Late in the Day Trip to Smyrna Dunes Park

seashells
Seashells from Ponce Inlet

Recently I went to Smyrna Dunes State Park to walk, visit the beach, and take photos. My camera was full, so I had to keep deleting photos to take more, which was annoying. I also have not uploaded those photos to my computer so the only photo I can share is the shells I found near the Ponce Inlet and jetty. I’ll share the others in a new post when I get around to adding them.

My son had his girlfriend visiting over the Christmas break. She lives in New Hampshire and had never been to Florida. Well, the Christmas break is NOT the time to visit as everyone in the world is visiting Florida then…. or they are waiting to come for the spring break, which is also a horrible (touristy) time to come here.

We went to Smyrna Dunes Park late in the day and had to leave by 6:00PM or be locked in, so I was constantly checking the time. I was the odd man (woman) out accompanying the young sweethearts on a romantic stroll among the dunes, but I did come in handy when it came to photo taking. We ended up Continue reading Late in the Day Trip to Smyrna Dunes Park

Common Limpet

Found this great nature photography blog by Pete Hillman and he kindly gave me permission to re-blog this post about the limpet. Enjoy, and be sure to visit his site to enjoy his amazing photography. He likes to photograph seashells too!

Pete Hillman's Nature Photography

Patella vulgata

Common Limpet (Patella vulgata)

Have you ever wondered what the underside of a limpet looked like? Note the large muscular foot, the relatively small mouth above, and the tentacles either side.

The Common Limpet has an ashen-grey or greenish-blue shell, sometimes with a yellow tint, and with radiating ridges. It is conical with an almost central apex. The shell is often covered in barnacles. The sole of the foot is yellowish or orange-brownish with a green tinge. Shell length 6cm. They are fairly long-lived, up to 15 years.

Common Limpet (Patella vulgata)

It inhabits the intertidal zone, clinging tightly to rocks along the shore or in rock pools, and with its thick shell it is able to withstand the pounding ocean waves, exposure to drying out, and attacks from birds or fish. It grazes on algae growing on the rocks beneath the water. It is not ‘stuck’ in one position as it may always appear to…

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Beach Glass, Seashells and Sea Creatures in Photos

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am still getting settled in my new place, but soon I will be out on the beach and boat finding new things to share on my blog.
For now, enjoy these photos from the public domain. Find them all at the Pixabay site. Each one has a link to the photographer who shared them.

green beach glass
Credit: Wokandapix

Learn about sea glass so you’ll know which colors are most rare and how some people sell it as real, but it’s been hand tumbled.

purple beach glass
Credit: Halfpintohoney
baby at beach big seashell
Credit: Pixabay

What kind of seashell is this next to the baby? My guess is a Queen Helmet (Cassis madagascariensis), as they can be as big as 12 inches.

squid sea life
Credit: Marcel

Pictures of Breakers and New Smyrna Beach After Hurricane

Breakers restaurant on the beach
Breakers, still standing
I was in New Smyrna for a closing on my new house, and my son and I took a look at the beach. It was four days after Hurricane Matthew and we wanted to see how badly the beaches were hit. Happily I found that Breakers Restaurant, right on the beach, was still standing, and open for business!
If you’ve ever visited the area, you will know it’s the pink building at the end of Flagler Ave., with that awesome view of the ocean. If you are lucky enough to get a seat at the front, you can eat at the bar and watch the waves roll in.
ocean after hurricane
Breakers Restaurant on the Beach, 4 days after Hurricane Matthew – It was open!

The parking lot across the street from Breakers is no longer free to park (that stinks), so we drove in just long enough to get a few pictures. It was raining, so my photos aren’t that great, but I wanted to share the better ones I took. I would have liked to get out and walk around, but the weather did not allow for it.
ocean after hurricane
Rough Seas in New Smyrna, October 11, 2016

The ocean was churning up sand and the tide was high – at least the water was high – I don’t’ know what the tide schedule was. The beach entrance was blocked off to drivers (you can drive on the beach here), mainly because there was no beach. Below is a bad photo of the sign at the beach entrance.
Sign at Flagler Ave.
Sign at Flagler Ave. entering and exiting the beach

One thing we noticed as we drove around the area was that the coast had been hit with more wind than we were inland. Everywhere we saw debris piled up along the roads ready for removal. Power trucks were everywhere, which meant that a lot of people were still without electricity. Buildings had shingles missing, and trees were down in some areas. Some places had tarps on the roof.
debris lining the road
Debris from Hurricane Matthew Piled for Pickup Along Flagler Ave.

Luckily, the damage was a lot less than what was predicted. Many people along the coast evacuated, and had to sit for days wondering what shape their homes were in.
stop light Flagler and Peninsula ave.
Leaving the Beach, heading for the north causeway

We headed south at Peninsula Ave. and took the south causeway home. The north causeway has a drawbridge for tall boats, mainly sailboats I would assume, but the south causeway bridge does not open. We headed home feeling very lucky that, at our rental house inland, we did not even lose power during the hurricane.
south causeway road
South Causeway, New Smyrna

What Has the Hurricane Done to Our Beaches?

As I sit here, 20 miles inland from the east coast Florida beaches, I wonder what kind of devastation is taking place over there as Hurricane Matthew passes by.

Here, the wind was howling with gusts of 50-70mph, but we got off easier than originally thought.  My rental house did not blow away as I had feared.  We have minor damage in the yard with limbs broken and the fence leaning.  Now the storm is moving on to the north, and all this wind and rain will eventually die down.

After the three hurricanes in 2004 – Charlie, Frances and Jeanne – I had visited the seashore in New Smyrna Beach to see the damage.  My husband (at the time) and I ate at Breakers on Flagler Ave. and we could see that the sand was all washed away down along the shore.  The ocean was coming up around the place, and the beach ramp was under water.

A few days after our visit, the restaurant was condemned for safety issues.  I remember how the sight of the ocean having taken over the beach was so sad.  So I am thinking that this time I will find a similar situation.  The beaches will have to be re-built.  And what about the sea creatures? How have they fared?

The beaches eventually recovered from the 2004 storms, and they will this time too.  Once the news crews can get beachside, we’ll be able to see the devastation.