Saturday, October 31, 2009

Turtle Beach on Siesta Key

This week Maranda and I went to Turtle Beach to complete the items she needed for her Marine Biology project. Turtle Beach is about 2.5 miles further south on the key from Crescent Beach. You can check it out here from the Siesta Key Chamber website. He assignment was Mangroves, so we went to the boat launch at Turtle Beach where we usually take the kayak. We could get pretty close to Mangroves by land there. Here is one shot that we saw. Wade suggested South Lido Beach, those Mangroves we can kayak through "trails" that weave throughout.
We got some photos and some pods, and small oyster shells that were laying around she can use.
So that done it was still early and we were that close to the beach, we had to walk the beach! Here we go. I think we'll plan on showing you all the beaches in the area.
I think it was last year that they did a beach refurbishment and the wooden bridges that took you over the sea grass were washed away by some storms. They now just have a roped path leading through the vegetation. This is a popular beach for the Loggerhead Turtles to come ashore and lay their eggs. Mote Marine usually patrols the beaches in the area during turtle nesting season, (starts in May) and section off any nests that they find during the night. They are counted, dated, and marked. The monitoring continues until they hatch. It's quite interesting.
We saw all different kinds of birds here today. This Blue Heron is waiting for whatever is left from this fisherman.

Of course seagulls and some little Sandpipers.

This beach had a little more shells than Crescent Beach had last week.

Some Terns and a gull walking up to check them out.


The sand starts to get darker here, then it's even darker further south in Venice. Here is a crab hole. When we go out to Turtle Beach for sunset all the crabs are running in and out of there holes. They are the color of the sand so it's hard to see the unless they run when you get up close. I didn't want to wait for him to peek out to snap a shot of him.

Sandpipers. I missed getting the picture of the sanderlings, they run too fast on the waterline.

After all that we forgot to get some of this sand for the sandy bottom in the mangroves, so we'll have to go back tomorrow. Can't tonight it's Halloween! It was a beautiful morning, but it's unseasonably hot, high near 90. Poor little Trick-or-treaters will be sweating in any costume!

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Crescent Beach on Siesta Key

This is the time of year that the locals go to the beach. The bridge to the key isn't all backed up, you can actually find a parking spot, and the weather is perfect. Maranda need some things for her Marine Biology project, so we thought we'd go out to the key. We still like to go early before it gets too hot and to avoid a lot of traffic, even though is is before "season" there are still a lot of visitors to the key. Crescent Beach is just over the bridge and is the closest beach to us. Takes about 5 minutes if we time the lights right.
This is on the path leading to the beach. Crescent Beach is a good place to watch sunset because the sun sets over the water. At Siesta Beach which is about a mile or so north and it is around the "crescent" so the sun sets over the tip of land. Siesta Beach is more popular to tourists and it has a large parking lot the is usually full unless you get there very early. It was also voted number 2 this year for being the best beach in the country. It is still off to the right in this photo.
Back to Crescent Beach, this is the south end, where a lot of the beach runs that start at Siesta Beach will go to the "wall" or "point o' rocks" and back about 5 k. We can snorkel out in this area.
You can barely see Siesta in the photo below, the area where there is no buildings. Usually this early in the morning you have the joggers, walkers, shellers and a few fishers.
There weren't many shells this morning. I will post about all the sea urchins I found last Feb. But today this is pretty much what we saw.
It's kind of interesting because you never know what the beach is going to look like. Somethimes it's full of seaweed, or it has sea urchins dumped on it, or you find a lot of sand dollars or alot of one sort of shell or another.
It's funny how early people around here are getting ready for Christmas! ha ha
Yes, I was here. Maranda's picture she was squinting too much in the sun. She asked me to delete it.
We only found a couple of shells for her project, so we headed to the street where they have the little shops, restaurants and places that will rent you kayaks, boats, segways, bicycles, these paddle carts etc... anything a visitor could ask for. You know tourist wonderland! Yikes!
This is where we went to dinner last night. We figured we better go now while we can get in, before the tourists start coming down. Then there is a line to get into the restaurants on the key.So we check out the Green Turtle.
If you can't find shells on the beach, you can always buy them here! Does this say "tourist" or what?
I do love going in here though. It reminds me when we were kids going to Florida to visit granda. Who could resist an alligator head? Shark jaw? Shell candle? They did have swimsuits on sale quite reasonable.
Now this really takes me back. My older sister had this Orange Blossom Perfume when we were kids that she got on a visit to grandma's. I think back then it came in a glass bottle, but it had the little cork on the top. Funny they still sell this.
Hope you enjoyed our morning as we did, and I'll show you her project when she is finished with it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

After 2 Years and 7 Months Braces are Off

Ta da!! Here it is. She got them off last Monday and we finally got to take some after photos yesterday. Her school pictures are next week, so she lucked out there.
This is where we began....

A little gap and an extreme over bite.

The last week that she had them on. She didn't always give a full smile for pictures, so we had to make sure we got a "before" shot with braces.

She was so funny the other day when she said her teeth touch her bottom teeth, "is that okay?"
She was so good the whole time her braces were on. She followed every rule and made sure she did everything that the Doctor told her to do. She also had to have an Upper Franectomy to remove (laser) some of the extra skin she had above her upper gums and between her teeth or they could go back. Next week we go to get her retainer and I'm sure she is going to wear them too, just as she is instructed to do.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's a Dogs Weekend

A lot of dogs this weekend! Our dear friends have once again jetted off to blue waters to dive in, leaving their furry kids at their second home. They are very comfortable here and all tree dogs coexist just fine. Roxy the youngest and only female seems to think she is the center of the universe. She like to herd Tucker (our dog) the senior of the group, she nips at him if he gets too close to us. Flash who recently had surgery seems to be his old self again. They have a routine when they are here and we better stick to it, but they don't run the show. Honest!
Roxy , Tucker, Flash. Roxy always has to be in your face, in front, on your lap or anywhere close.
I don't know. Something must be exciting in the pool!
The dive rings Roxy thinks are toys for her to fetch and when the are thrown in the pool they sink. She just can't figure it out. She swims in circles over them looking and looking.
Flash can't stop watching "Alphie" our pool cleaner (named after the toy robot from our childhood). Roxy is still looking for the rings.
She sees it, there at the bottom. Ah, the young are so determined! Later Wade pressure washed the pool deck so it's all nice and clean now. Next the furniture, we should be able to spend more time just sitting out on the lanai enjoying the weather, not having to jump in the pool.
You have to be careful to make sure the bathroom door is latched or you'll get this!
Or this!
Or both! Hey what's going on?
Tucker just seems bored with it. Kids!
It is fun watching other dogs though, you find out your isn't the only one with issues!
Okay it's time to go down to the beach for sunset!

Thursday, October 1, 2009