This blog is dedicated to the environmental well-being of our Florida coastal habitat.

This blog is
dedicated to the environmental well-being of coastal habitat.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Robinson Preserve

Welcome Center - Refurbished Robinson house 

Kayaks are available to rent.
Crotalaria , aka showy rattlebox ,
takes on the appearance of an inflated cylindrical pod.  
The fruit turn brown to black when mature and the seed within the fruit 
often become unattached resulting in a ‘rattlebox’ sound when shaken.

A surprising variety of plant and animal life survives on these Salt Flats.

View north with Tampa Bay in background
more Crotolaria

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Muhly grass at Caspersen Beach

 Clump forming and fast growing,  the grand show of  muhly grass lasts from late summer to fall    Thin, arching leaves are characteristic of this native grass.   Foliage is finely textured and a blue green color.  The flowers turn a buff shade in winter, providing continual visual interest.
Photo by John Sarkozy

Love vines cover live oak trees at Casperson Beach

Native love vines like sandhills, scrub, pinelands, and hammocks.  They are parasitic plants which attach themselves to host plants. Then, they detach from their roots and will eventually kill the host. The vines are leafless  with dense clusters of small white bell-shaped flowers on  orange-yellow stems

Photo by John Sarkozy

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Inland Waterway and Venice Boat Ramp

Below is a view of Florida's Inland Waterway  
looking south from the Venice Boat Ramp
 The historic Venice train station can be seen to the left.
Click link for info on the Historic Train Station.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hidden Sarasota: Point of Rocks

- Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Wildflowers of Nokomis Waterway

The horsemint's white flowers above are of the elongated flower cluster type.

The gold flower below has disk florets and ray florets and brown center..
 It's difficult to tell whether it's a beach sunflower or a close relative 
without a better look at the leaves.

The gold flowers above have disk florets and ray florets AND yellow centers.
Poisonous painted leaf is related to the poinsettia. 
Tiny flower clusters gather  above the bright red upper leaves.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ft. Clinch, at the NE tip of Florida, guards the Amelia River

"Fort Clinch is a 19th century brick fortress begun in 1847 after the end of the Second Seminole War. It was named in honor of General Duncan Lamont Clinch, important figure in the First and Second Seminole Wars. The only battle to occur at Clinch was when Union troops recaptured the fort in 1862 after Confederate forces seized control the previous year. Fort Clinch served as the base of Union operations in the area throughout the Civil War.
In 1935, the State of Florida bought 256 acres (1.0 km²) that included the then-abandoned fort and the surrounding area. Fort Clinch State Park including the fort, opened to the public in 1938."     -- Wikipedia 
 Photos by John Sarkozy

Stone crab season begins, Mullet on horizon

- Anna Maria Islander

Coral Bean

This coral bean was planted at Hammocks of Nokomis Waterways
last Spring by a group of SE Littoral Society members.  
 Photo by Peg Conklin

Bacteria issues at Turtle Beach

- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Friday, October 21, 2011

BP wins approval to resume drilling in Gulf of Mexico

- BBC News

Manatee County : Calendar of Natural Resources Events

BIRD KEY: Bay Life Search, tomorrow

Explore the sea life near our shores with American Littoral Society biologists.  Using hand and seine nets, we will be searching shallow waters and sea grass beds, observing, collecting, and discussing the natural history of some of the many interesting fishes and other animals that inhabit Sarasota Bay.  Call  for reservations.  Call  Chuck at  941-488-8998

tomorrow:  Saturday : 9:30-11:30 am. Wading shoes suggested. 


Alligators at Myakka River State Park

John Sarkozy and Littoral Society Kayakers
Photos by Peg Conklin

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Common Gallinule

Here's a close-up from Nancy's earlier photo.
Note the greenish-yellow tip on the red bill.
Also, there is a rd band at the top of the green legs.

Gators and birds

These photos were taken by Nancy Cadieux from her kayak last winter

 The photo below looks like some fortunate person's back yard.
White pelicans are in the middle of the photo with cormorants on their left.
The birds on shore are probably laughing gulls.
Note the lonely galinule in the foreground..
"Birds of a feather stick together."

Wind and Waves at North Lido

Winds were blowing sand across the beach yesterday at Lido.
Red flags flying at lifeguard stations mean "Stay out of the water".
A very few people were walking the beach.

 These very small sandpipers were shielded from the wind by small clumps of brack.
Larger birds, black skimmers and terns, faced into the wind.

