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.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

7 year apple - Big Pine Key

 The seven year apple is neither an apple nor does it take seven years for its fruit to mature. I
This leathery denizen of beach fronts flowers and forms fruit at the same time, which is a good thing because it takes a full year for the fruit to ripen. When it does ripen it is devoured by mockingbirds that hollow out the tasty fruit and leave a dead skin hanging in the tree. Butterflies  use it as a larval host plant, and the mangrove skipper  and others that use it for nectar float around it.

Hermit Crab

     "Probably in no other species of marine aquatic animal is this mode of behavior as easy to study as the hermit crab.  Because they are ceaselessly active, hermits make good aquarium additions.  They are easy to maintain.  Feed them brine shrimp and an occasional bit of seaweed.  Forget hunks of met that might entice other crabs;  hermits eat only small fragments and will not tear big pieces apart.
     Unlike other critters of the order Decapoda (prawns, shrimp, crabs, and lobsters),  hermit crabs do not come equipped with a full suit of armor.  They lack any hard parts aft of their cephalothorax, which leaves their soft and defenseless hindquarters exposed to easy assault.  
      Their evolutionary response to nature providing only plated gloves and jacket but no pants has been to employ empty snail shells as leggings.  Since hermits of various species come in different sizes, each must habituate the haunts of a similarly sized snail host to find a custom home".  -- Dave Bulloch


Florida Couple Fined 1.6 million dollars for cutting mangroves

Naples candidates don't all agree city is doing what it can to fix Naples Bay
- Naples News

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Carefree Learner Sailing Soon

Hands on learning experience about the critters of the Bay and views of nesting bird life on board the Carefree Learner Leave from Bayfront Park . The Carefree Learner is docked next to Le Barge, near the Ringling circle
All trips are on Thursdays,from 1 to 3 pm. 
Members $15, non-members $20
Kids (12 and under) $10.
Make reservations early.  For reservations on charters from Jan.26 to Feb23, call Bobby at (941) 927-3409.  For charters from Mar.8 to May  3, call John at (941)966-7308.

 Sarasota Bay Bio Cruises
Jan 26
Feb 9, 16, 23
March 8, 22, 29
April 5, 19
May 3.

Drainage pipes across Naples beaches can stay

- Naples News

Beaded sea cucumber.

Photo by Dave Bulloch
This is a long, wormlike sea cucumber, so extensible that exact measurements are difficult. Its skin is sticky because spicules extend from it. A ring of obvious tentacles surround the mouth area (E. lappa). The color is light gray to light brown and can be covered with patches of white.
Size: up to 10 inches, but it can extend to over 20 inches.
It hides under old coral heads during the day, often active at night.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Save Matheson Hammock Park

Ed. note: OK, I'll admit that I'm from Miami and Matheson Hammock was one of my favorite places.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Can you find an animal in these photos?

PLANT: Green fleece, with spongy, dirty-green fingers, is a green algae, 
It's attached at a single base to the sea bottom.
ANIMAL:  Dead-man's fingers have spongy, finger-think "branches". 
They are commonly beached

PLANT: Sargassum with it's tooth-edged leaves.
Normally, one can see tiny balls which are air-filled bladders.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Manatee County:Leftis Key

Leffis Key is Mabatee County's "island preserve," located just off of the southern end of Anna Maria Island. Access is via a short bridge from Coquina Beach Bayside .

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tourist Season on South Lido

Surf fishing on South Lido

Sand perch are one on the more common catches along beaches and inlets in Sarasota County.  At  least, this is the fish I have seen most often at the end of a line on in a pail .  The perch has an interesting "tooth" structure which can be seen better in an earlier blog post.

yet another photo of a Tulip Snail Egg Case

(Search on "tulip" to find more photos)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Holiday kayaking at Punta Gorda Isles

 What group is this?  It looks like Venice-Lemon Bay Kayak Explorers.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mullet Fishermen at Venice

These fishermen are using "cast nets".
Sometime, the water is "chummed" with bait to draw the schools of mullet.
Another method is seine fishing  which employs a large net  that hangs in the water like a fence with  weights along the bottom edge and floats along the top.  
 Seine nets  are used to encircle a school of fish, with the boat driving around the fish in a circle,  .The two main types of seine net: are purse seines and Danish seines..

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Seagrapes in Winter

 Seagrapes, as other tropical trees,  drop their leaves late winter to early spring.   These seagrapes are on the back beach and parking lot at Lido Beach in Sarasota,   Many leaves have turned  yellow and brown.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cold Weather

Ibis and other birds flock to inland canals and lagoons.  These ibis are in The Meadows neighborhood.

Sarasota Bay Watershed Symposium

February 15-17, 2010   Sudakoff Center, Sarasota, FL
The 2012 Sarasota Bay Watershed Symposium will bring together scientists, managers, policy makers, educators and the interested public for exciting discussion, networking, and learning about Sarasota Bay and her watersheds.
Neighborhoods across the Sarasota Bay and Phillippi Creek Watersheds will be featured. Topics will range widely across science, policy and education from sustainable seafood, eco-tourism, and citizen science, to the economics of healthy bays, innovative stormwater retrofits and low-impact design and the role of the community in habitat restoration and policy-making.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Service Park Picnic Pavillions

Service Park is on north Casperson Beach south of Venice, FL.
Some habitat restoration work is being done there.

Photos by John Sarkozy