola Beach

Archive for September, 2008

Star Gazing on Pensacola Beach

I meant to post this a bit earlier in the week, but if you have any interest in astronomy, you’re in luck this weekend. The Escambia Amateur Astronomy Association (EAAA) is hosting a star gaze on Casino Beach (at the pavilion) on Friday, September 12th and Saturday September 13th.

As long as the weather holds out, they will have their telescopes set up to look at the Moon, Jupiter, and other star clusters and galaxies. Star charts will also be available for use. The event starts at 6:30PM and goes into the night.

If you miss the star gaze this weekend, they are also setting up just past the temporary gate to Fort Pickens on Friday, September 26th between 6:30 PM and 10:00 PM.

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Ike at Night (and other camera tricks)

When I came home tonight, there was nearly a full moon out, perfect to get a night shot of the beach!

I’m still a beginner when it comes to manual modes on my camera, but I can usually figure out what I want after some fumbling around. For shots like these, a tripod is necessary. The shutter was open for 15 seconds, which is why you can’t really see the huge waves that are still crashing in from Hurricane Ike. Everything seems to level out, to what appears as a peaceful beach scene. You can also see some blur in the clouds, since they were moving so fast.

Speaking of night shots, I got this cool shot during last week’s Bands On the Beach:

This one was also taken under moonlight, with some help of the stage lighting from the band. The purple wavy lines you see are trails from children running around with glow sticks. If you look close, you can see where one kid threw the glow stick into the air!


Hurricane Ike’s effects on Pensacola Beach

Hurricane Ike is out in the gulf, and will be missing Pensacola Beach completely. But we are seeing very high waves, and the Santa Rosa sound is getting pretty high. These are some pictures I took this morning:

Charlie’s Beach doesn’t look like a beach I’d want to be on today:

This is behind the Boardwalk on Pensacola Beach. There is usually a beach behind it:

You can see the water crashing through the dock behind the big stage:

To get that last shot, I had to run out on the dock while timing and dodging the waves shooting up through the wood:

Forget sea-side dining. How about dining IN the sea?

Some of these scenes were amazing, but this flooding is making a mess in some areas:

As with Hurricane Gustav, the flooding has taken over the picnic area on Pensacola Beach:

Well, I’ve never seen this. Waves actually crashing over the Pensacola Beach Pier!

The pictures I took from under the pier ended up looking like scenes out of an Indiana Jones movie. Check this out:

Run for your life!

These are some of the biggest waves I’ve ever seen out here on the beach:


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!


Blue buttons on Pensacola Beach

Usually when a purple flag is flying over Pensacola Beach, it means one thing: the Jellyfish have arrived! We get a number of species out here, some dangerous, some not, but this one I found very interesting. This is a Blue Button. This isn’t actually a jellyfish, but a Chondrophore that we found and put in a pot from the kitchen just long enough to take pictures of. What you’re looking at isn’t a single animal, rather a colony of small polyps, each performing a different role in the colony.

Although these are quite harmless, they may cause slight skin irritation if touched. Here’s what the top looks like:


The Swans of Pensacola Beach

There are several large swans that hang around in the ponds over on the east side of Pensacola Beach. Most of the time, they can be found right out my back door! Judging by the orange and black bill, and white plumage I would guess that these are Mute Swans. They had babies this spring (the babies are called cygnets), but I haven’t seen them in months. I’m thinking they either left the island or were removed from it.

Feeding these swans is risky business. Right up until they were eating, they were hissing and grunting at us:

In this picture, you can clearly see the projection above the bill, characteristic of Mute Swans:

Now they are just getting greedy:

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Life under the Pier

The Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier at Casino Beach is always fun to walk on, but have you been under it lately? Check out the hammock these guys set up under it. What a great idea!

There are plenty of shells under the pier:

He’s going to find the good ones:

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Take a hike, Ike!

I certainly don’t like the projected forecast for Hurricane Ike. Ike is now a borderline category 2 or 3 hurricane headed to the Keys of Florida, along with Haiti and Cuba. Computer models are now showing that Ike will most likely end up in the Gulf of Mexico, which is bad news for Pensacola and the rest of the Gulf Coast. Later next week, we may be closing up hurricane shutters once again.

Many of my neighbors have kept their windows borded up and the hurricane shutters closed since taking action for Hurricane Gustav. Let’s hope we can open up our windows again soon!

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The Dome of a Home

The very popular Dome of a Home is a Pensacola Beach landmark, and only a few blocks away from me. This place claims to be resistant to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and even earthquakes, according to their website.

It looks pretty indestructible to me. Here is the sign out front:

Looks like fun, but according to their website, they are no longer doing vacation rentals. Too bad!

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Gustav stole my beach!

Hurricane Gustav is gone, but he took something with him! My beach! This walkway usually ramps down into the sand. Today there’s a 2 foot drop-off:

You can see some damage to the sand fences (or whatever those are called):

But the good news is that the sun is shining, at least for now. There are still a few storms rolling through though. I snapped this picture around noon today:


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