Me Noseeum but me Feelum

 

 

Let me tell you about the little friends we brought home with us from that Full Moon Low Tide.  Some people call them Noseeum but their common name is Sand Flea.  I call them something I cannot say on a nice friendly blog like this.

My husband started to itch while my son and I were exploring the tide pools.  So we rinsed the shoes and left.  When I got home I non-chalantly placed the beach bag by the washing machine like always, gave the boys a bath.  Fast forward to Sunday night, I sit down and get sucked into an SVU double episode, a show I have never watched.  After 2 hours I started to itch, I ran to the bathroom and discovered two groups of 6 bites on my back.

My war with Sand Fleas began.

“Oh crap the beach bag!”, I thought. Google Google Google, I read things like “so small you cannot see them,” “don’t scratch the bites” (yeah right) and “spray your bed and couch with pesticides.”  NO WAY!  Then I found someone who said cover everything with salt for 24 hours and vacuum thoroughly.  The salt dries them out and kills them.  Oh and wash everything you can in your house.  So I covered EVERYTHING with salt (and baking soda to kill any mites while I am at it) and bunkered down with the kids in one room.  After 5 days, a new HEPA vacuum and the washing machine running constantly, I think we got ’em.  No more new bites, only old itchy ones.  The stuffed animals are still in plastic bags for a few more days, just incase.

And maybe we’ll lay off the sunsets for awhile.

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(My poor salt covered couch, looking like a powdered sugar brownie.)

Full Moon Low Tide-tastic

A full moon means one thing people, low tide.  This low tide came at the perfect time, an hour before sunset and boy was it a doozy.  We walked out on the normal low tide sand bar only to realize that this tide had reveled another further out.  It was spectacular and as a storm brushed the coast we enjoyed the views.  As the family dug in the wet sand I scoured the pools for treasure.  Look at what I found!  A beautiful Lace Murex was peaking out only 2 little spikes and I dug her out of the sand.  One of the prettiest shells I have ever seen.

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When my son and I explored the tide pools on the north side we found crabs, like this little guy hiding everywhere.  We even found an empty crab shell and a huge Olive.  A very nice couple gave the boys two Sand Dollars out of their bag which was exploding.  You can find the nicest people on the beach, I know it always makes me feel good to give a tourist a treasure to take home.  These are the first Sand Dollars we have collected!  What an amazing night!

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Picture Perfect

 

It was a picture perfect day at Honeymoon Island today.  The water is very warm and clear right now.

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 Before going swimming we stopped for a moment at the Oasis or “Rocky Beach” and found a treasure.  A dry Purple Sea Urchin!  The picture doesn’t do the coloring justice.  So beautiful!

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Weather Heating, Shelling Cooling…

As the weather heats up in Florida, 88 degrees today.  The shelling seems to be cooling.  The water is calm and clear and the HUGE shell piles from Winter and Spring have disappeared.  Casual, not Crazy shelling is going on.  I found a few gems this morning, but my gaze often left the wrack line and landed in the turquoise waters.

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Do you have any Low Tide?

  On Saturday we drove out to Honeymoon Island to catch the sunset.  As we drove out along the causeway we could tell that it was a very low tide, when we got to the beach we were amazed at how low it really was.  We parked at the North end of the Main Beach, which we knew had a sand bar.  Everyone I talked to on the beach said it was the lowest they had ever seen.  It turned out to be a Negative Low Tide and it  uncovered lots of creatures, most of which I had never seen live before.  Usually the whole area pictured it covered in water…

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 There were Sea Cucumbers and Sea Urchins…

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Live Juvenile Fighting Conchs and Olives trying to bury themselves.  I have never seen live Olives, they were everywhere

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 Here is a group of Olives having a nice dinner at the Sand Bar, looks like a shrimp cocktail!

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Monday, Monday

I can’t complain because I was headed to the beach on a Monday morning.  The beach parking lot is starting to be busier on weekday mornings.  The water was aquamarine and we saw a pod of dolphins off shore.  It was a beautiful sight!

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 Here are the shells after I cleaned them. Scallops in beautiful colors, Juvenile Fighting Conch, Auger, Olive, Shark’s Eye, Apple Murex and Smack in the middle, a new shell, a Ladder Horn Shell.

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Two Beaches, One Day

This post is a little late, after my Birthday and Mother’s Day this past week, the time got away from me.  So weekend before last we visited 2 beaches in 1 day.  We started out the morning at our regular beach on Honeymoon Island.  It was low tide and the waves were pretty calm.  We headed to the Oasis beach, which had a few sheller’s on it before us.

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My son was shelling along side of me and filled up his net with all kinds of shells, broken included.  Here are the ones I found, all cleaned up. Scallops, Olives, Sunray Venus (still intact), Turbans, Shark’s Eyes, Auger, Jingle, tons of Juvenile Fighting Conchs and check out the middle!

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 A Tiny topsail Shell and 2 Banded Tulips!  One has some damage from being liquefied by a sponge at some point but the other is amazing!

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My husband found the multi-colored shell on the right, which i think is a Tinted Cantharus.  It almost has a blue tint to it.
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After Honeymoon Island we got lunch and headed out to Long Boat Key to Coquina Beach.  It’s about an hour drive from Honeymoon Island, but well worth it.  Right off the bat I found a bleached out Juvenile Horse Conch in the parking lot, it had rained a lot the days before and must have uncovered it.  We hardly recognized the place where we usually go because they had rehabbed/widened the beach.  The walk was much farther and the shells less plentiful.  At least that is what I thought until my son started digging down under that new sand, shells started pouring out!  I found Augers, Scallops and Jingles!  A huge Olive rolled up to my foot in the surf.
And I found a new shell, a little Calico Clam.  It was a good day!

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