Invasive Species Removal at the F.I.S.H. Preserve

Sarasota Bay Guardians Host Volunteer Event -
seagrass map 3

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program's Bay Guardians are teaming up with Around the Bend Nature Tours to remove invasive plant species at the F.I.S.H. Preserve.  

Encompassing over 100 acres of environmentally sensitive bayfront land immediately east of Cortez, this site has long been an important fisheries habitat for the section of Sarasota Bay locals fondly refer to as "the kitchen." It was here people could find a bounty of fresh seafood to feed their families and trade with their farmer neighbors in the past.  Unfortunately, the land fell into misuse but is now being restored thanks to help from the community! 

This event is suitable for all ages. 
Please wear hat, sunscreen, close-toed shoes (old tennis shoes work great), clothes that can get dirty and work gloves. Also, please bring a reusable water bottle if you have one to reduce our plastic pollution.  

Bay Guardians shirts will be available for all volunteers! If you already have one please wear your shirt to the event.
Parking is limited. Please carpool if you can!

WHAT:   Bay Guardians Invasive Species Removal
WHERE: F.I.S.H. Preserve, 4415 119th Street West, Cortez, FL 34215
WHEN:   Saturday, November 5th, 2011, 9:00am-12:00pm

Lunch will be provided for all volunteers after the planting is done!
Feel free to bring your own folding chair to sit in during lunch.

RSVP Required: Click here to register!  
Questions? Contact, 941-955-8085 or,

The preservation of this incredibly unique area is due largely to support from the tightly-knit fishing village of Cortez.  Because of their spirit, and the cooperation of many other groups including Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, we will preserve this vital biodiverse part of the Bay.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Participate in photo project
documenting next week's King Tide 

Photo copyright John Holmes, UK.  Here's a great example of how rising sea level has the potential to affect existing infrastrusture.
Any and all photographers and nature-lovers are welcome to participate in the nationwide king tide photo initiative.  

During the last week of October Sarasota Bay area is anticipating high, or "King," tides of over two feet. King tides occur when the moon and sun align on one side of the Earth and their gravitational forces combine to create extraordinarily high tides. While these tides are completely natural occurrences, they provide us with a sneak-peak of what our landscape will have to contend with in the coming years as the sea level rises.  

SBEP is looking for participants to photograph our coastline, flooded roads, full pipes and ponds and anything under the sun that will be affected by the rising waters this October and potentially in the future.   

October 2011 King Tide Best Photographing Opportunities:
October 25th 1:17 pm with a high tide of 2.08 ft

October 26th 2:15 pm with a high tide of 2.01 ft

October 27th 3:13 pm with a high tide of 1.89 ft
  • Try to capture areas inundated with water
  • Be sure to record the exact time and location of your photos
  • If possible, photograph the same site at low tide for comparison 
  • Be creative and HAVE FUN!
Sarasota Bay, Tampa Bay, and Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Programs will be compiling your pictures of the high seas on our Florida Tide Watch Flickr webpage.    

Please email pictures to and we will upload them to our  
Make sure you check out the photo pages to see 
everyone's photos from around the gulf coast!
Thanks and happy snapping! 

Please email with any questions

Bud Doyle's Beach Nature Walks - November thru April)

Beach nature walk (2nd and 3rd Tuesday from November thru April)
Time: 9-11 a.m.

Where: Caspersen Beach, south end of Harbor Drive.
Join naturalist Bud Doyle on a guided tour of Venice's rural beach, Caspersen.
Free; open to the public; meet at the first parking lot.
For further information, call Bud at 941 488-4158 .

Beach nature walk (2nd and 3rd Thursday from November thru April)
Time: 9-11 a.m.
Where: North Jetty Beach Park, south end of S. Casey Key Rd., Nokomis.
Notes: Join naturalist Bud Doyle on a guided tour of one of Florida's great shelling
beaches, North Jetty Beach Park.
Free; open to the public; meet at beach side of parking lot.
For Further information, call Bud at 941 488-4158.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Camping on Rattlesnake Key near the Venice-Nokomis Inlet

Rattlesnake Key is open to the public.
Native plants have been planted in the interior of the island
by SE American Littoral Society and others. 

Photos by John Sarkozy

Friday, October 14, 2011

Stone crab fishermen risk everything for their catch

- Sarasota Herald Tribune

South Creek at Oscar Sherer State Park

 Oscar Sherer State Park is south of Sarasota near Osprey, FL
South Creek runs from the Intercoastal Waterway through the park.
Photos by John Sarkozy
 A new footbridge is being built over South Creek to a camping area.