Marineland, Etc.

I have inserted a collage of pictures from today (and one a few days ago).  The first picture is the moon rise over the ocean.  I didn’t use a tripod, so it’s shaky.  It was almost a full moon and it was beautiful.

The rest of the pictures are from Marineland, a beach next to marineland, and the Mantanzas Inlet by Marineland.

The birds by the rocks are probably Ruddy Turnstones.

Can Vicki identify the cute little guy in the picture directly below the moon rise?  These little guys are adorable and this one came very close to me while I was stooped down taking pictures.

I haven’t tried inserting pictures like this before, so let me know how it works for you.

Rare Northern Right Whale

Today was a fantastic day.  My friend told me about a Right whale mother and her calf off the local coast.  We headed out in the car with binoculars and the camera and were very fortunate to see them.  I believe there are only about 500 Right Whales in the world, so that fact that we were able to see this pair is amazing.

I get it that the whales are small in these pictures, but they are there and we saw them!!!!

I originally planned to watch a green sea turtle get released today but the sighting of the Right Whale altered our plans.  It worked out well.  Wahoo!

The other day we went hiking through the 12 mile swamp.  The part we went through was not very swampy.  It is obviously an area that was cut down and replanted.  I didn’t personally find it very interesting, but Dart felt otherwise.  There were enough smells to get him excited and he was very exuberant on the walk.

I don’t understand why the trees are so bent in these pictures.  There were several like that throughout our walk.  It doesn’t snow here and we are not on the beach.


St. Augustine, Florida

We recently moved to St. Augustine, Florida from Maryland.  As a result of this move, we don’t expect to get on the road again with the RV until at least May.  We are planning a trip to Utah and other places to be determined.  But, there is so much to explore right now in our area that we plan to stay still for a few months to do that.  There is a lot of wildlife to see  in the winter and then a lot of nesting begins to take place in March.  Can’t miss that!

Since exploring the area should be a lot of fun, I plan to enter some occasional posts with pictures to show what we are seeing.  We recently went to the Guana Matanzas Tolomato Reserve which sits between the ocean and the intracoastal waterway.  There is freshwater and saltwater in the reserve, so there is a variety of wildlife to see.  This is clearly a place worth exploring on many occasions.  Below is a picture of Regis and Dart enjoying the beach on the intracoastal waterway.  Also, Dart met his first armadillo on the trail (it may also be a first for Regis but he can’t remember).

We see lots of pelicans and here is one of my favorite shots of a Brown Pelican.



I’m taking some Florida Master Naturalist classes and really enjoying how much I am learning about the nature in Florida.  As we explore, I hope to share some of that with you.  Now, the Right Whales are calving off the coast here.  There aren’t many of them, so it is unlikely we will see one.  But, I keep looking.

I had a really hard time sleeping last night, so late morning I put Dart in the car with me and we headed to the beach to watch the sunrise.  Of course, it was awesome.  It was too dark when we got there, so we had to wait about 15 minutes before we could start walking.  I found a great shell.  It is the best I ever found.  We will be doing this more in the future.

Sunrise in St. Augustine: