Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cabbages and Kings

(Please note that I've used so many links in this post that I put them all in a list at the end so you would not have to keep flipping back and forth - or even worse, leave here and not come back!)

In our February 28 post, we talked about the Blue Fleet - a term used when such ocean drifters as blue buttons, man-of-war, blue glaucus sea slugs, purple sea snails, and by-the-wind sailors wash in to shore. Friend Margie, Beach Coordinator for the City of Cocoa Beach, is on the beach daily. Last Monday was a cloudy, dreary day, but she sent these photos of a purple sea snail and the following report: I finally found one of these beauties today! A cold, gray, windy, unpleasant day on the beach, but being out there has its compensations. :) It occurred to me that we had used a closeup photo of the purple sea snail in our February post, so there was no size reference. Margie's photo of the snail in the wrack illustrates just how small it is, and how easy it would be to overlook it if you were just casually strolling along the beach.

Margie's closeup shot illustrates just how beautiful this little sea creature is. (I called it a violet sea snail in the February post - I'm not certain which is correct. Anybody?)

The next day, Margie sent more news: Blue Fleet arrived in force up this way today. I've never seen so many by-the-wind sailors. Portuguese man-o-war are coming in thick, too. I spent a lot of time answering tourists' questions about them this morning. I found two more purple sea snails, really tiny ones. I'm sure I missed quite a few more.

(Interestingly, an Internet search turned up only one hit on Blue Fleet that was related to our topic, and that was some photos in a Flickr album. Sounds to me like a scholarly paper is needed. )

Florida Cracker (Pure Florida blog) is on an alligator kick. He's done a couple of very interesting posts about Payne's Prairie and Alachua Swamp that include some fine gator photos, and he says he's going to start a Pure Alligator blog one of these days soon. I'll let you know if he does. This photo is one I took on a trip to Viera Wetlands - note the pretty yellow bands characteristic of young gators. FC has a particularly lovely shot of a baby gator on its Mom's back.

David McRee (Blog the Beach) was quoted several times the other day in a Fox News story. David is a life-long Floridian that knows and loves the beach, and he's particularly passionate about beach safety. I wrote a while back about his free beach safety e-book, downloadable from his BeachHunter web site. It should be required reading for all beach-goers!

I was so pleased when another blogging friend, Cactus Jack Spash, described our blog thusly: great information about people working hard to protect wildlife through positive action and education. That's a fine definition I'll use often, and I'm adding it to the criteria for a Conservation Hero. When you go to the Cactus Jack Splash site, be sure to read her post about Sundance, the miracle calf - some charming photos. In the links below, I've included one to the predecessor story of the miracle calf - a good tale.

Pure Florida
Blog the Beach
Fox News: How to Keep the Beach From Hitting You Back
Cactus Jack Spash
The predecessor miracle calf story from Cactus Jack Splash


R.Powers said...

Hey Marge,
Pure Alligator debuts on April Fools Day.

Cactus Jack Splash said...

That snail is lovely