|At the southern end of Manasota Key lies Stump Pass State Park. At high tide most of this beach will go under water.|
In celebration of the full moon and the minus low tide, I treated myself to a walk out to the end of Stump Pass. Manasota Key has four public beaches to choose from. Each beach has it's pros & cons. The main beach at the roundabout draws the younger crowd. Nothing wrong with that if your thing is dodging Frisbees, volleyballs, & sand kicked up by 16yo's strutting their stuff. If you are on spring break it is The place to see and be seen. There are several restaurants, tiki bars, and my personal favorite - the Circle K (home of the 69 cent Polar Pop) within walking distance. I usually speed right past that madness and head for Blind Pass Beach a few miles north. It's remote location and free parking are more my speed.
When there is a really low tide, I head to the very southern end of Manasota Key where Stump Pass State Park is located. Most of the locals balk at the $3.00 entrance fee but I look at it as my contribution to the upkeep of this little gem of a beach. The one mile walk from the entrance of the park to the pass at the south end is about a 15 minute jaunt depending on how often you piddle about picking up the sharks teeth and fossils that litter the beach on the way out.
Now I know when I say it's cold here in Florida - our cold doesn't hold a candle to a northern winter, especially the blizzard that is marching across the Northeast this week - BUT it was stinking cold out there! (and windy) I had to wear a winter coat over my usual hoodie sweatshirt! I know wah wah right?
GOOD NEWS! For the first time in 6 months, biologists detected NO traces of Red Tide in SWFL!! YAY!!
|When I see humps like these on my tide chart app I get very excited.|
|Some beachcombers were in shorts but everyone were wearing their sweatshirts.|
|All these trenches were uncovered by the outgoing tide. I like to walk the sides and see if there are any shell stragglers.|
|Everybody is trying to stay warm.|
|I think this fella lost his flock.|
|If birdwatching is your thing - Stump Pass will deliver. Beside the mixed flock of Royal Terns and assorted gulls there were also nesting Ospreys and a newly hatched family of owls to see on the nature trail that runs up the interior of the park.|
|The rangers at Stump Pass take great care to protect the wildlife.|
|A hungry Heron looking for lunch.|
|The tide is starting to rise.|