Keep me in your thoughts this week as
I travel to East Tennessee to bring my Mom and Aunt Helen back for an
extended time to our Island. Helen's not feeling very well these
days and still has very bad memory problems requiring monitoring of her
insulin. The RN who was being caretaker for them had just gotten
too close to them and decided it was too much for her and she was going
to re-retire. Mom's dementia is worse. She was making toast
on the glass stove top the other day but luckily did not catch anything
on fire. I kind of thought it was a pretty creative way of
figuring out a new way to make toast. She used to cook in a restaurant
so I'm sure that was very much like a grill would look to her.
Both need supervision in different ways and without anyone I did
not know what else to do. So the neice, Nicki's wedding is a good
excuse to get them down here.
After the downpour the day I found
nest 19 I have been able to complete each morning without any more rain
delays although the clouds have been so beautiful that I come back with
my camera full of photographs of the clouds.
calm winds the tidal pools become a mirror image of the sky over head.
I ask my husband to explain the scientific reason that the
reflections change according to my position. It is better to not
ask, as science is such a mystery, I am alway like my young children
saying "but why?" to every answer I get. I just know that they
do, as I move around the pool opting for the best angle for the shot.
is always nice when you have an out of town friend to show around and
you find an
accomodating Gopher Tortoise along side the road. We did not have
these fellows back in Tennessee or N. Georgia so are new and different
for friend from up that way. They are so much larger than the
Eastern Box Turtles we had.
is what is left of nest #19. It has had a hard row to hoe as they
say. The fox got into it twice and destroyed around 50 eggs.
Now a crab has burrowed into the nest to do more destruction.
I had built the tepee out of stakes from nest #1, which I had
just excavated, since the fox showed us the exact position of where the nest is located.
It did keep the fox from finishing his attempt to get into it
once again. Then it got washed over by high tides. It will
be a small miracle if it does get to hatch, but I am going to make
every effort to see that it does.
Black Swallowtails begin to form their Chrysalis. There is a tiny
thread you will see if you look closely near the head that goes around
the middle of the caterpillars body and looks very much like an
electric utility lineman's safety harness with which he climbs poles. This
allows the body which is anchored on the bottom to be suspended waiting
for the next stage.
is the only Manatee I have seen in the river this year and it is dead.
So I call in and report this. The FWC came and retrieved it
and took it to Sea World to do a Narcopsy.
crabs are still occasionally on the beach mating and laying eggs but
not like they are in the spring time. Toward Fall they will molt,
shedding their entire skin so that it looks like there are dead
horseshoe crabs everywhere but they are really only hollow shells.
Those are OK to take with you, and I especially look for tiny juvinile ones
which have shed their ourter covering, to keep in the gallery. If
they smell then they are dead ones if not then they are just the shell.
one day this Summer have Fran and I gotten to go fishing. It was
a lovely day with pretty puffy clouds and clear blue skies. The
fishing was not that great but we did catch some Sea Trout, which were
caught after noon and on my plate by dinner time. That was some
Black Swallowtail continued his metamorphis as the caterpillar look has
now transformed itself into the very organic looking Chrysallis.
continues to change until the form turns this very bark like in color.
You can see that it would be almost invisible to the eye out
sparkly morning as a Shrimp Boat is off on the horizon. I often
see them in this area so this must be a good honey hole for catching
remaining Plover baby with its mom. I like to think the other one
just flew away but probably it was not that lucky. Lots can
happen to a small bird out on the beach all they time. The
Laughing Gulls and other birds are also predators for young birds.
Wabbit still comes anxiously trotting to the back patio every few
evenings, and eats a whole carrot and a half each time. Not quite
sure why she doesn't come every night but she doesn't. All we
have to do now is let her hear our voices and she comes troting.
Kind of fun having our own in the wild rabbit so tame. Her
coat looks much better, nice and shiny, with the addition of all those
carrots. I don't think they have helped her sight that much
though as she seems to locate them with her nose if she drops it.
