Tuesday December 1, 2015 Most Recent Post:
Curry Hammock State Park That Was One Scary Missed Snorkel on Pigeon Key
This dawn is again full of clouds and birds. A reddish egret and a little blue heron are hunting just off shore. Notice the beautiful colors in the waters all through the pictures this morning.
The dim light makes it hard to see the heron’s reddish neck and head.
Even in this dim light though, you can see the difference between the reddish egret and the little blue heron.
I think these are two Wilson’s Plovers scurrying through the wrack line with numerous others.
The colors begin to show and increase. I turn my attention to the skies.
If I look closer the colors turn from pink to orange and I can see the sun beams.
The resident yellow crowned night heron shows against the pink in the sky.
As the sun rises above the horizon and becomes the orange ball, it’s bright white light darkens the foreground of the pictures making it look darker than it actually is.
The reddish egret flies off and the little blue heron is joined by two white Ibis. I join Eric who is also out to enjoy the early morning show.
This morning proves to be a morning full of more birds than I have seen here at a sunrise.
Both the juvenile and adult Iris.
The little blue heron’s blue beak and feathers are clearer here
Just before Eric and I leave to go back for breakfast, it becomes a feeding frenzy in the wrack line. Dozens of sandpipers, plovers and willets are all furiously searching.
When I return from enjoying the sunrise, David is up and he’s seen a bird too and points to the catbird in the bushes right outside the living room window. How cute I think. HA! Little do I know what he’s going to be up to.
Don’t let his cute looks fool you.
The grand plan for this week had been to go to Pigeon Key to snorkel on Monday when the winds were 8-10 mph and then to take the boat to snorkel at Looe Key today when the winds are even less. But given yesterday’s hospital experience, we feel it prudent to stay close to home and monitor David’s blood pressure to see how decreasing the meds is working.
We take several readings in the morning and they are lower than I would have liked but not in the danger zone so in keeping with the easy does it day, we go kayaking with Laurel and Eric. Laurel writes the fabulous blog Raven and Chickadee. You will no doubt see much better pictures of our adventures over there.
They moved into site 13 which we had when we were here a month ago. You can see Winnona and their Artic Fox in these two pictures. Bet you can guess which site I prefer of these two I’ve tried.
Laurel is the queen of purple and looks wonderful in that color as she stands beside their tandem kayak Just look at the fabulous skies behind her. Finally a wonderful weather day.
Her smile shows just how excited we both are to be able to get out onto the water.
You can see their rig in the background as they join us and we paddle out to the sandbar to look for rays and starfish.
We don’t get very far before Eric spots this Magnificent Frigate bird soaring overhead. It’s the first time I’ve seen one here and I am very excited to have gotten this picture of her given the way she is moving across the sky. What luck!
And I’m not the only one who thinks she’s magnificent. That’s her official name “The Magnificent Frigate”.
Well, after that, what else is there to see? Not much it turns out other than the beautiful blue sky, the gorgeous white clouds and the glorious shades of blue in the water. No starfish and no rays on the sandbar. We think perhaps it is just a bit too windy today and that’s confirmed a bit later.
Looking back toward the campground and day use are as we return from the sandbar.
David has broken away from the group and calls us to see the spotted eagle ray he has found. Much smaller than the one I saw here last time we were here. We all three hurry over and we see it but neither David nor I got any good pictures of it. We’re thinking they may be closer in to the shore because of the seas and the winds.
We paddle around the bend and into the channel where we see a preening line up going on atop the breakwater.
We’re not sure who owns this private key across the channel from the park. There is a small care taker’s house but nothing else and we’ve never seen any sign of activity on the island or at the dock.. Until today when there is a noisy chipper out while some grounds crew manicures the area. It already looks like a park so we really can’t figure out what’s going on.
We don’t see anything in the calm channel today either so after a once around we head back. David does see another little blue fishing at the edge of the mangroves.
We leave the kayaks on shore thinking we’ll come back for a sunset paddle.
After lunch, David takes a nap and about 2:30, I pack up and head out to go to Sombrero Beach for a few hours in the sand and water. There’s no one to take pictures of me floating on the warm ocean waters but it’s absolutely wonderful.
Some previous beach goers have built this little sand castle for me to enjoy by the waters edge as I read. You can tell there is wind by seeing that there are waves. Usually the water just laps the shore. Amazing to me on the Atlantic Ocean Front.
A beautiful afternoon in one of my favorite places.
But at least for the time we’ve been in the Keys this year, the good times don’t last. I had thought to stay to sunset but the clouds darken and when I look out, I see the rains coming down at the horizon.
I’m one of the last people on the beach and I love the quiet and having it nearly to myself but it’s time to leave.
One last look at those clouds rolling this way and I pack up my things. We won’t get to that sunset paddle that’s for sure.
Before I left for the beach, Mr. Catbird had decided he needed to peck not at our windows but at the black rubber trim around them. This was requiring constant window tapping to deter him. I’d left Tiger and Piglet on guard. When David got up he took this picture of them peering out. I’m sure they are glaring at the bird. But it seems the catbird can’t see them in through the tinted windows so they are unable to affect his behavior. We’re going to have to come up with another solution to this pesky pecking bird. Any suggestions?
We bring the kayaks back to the site given the look of things.
The sunset is hampered again by those bothersome returning rain clouds but does a decent job of fighting them off.
It rains all night long.