Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. ~John Ruskin

The Sunshine Skyway connects St. Pete to Bradenton.
(Credit: roger4336's photostream @ flickr.com)
The Gulf of Mexico was still churning today from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. As the hubbs & I were returning from an early morning doctor's appointment in St. Pete the wind & rain pretty much followed us south across the Sunshine Skyway. It's always a test of nerves to cross the very top of the Skyway as the wind shakes your vehicle & you glance down at the bay agitating like a heavy load in a washing machine.  As we cruised the downside of the bridge & made our way south the waves were slapping up the sides of the seawall.  I know this is the kind of weather that makes surfers & beachcombers happy....hey, that would be me.


Two hours later after getting the hubbs situated I donned my snazziest red rain poncho & made my way up the flooded streets to Manasota Key.  As I pulled into Blind Pass Beach's parking lot there were only a few cars not the usual 40 or 50 (I can't imagine why). The wind was blowing from the SW & going right up my poncho making me look like a big red balloon. The beach was predictably deserted except for the jubilant surfers & a rain-soaked couple with a metal detector. I headed towards a part of the beach I know has shells when it storms. I really got my beachcomber on today. The  wind blowing in my face & rain leaking down the inside of my poncho; it was awesome having  the beach all to myself.  I looked at every crab trap, coconut, & washed up hunk of wood.  There were tons of cockle shells up on the wreck line. I also picked up coral & some big fragment shells. Sometimes life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to shell in the rain.


The storms tend to thin the parking lot out.  I got a space right up front.


I always pick up shell fragments & coral.  I use it for crafts, displays, or give it away.  GeeGee likes the sea fans so I pick those up too.

The whitish shells are egg cockles (except the 1 to the right is a buttercup lucine)

There were some goodies out there. (l to r) pear whelk, moon snail, lacey murex, lightning whelk, (?) whelk, & juvenile fighting conch

These are awesome for the garden.  Little plants look great growing in them.

Horse conch - my fav