These are big carrots so she often drops it when she carries it
underneath one of the patio tables where she eats it. Then she comes
back for another. and anouther, until she if full. We break them in pieces so she has to come back to get enough.
found this beautiful red sponge on the beach however it blew off the
back of my ATV where I thought I had it secured. It had
disappeared the next time I went back to the beach so I guess it became
someone else's treasure. This was the largest and prettiest I had
of our nests which was behind the peak of the first of the primary
dunes. It was a good place to avoid water damage but not a good
place for the tiny little hatchlings to see the water. They
became confused by the lights from the town and factory behind and
wandered all around the dunes trying to find their way to the water.
Len, who lives in some of the first house just south of the park
said that a couple of them wandered all the way down to in front of his house.
went North Some went South, and some when both east and West.
Most eventually found their way to the water or were picked off
by the fox whose tracks are also mixed in with the turtles or by crabs.
I had wandered all around the dunes trying to see if there were
any back there but I did not see anymore. I went to excavate a
nest, then realized I had lost my lens hood off my camera. I
thought it must be back in the dune where I was searching for little
made a second trip to the nest to search this time for my lost camera
part. While I was back in the dune I looked down to see this
little fellow just trucking on down the beach but not knowing how to
reach the water.
yelled at the only other person on the beach within earshot, a young
mother pushing a stroller with her young three year old girl in it.
I held up the turtle and told them to wait. This little
fellow was very eager to be pointed in the right direction.
little guy was very strong, even though it had expended a lot of that
stored up energy by crawling such a long time trying to find its
way. He charged right into the water without any help, dead set
on swimming away.
Opps a daisy, a little tumble, but nothing that he couldn't right on he own.
And then enought water to start that long journey out to sea.
As I head back up the river an Osprey soared above me. She seemed to be enjoying the air currents.
A lazy summer day with sailing ships, beach, and clear sunny skies.
was first weekend in the month which means that the Fort is inundated
with Civil War Soldiers and their families. These are getting
suited up in their athentic uniforms for a day of going back in the
time machine and playing soldiers for a weekend.
is also a happy time for my sister's daughter and my niece, Nicki, who
is marrying her best friend of may years after they both realized that
was who they both were searching in all the wrong places was found in each other. A
good basis for a relationship is when it starts with friendship.
Sunshine, dazzling bright on the water, silhouttes the pier
Railroad vine is growning with renewed vigor after a couple of years of being washed away by storms.
Brer Fox has been up to no good once again. What will we do to
keep him from eating up all of this years Sea Turtles in the park?
Another morning and another dread filled trip down the beach to check to see what mischief he has been up to during the night. The sea is glassy as if someone poured oil on it.
walking into the dunes checking damage to nests and getting my cap
dusted from the puffs of pollen the Sea Oat Heads released when I
bumped them I noticed something I had never noticed before.
Most times my view is from far away looking back toward the dunes
from the beach and seldom do I really get up for a closer view. I
saw for the first time the pretty colors in the stems of the Sea Oats.
There were the pale green but also pinks, and lavenders, as well
as the yellow of the joint. Why had I never noticed that before?
low morning sun does a fine job of highlighting this family of Willets.
I say "family" because they are usually alone, searching for food as
a solitary bird, and only when they have youngsters do I see them in a
group like these were.
was happy to see white smoke coming from the pipes at the papermill
which is not always the case. I do not like to see dark evil
looking smoke billowing from these smokestacks.
wonder if this is Little Girl. She sits often atop this perch all
alone, more so than I ever noticed before without her mate.
I believe this dune near the end of my return ride from doing turtle patrol, is one of the largest in Florida.
I do love the gnarly structure of the Oak trees and ocassional cedar, sculpted and trimmed by the salt breeze.
my fishing friend and his constant companion, finish out my morning,
leaving a bright spot in the day with that colorful umbrellia he has
started putting up this year after the sun gets up strong. Smart
man. Too much sun is not a good thing on your skin, even skin as
dark as mine and his. I always wear at least cap sleeves and usually a hat
with sunglasses because the sun is also damaging to your eyes. I
sure don't want to lose the ability to see all this beauty every day. Next we'll take steps to keep the fox at bay.