Nature
We want to make sure you know about all the cool stuff around that is part of our beaturiful scenery at the beach today
Early summer mornings, just after sunrise, we see the beautiful blue sky light up from the easterly sun. Dabbled with a few decorative pieces of pink cotton candy, the sky’s gorgeous rays meander through the gaps in the pine trees at the Tom Stuart Bicentennial Dog Park, and the beauty creates a deep breath in my chest. As the morning moves to 60 minutes past sunrise, the sun’s radiation prompts a familiar morning breeze that pushes aside the 10,000 pounds of humidity settling on my chest and hurries along the the flock of no-see-ums getting in their last bit of work on the tops of my feet. 90 minutes after sunrise, the morning birds have eaten their breakfast, and they settle back in their nest for an early morning nap. The clock ticks. And ticks. And ticks. Ahhh, finally, about two hours after sunrise, it’s time for that familiar sound. First just one caw. Then two, and quickly a dozen “cawk, gawk, caw, caw” The Pinellas Parrots; reporting for duty. Wild parrots: one of my favorite sounds that you won’t hear anywhere else [well, maybe, but definitely not in Ohio]. If you are already working in your office by the time the parrots decide to crawl out of bed, you can hear their unmistakable call about 30 – 45 minutes before sunset. I catch them before the flock of seven swope into their bird house behind Kenny’s Corner in Redington Shores. A larger flock of about twenty get their 12 hours of rest here at BiCentennial Park. Another crew calls the dead trees and berry bushes behind Mad Beach Craft Brewing in John’s Pass their home – though sometimes the local osprey push them aside…bullies! About once a week, a local convention forms, and all the small flocks make a super flock that numbers nearly 100 parrots. I’ve only seen it twice, but it’s so cool to watch them fly from Madeira Beach, north through Redington Beach. The smaller flocks will peel off to go home, then another, then another until the entire super flock is gone by the time they reach Park Blvd. Before you say it environmental guy, yes, they are a non native species…but so are about 80% of the human population – let’s take care of those slobs before we worry about exterminating the pretty parrots! Where are your “favorite” spots to check out the local Pinellas Parrots?
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Early summer mornings, just after sunrise, we see the beautiful blue sky light up from the easterly sun. Dabbled with a
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Dolphins splashing in the Pass. Pelicans fighting for scraps from the local fishermen. Seagulls swooping down for an easy bite of ice cream. Seaside wildlife catches the attention of most of the visitors to John’s Pass Boardwalk, but one creature steals the hearts of those that get up close to hang out for a chat: Manatees. During the winter months, manatees head for warm waters, such as springs and power plant discharge basins. For the remainder of the year, manatees are widely dispersed in Florida’s waterways, including John’s Pass. Look for them near Don’s Dock, all the way to the Hut along the boardwalk. Some quick facts on one of my favorite animals: Feed on sea grass, mangrove leaves, and algae. Eat 10% of their weight per day Weigh up to 1,200 pounds Nap frequently and bob up and down in the water – cute! They quickly learn water up the nose sucks, so they roll over on their back if they find a natural occuring garden hose with fresh water – super cute! Their closest relative is a Dugongs [from Indian Ocean] Their closest cousin is an elephant Have the lowest body size to brain ratio of any animal – they’re not real smart! They swim 3 to 5 miles per hour – not fast enough to move out of the way of a boat, so please be careful and watch-out for these awesome babies! Check out Florida Fish and Wildlife conservation for more information here: http://myfwc.com/education/wildlife/manatee/
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Dolphins splashing in the Pass. Pelicans fighting for scraps from the local fishermen. Seagulls swooping down for an e
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Dolphins sit atop the food chain when it comes to what animal people love to see when they are at the beach. Dolphins captivate your mind with their wit and beauty as they glide along the beach or intracoastal waterway in search of a meal or a good time. You can see dolphins practically everywhere in up and down the gulf coast, but in the Tampa Bay area, John’s Pass is the best if you’re just hanging out. Walk along the boardwalk to catch a glimpse of the porpoises as they catch their meal. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, take a dolphin cruise for $20 to $25 and watch them play on your wake. If you’re even more adventurous, rent a jet ski and get up close and personal with them as they will jump literally inches from you! Baby dolphins will swim with their mom in late spring, so if you’re in the area around that time, make sure to hang out by the water to see the cutest thing ever: a baby dolphin jumping out of the water! Photo courtesy of @vspc [via Instagram]
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Dolphins sit atop the food chain when it comes to what animal people love to see when they are at the beach. Dolphins c
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If you’ve ever questions whether or not animals are really smart, then stroll by John’s Pass just about the time at the deep sea fishing boats are coming back from their daily trips. The intelligence of these animals is unreal. If you stop by the west end of the John’s Pass Boardwalk right around noon or 1pm and again around 6pm, you will notice a bunch of pelicans flying in. You may think nothing of it, but then you will see the Hubbard’s Marina boat dock, and the pelicans from everywhere start to fly or gently swim in as they jockey for the best spot. Best spot for what you ask? Scraps from the fresh catch. The deck hands will clean the fish [i.e. cut them into fillets for eating], and discard the bones into the Pass. This is where the pelicans come alive. They all fight for the right spot to catch the carcass as it flies through the air. It’s so awesome to watch. Take a look around as you do it; you will never see so many different types of people with smiles on their faces as they appreciate nature’s beauty. Yep, pelicans are really smart, and they don’t steal your ice cream like the sea gulls!
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If you’ve ever questions whether or not animals are really smart, then stroll by John’s Pass just about the
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