Beach Minimalism

Today, at Opal Beach – actually out for a bike ride – I stopped and strolled along the beach just long enough to soak up some salt air and sunshine, and to see what there was to see.

Not much, if you’re one who’s always looking for bird or dramatic landscapes. But there is this:

The Gulf is turning its winter blue-green. Almost emerald green right now. And clear as it can possibly be.

emerald-green

And as far as wildlife is concerned … well, I actually spotted only one tiny ghost crab, and he blended into the sand so well that I never could find him through the camera’s range finder. So I settled for this:

running-laps-

Evidence that a pretty large ghost crab was running laps or something. It just appears that he ran the exact same course over and over.

Wonder what he was looking for?  I hope he found it.  I traced his trail all the way back to his hidey-hole. He must have been a BIG one. But today he wasn’t going to show me his stalky eyes or his mustachie mandibles. So all I got was one shot of his home.

hidey-hole

I’m hiding

Today, as I’m riding my bike along the bayfront, I saw the slightest movement down there among the reeds and tall grasses.  So when I stopped and trained my trusty little Canon on the spot, this is who I found.

im-hiding

He thought he was safely hidden among the weeds. But I’ve developed an eye for this sort of thing over the years. I’ve even seen Great Blue Herons, like this guy, pointing their beaks skyward, like the Bitterns do, pretending to be a tall reed.

But I saw him.

In a few weeks he’ll be all decked out in his best breeding plummage and looking for a mate.

Right now, though,  he’s content to be down there among the reeds, looking for little fishies … and pretending that I can’t see him.

Alone on the beach? Not quite

A couple of days ago I took a stroll, just to see what I could see.  Sometimes this time of the year there are literally swarms of all kinds of bird over the shallow water, feeding on baitfish.

But not this time.  As I walked out on the sand I realized that mine were the only footprints on that section of the beach for some time. the wind had just about obliterated all the rest.

footptints

But, of course I was not completely alone. I couls see a few people off in the distance, in both directions. So I just sat down to watch.

Waves are fun. So I captured a few wave shots.

happy-wave

And then I got some company. At least 50 Sandpipers decided to come in just up the beach and race back and forth in the receeding waves, dibbling (or whatever they do) for some tiny morsel under the still-damp sand.

not-alone

As a few of them got closer I began to notice their funny little cross-legged walk. (I’m easily entertained)

sandpiper-two-step

 

So … it was a good day. I backtracked over the footprints I had laid down earlier and headed back into the civilized world – whatever that means!

Desperate to Shoot Something

Most of the birds are gone for the season – at least the ones I enjoy following. PLUS – Fort Pickens is closed due to the damage to the road from Hurricane Whats-his-name (oh, yeah – Nate).

So I haven’t posted lately.  But I’m told there are 72 of you out there who like and follow my site. So it’s time to post something!

houseshadows

This is the back of a house that sits in the 400 block of E. Intendencia in downtown. Every time I see it at this time of day I just love the interplay of shadows and trees enhancing the old architecture and simple lines of the house. So I grabbed this shot the other day with my iPhone.

And, a few days ago, needing a beach fix, I ended up with lunch at Land Shark, next door to Margaritaville on Pensacola Beach. I’m not supposed to have a Cheeseburger in Paradise, with fries and a big kosher pickle – nevermind the TWO Land Shark drafts I HAD to drink to wash it all down. But my desire to photograph birds got the best of me so I started baiting, and then snapping this absolute swarm of sparrows that flitted in and out of the place, looking for handouts or crumbs.

A couple of pieces from my bun, plus a french fry, and I had my own personal birdie dance taking place right on the corner of my table.

sparrows-1

These are only two of the twenty or so that were gathering around me as soon as they discovered I had goodies to share.