Thursday, April 29, 2010


As stated in my last post, the shelling has been fantastic this week. I went out again late yesterday afternoon. Lots of tulips, whelks, some sharks eyes and olives and while digging in the sand just at the water line, I found this.

OK, so he's not perfect but if I don't show this side, who's to know.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Trips to the Beach

So, yesterday was a beach day for me---finally. I find now that I'm a resident with other things to do, I don't get to the beach nearly enough. Yesterday morning, Mr. Snowbird and I went for a 2 mile jaunt down the beach. We walked from Nerita St. to the Summer of 42 cottage. You must understand, Mr. Snowbird is NOT a sheller in any way, shape or form. And it drives me crazy sometimes. Yesterday, we went at high tide. There were lots of Pin Shells washed up on the beach and what might have been some other interesting shells had I had a chance to look. So when we got home, I decided I was going to head back to the beach. Since the Nerita beach is still pretty crowded, I went to Access 5 on West Gulf. As you can see, it was gorgeous and relaxing. But there were NO shells. Absolutely nothing rolling in.
Sooo, I decided to go back to the east end. I went to the Fulgar St. parking lot which isn't too far from Nerita. By now, the tide was starting to go out and there were some more shells to be had.

Still nothing spectacular but I came away with a few keepers. Unfortunately I came away with as much trash as I did shells. Why do people think it's ok to just leave their trash behind for others to pick up? A lot of this probably came off of boats.
Since it is full moon and low tide was around 7:00, I decided to take yet another trip to the beach. I went around 5:00 and could have stayed forever! OMG, I haven't seen this many shells all winter. Full moon means really low tide. That coupled with a storm the other day made for amazing shelling. I picked up a ton of shells. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. I already have more than enough sitting around the house but I couldn't resist. Could you??

Guess what?? I'm going back this evening and pick up more shells I have no idea what I will do with.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Our Latest Trip to WDW

We took another trip to Disney World this week. We stayed at the Pop Century again this trip. It is one of the value resorts and even though the rooms are smaller, they are big enough for us. It is so great being a Florida Passholder. This means we can just go into a park for dinner then head somewhere else if we want. We often end up going to the same restaurants in Epcot so we tried something different. I didn't even know this restaurant existed until I was looking for places in a book. We went to the Coral Reef. Got there at 5:00. Had a 5 minute wait. Got premium seating!! This restaurant is amazing. One entire wall is a fish tank. Not just any tank. It is 200 feet in diameter and 27 feet deep! Anyway, our table was right next to the window! Boy did we luck out!Epcot was having the Flower and Garden Festival. I fell in love with the topiaries. No way could I post them all but here are a few. The highlight of the trip was the Backstage tour that we took on Monday. It was a 7 1/2 hour tour of behind the scenes in all 4 parks. We were only allowed to take pictures when we were "onstage" so obviously I don't have too many pictures of what we saw. Some of the things we saw were the costume shop, the shop where they make the cars for the rides, the paint shop, backstage at the American Adventure and the Tower of Terror, the place where they keep and maintain the floats for the Animal Kingdom parade, the plant nursery where they grow the hanging baskets and make the topiaries and much, much more. We had lunch at the Wilderness Lodge. I was able to get a few shots when we were "onstage".

Our transportation for the day.Amazing!! No crowds. We had two groups and two guides. Our group had Mark who had worked with Disney for over 20 years. Boy did he know his stuff!!Lunch was included at the Whispering Canyon Cafe in Wilderness Lodge. I felt like I was back in Yellowstone!Behind the scenes in the Plant Nursery. We were allowed to take pictures here.

As I said, we got to see the floats for the Animal Kingdom parade up close and personal and as a reward, our last thing of the day was to see the whole parade. We had a great viewing area and didn't have to fight the crowds to get there!
It was an amazing tour and I hope to take more of their shorter tours next time we go. On Tuesday we went to Hollywood studios where we took the Backlot ride, the Indiana Jones show and the American Idol show. Then the CROWDS got to us. I thought spring break was over!! So, we decided to head back to Epcot (boy the park hopper ticket is nice) where it was much more laid back, much less crowded, and much more enjoyable. We had a great trip, and as always can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sights From My Deck

Ok, so maybe you guys get tired of seeing sights from my deck, but I never do. I have learned never to go out there without a camera now. Here are just a few of my recent sightings.

Of course there are the ever present Common Grackles. Loud, noisy, obnoxious but still kind of fun to watch.This little dove and his/her mate come and visit quite often. I usually find them hanging out on the deck when I come out. Then there is this guy. He is not my favorite visitor. I think this is a Black Racer. Non poisonous. But--I just do not like snakes--one bit!! The creek is FULL of minnows right now. Our creek or weir as it is properly called was made for mosquito control and they seed it with mosquito larvae eating minnows. I'm not sure if all of these are those kind of minnows but if they are then we shouldn't have a problem this summer! I have seen a couple of exotic looking salt water type minnows or fish or there too. And, I saw a couple of foot long fish the other day. Maybe I need to get a fishing pole. Last year we had tons of warblers, cardinals and buntings around but I hadn't seen any this year and was afraid that the Grackles had scared them off. Then my friend told me that I was putting out the wrong kind of seed so I put out seed to attract these guys and guess what--they came. Yay.

Beautiful little Painted Bunting.
I think this is a Palm Warbler--but I could be wrong.
Then of course, we have Donny and Marie who still haven't produced any offspring that I know of.
Then we have the Lone Ranger--or the Lone Duck. And of course the Lone Duck has a couple of buddies.
My bird feeders are actually over the water so the turtles have discovered that they REALLY like bird seed. Most of the turtles are covered with moss or yuck or whatever and take off swimming when I come close. But this beautiful Florida Red Belly Turtle whom I have named Sasha actually comes right up to me and begs. And of course my deck is a haven for all of my flowers--geraniums, hibiscus and of course my numerous orchids. This past week we had a monsoon type rain. Usually by this time of year the creek has pretty much dried up and you can actually walk or jump across to the other side. Not this year! During the rainstorm, I looked out the back door and found this lovely egret taking refuge in a tree right across from me. So I guess, now you can understand why I never get tired of my deck. In fact, I think I'm going to grab an adult beverage and my book and head out there right now!!