Interrupting the Scandinavian portion of our trip for a day trip to Cape Canaveral where the sky was blue, the water warm, and there were BIRDS!
September is really the best month for beach going here in Florida because as mentioned above, the water is perfect. Plus, even though the air temperature is still scorching, the constant ocean breeze is a like natural air conditioning and what could be better than that? Monday night I asked Bruce if Tuesday could be a beach day to which he agreed. Loading up the car we decided that we would go to Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral because it is the closest, and traveling on 528 is pretty much stress free unlike our under-construction interstate. In about an hour the car was parked, our gear was in our hands ,and we walked onto the beach where before said chairs could be put in place I was off with my camera, having noticed a flock of birds just down the way. Thinking they might take off, I got there as quickly as possible.
Little did I know, at that point, that they would not be going much of anywhere! Even when folks walked in the midst of them.
I'm not proud of it but I left Bruce to do our set up as I walked along the tightly packed, white sandy beach. I'm a bit of a fuss budget when it comes to sand, so when I tell you the sand was perfect that is saying a lot.
Every now and again the birds would fly a bit, seemingly for re-positioning purposes.
I am no shorebird expert so I wasn't even sure what kind of birds they were, but any bird that wears orange is my kind of bird.
Since I've been home I've learned that these are Black Skimmers, with a few gulls mixed in. What I'm still not clear on is what kind of Terns these are, as there are many types.
I do know that they seem to be lumped in with Gulls on the Audubon website. Well, really, what does it matter anyway? It is always fun to put a name with a bird, but in the end, it's just a name. This one was quite the loudmouth, squawking at whomever would listen.
Spreading her wings for show.
Oh yeah, we did go swimming too!
The waves were gentle, just big enough to have some fun crashing into them, and there was none of that squealing on our part because the water was too cold. My Pacific Northwest friends, and of course Carol in California, would laugh at that as the Pacific stays cold all summer long. But we are Floridians and we like warm water, don't we?
Bruce read under the umbrella, and I kept exploring, chasing these adorable little birds which I think are called Sanderlings.
Whatever their name, they are super fun to watch as they scamper along the shoreline searching for food.
Then I came across a Great Blue Heron standing in the water...
that is, until a wave came in!
Right about now I must say that I was using an old Panasonic with my Olympus lens because it works without having to remove the battery all of the time! And here's this news---you won't remember this but while in Vancouver my best camera up and died on me one day while I was roaming Stanley Park. (btw that link has some beautiful flowers if you haven't seen it before!) You and I both know that going without a camera is not an option for me, so I bought another body to go with the lenses I had brought from home. Not as good as the one that died, but as Canada is generally way more expensive than Florida, well, I bought the lesser model.
Once home from our vacation I called Olympus and fussed about buying two cameras in the span of four years, both not working properly. The good news is that I sent the better camera back to Olympus in New Jersey and it should be arriving later this afternoon!!! Hip hip hooray!
Back to the beach....
Here's a fun shot of the Skimmers...
Later in the day they moved down the beach closer to us; please note the one lying flat which I read is a resting position, possibly because holding the head upright with that heavy beak is hard work.
Bruce told me today, when I was saying that I don't really know much about birds, that folks think that I do because I know a few names and behaviors. Friends, serious birdwatchers know so much, I am like a first grader birdwatcher, otherwise I would know why some of these birds have different feather colors. My guess is some are younger, but that is merely a guess.
As for shells, I know next to nothing except that I find them interesting and this see through shell in particular, that I saw by the dozen.
Perhaps you noticed how empty the beach was? Heaven! The rental chairs went mostly empty all day long.
And of course with a name like Jetty Park, you expect to see a jetty....
Bonus points for flying Brown Pelicans who entertained us with their fishing prowess. When I went to get lunch in the restaurant, this was the view of the whole area. Sandy dunes with sea oats and beach flowers.
On the right edge of the photograph is the lifeguard stand, a puzzling place to be back in the dunes. Aha...in the middle of the afternoon they brought equipment, moving it back onto the sand.
We are thinking perhaps it was moved because of the hurricane? The purchased lunch was surprisingly good and filling, so with the fries we did not eat, Bruce fed the seagulls.
To tell you the truth, by 3 in the afternoon, what with playing in the water and roaming back and forth along the shore, I was pooped so we packed up and before you know it, we were home again after an absolutely perfect day at the beach.
p.s. This is a post script because I didn't want to mar the beach story, but we learned this morning that the man that Michelle and David witnessed being hit by a car died two days after the accident. To say that they have been shook up over this incident is putting it mildly. They have gone to great lengths to find the person and two nights ago Michelle was on the local news, telling the story in hopes someone hearing it had any leads. We are praying it is so. #PerfectDayAtTheBeach #HitAndRunAccident #JettyPark