Kites on the beach, what could go wrong? Well, as you see in the feature photo, a huge expanse of beach, tiny little kites in the sky, (K heard there were huge kites the day before), and even a plane crash…
I had my camera ready in case I saw anything photo worthy on my way to Longboat Key, so when I saw horses on the beach you know I had to stop for a picture. For a brief moment I thought how fun it would be to ride a horse on the beach, and then I remembered my age and thought better of that idea. I also stopped to see the whashed up boat on the causeway again, hoping that the RV would be gone. And it was! But a car with a kayak on top was parked way too close to the front of the boat. Seems you can’t win.
When I heard that there was a lot of driftwood on the beach nearby the condo I really didn’t picture this. Driftwood trees, decorated with shells, was new to me.
My friend found it amazing that this Great Blue Heron let us walk as close to him as we did while we were on our walk.
I also saw two new birds to me, the tiny little Sanderlings, and two Piping Plovers.
On this trip I learned that this is called ‘wrack’. It just looks like ocean junk but it provides an important environment for tiny organisms to thrive. Nothing is wasted in nature.
Social distancing was not a problem on this trip. We had the beach to ourselves, or nearly so. Walking and learning and enjoying the days.
It wasn’t easy trying to get to the site of the festivities in Tarpon Springs the other day, what with so many streets blockaded and such. Eventually I realized that I was close enough to where I was supposed to meet my son to just park (legally) on one of the side streets and walk to the meeting point. That worked well. The trick came when I had to walk back to my car with only a vague notion of where it was parked. I walked the side streets and parking lots to get there, and to my amazement I came across the lovely mural of Mother Meres tucked away on one of those side streets. Of course I took a picture and Googled her story once I got home.
It seems that Mother Meres was born Amelia Petzold Meres in Germany in 1845, and came to the US as a child of 5. In 1882 she moved to Tarpon Springs with her husband and she ran the Fern Hotel there. According to a story published in the Tarpon Springs Tribune this mural was dedicated in her honor in 2010, 84 years after her death in 1923. It credits her accomplishments as planting cyads, which eventually gave the Tarpon Springs Cycadia Cemetery it’s name. She threw the first Christmas Party in the area, and helped to plant trees to beautify the town. If I had done my homework I would have found the Kapok Tree Inn and taken a picture because she is credited with providing the seeds for the tree that gave it it’s name.
After her death in 1923 her gardens became a gathering place for the town, but they were mostly turned into parking lots in the 1950s. So this mural was created to thank her for lasting gifts her love of plants and nature have left for the town all these years later.
This statue sits in front of the library so I thought that it’s story was probably self-explanatory. But what a lovely statue it is, I wish I’d taken time for a few more pictures but we were rushing to the waterfront for the main event of the day. It seems there is more to Tarpon Springs than just the sponge docks…
No, sushi wasn’t on the menu at my son’s house yesterday, but it certainly was at Anclote Gulf park on the way home.
I think of them as the three amigos, the single great blue heron, egret, and little blue heron who are usually hanging around together and waiting for handouts from the fishermen. I took a couple of pictures and thought that that would be the end of my photo shoot, when suddenly there was a splash and the three of them took off for the section of beach behind me. I turned to discover that the great blue was first to the fisherman’s offering, and no one challenged him for it.
Another couple was on the pier with me and we wondered if he was going to be able to eat that thing, silly us.
The egret seemed to not be bothered by losing out on lunch.
And then, on the other side of the pier I saw this anhinga with another bit of sushi that it was preparing to eat. He had to catch his lunch all by himself, and then he swam around with it for a couple of minutes, managing to swim into the area of highest reflections from the afternoon sun. I couldn’t see him through my viewfinder but I kept shooting anyhow.
So much excitement for a quick stop for photos. But I was tired so I decided that it was time to head home.
I have gone out to photograph the eagles and stuck out before, but I can usually count on the nearby Anclote River Park for people, boats, and pelicans. Not yesterday though. There was only a couple of cars in the parking lot which is usually quite full, and with no boaters to toss scraps I guess the birds were off hunting on their own. I did get the image of a bird that I hoped for, it just wasn’t an eagle. No, an osprey was sounding off from a snag above it’s nest, so I was able to get a photo of him.
And low tide at Anclote Gulf Park had some wading birds looking for a snack.
There was a surprise visitor welcoming visitors to Anclote River Park, so I took his picture.
On the way home the Sandhill Cranes were wandering along a retention pond so I stopped to see them. I don’t know why they were such a common sight to see in Spring Hill, but it’s a treat to see them since I moved. As I was looking at these pictures this morning I heard a couple of them calling as they flew over, but they kept going, the calls fading away as they flew.
And here’s the rest of the story, believe it or not. Shortly after I finished writing this post and scheduled it to publish I saw some movement out the window. My desk sits in my Florida room, which is all windows, and working on the computer can be a challenge because I’m facing those windows and the sheers I have hanging on them don’t keep me from struggling to see the screen against the glare of the windows. So through the sheers I saw something walk by, and here’s who came calling.
It is still a rare treat to see them here. But today their timing was impeccable…
Yes, I was, late to the party I mean. Not the party in the feature photo, Ii wasn’t invited to that. But I was late for the sunset and rushing to get across the parking lot so I could have a view of the beach to see just how late I actually was. But those people had caught my eye. They held that pose, and held that pose, so I swung my camera up and took a shot. And still they held that pose. And I noticed the tripods and cameras off to the right, and the gal to the left of the couple who, I decided, wasn’t getting another angle on the couple, but was shooting the sunset. Was she photo bombing an engagement shoot? And who wears heels to the beach?
And the sunset held it’s pose. Well, it’s color, just long enough…