Archive for the ‘creatures in the backyard’ Category

2014
17
Jul
21:48

dolphins

   Posted by: arcanai

sometimes i just can’t believe how blessed we are. this morning, i woke up and went out on the balcony to find a momma and baby dolphin pair playing in the shallows right out back. i enjoyed watching them for a few minutes before it even occurred to me to grab the camera. usually, I’m just disappointed because it’s hard to get the camera to focus on creatures in the backyard with all the moving water around them but i do believe these are the best ones I’ve ever gotten. unfortunately, i wasn’t able to capture the tiny shark that was following them around or the momma chasing him off when he finally worked up his courage to go after the baby (the shark was actually smaller than the baby dolphin so it really never stood a chance).

2011
3
May
12:58

barbara!

   Posted by: arcanai

hubby stood up a few minutes ago, looked out the window, and yelled MANATEE!  quickly, i grabbed the camera and followed him outside.  it’s only the third we’ve seen here so it’s very exciting :-D   i know the pix aren’t great but considering we’re on the 23rd floor and the surf is up today so focus was shifting a lot… i’m pretty pleased. 

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distinctive shape in the water

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taking a breather

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going back down

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a little tail

2009
2
Oct
11:48

don’t play with your food

   Posted by: arcanai

i just watched a dolphin play cat-n-mouse with a very large, white fish.  the dolphin circled the fish causing the fish to swim in tight, frenzied circles on the surface of the water.  this went on for about two minutes before the dolphin triumphantly jumped up through the circle with the fish in his mouth and then took some victory leaps out toward deeper water.  i so love my backyard!

2009
20
Sep
13:18

lobster sub sand-wiches

   Posted by: arcanai

last year’s lobsterfest sand sculpture contest seemed to be a much bigger event than this year.  this year, there were less than ten sculptures, easily half of what we saw last year (although, sadly, i didn’t have a camera with me then).  we met up with scooter and sunny to hang out for a while.  we toured the piles of sand and waited for the first lobster weigh in.  it made for a fun, but super-freaking-hot, afternoon. and i had to cut it a little short for a girls-nigh-out dinner with panda and her friends.

first up, the amateur sculptures.  we had a buxom mer-lobster and seashell:

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followed by a mer-lobster dude with a wicked six-pack:

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of course, there are a few that did not pass my standards for posting but i had to include this cute little punch-bug.  these pix don’t really show all the details but there are windshield wipers, a vw emblem on the front, a peace sign on the back, and door handles.  i think it’s cute, i reply.

lobster11
lobster12

 this was the winner of the day.  i’m guessing not only because of the excellent execution and difficulty of technique (lots of arch pieces in the legs) but because it also did the best job of sticking with this year’s theme of “lobster sub”, which, by the way, was also exemplified by the world-record seventy foot lobster sub sandwich that was made and eaten earlier in the day.  anyhow, the winning sculpture also included a small replica of the restaurant which doesn’t seem to be in the pix i chose to post.  i loved the smile.

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lobster09

here’s the professional sculpture for this year.  while it is pretty cool, i don’t think it’s nearly as impressive as last year’s

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lobster05
lobster06
lobster07

and here was the first weigh-in of the tournament.  i think he was like 9.3lbs or so.  a friend of ours, stretch, has the winning team every year.  i think he said theirs was 10.8lbs.  that’s a lot of lobster.  moreover, have you ever noticed how freaking ugly these things are?  seriously, who wants to put that in their mouth?

lobster13
lobster14

2009
12
Sep
17:18

the rest of the week

   Posted by: arcanai

so, as is to be expected when you live at the beach and have visitors… most of the week was spent in or around the water. 

hubby

hubby

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CIL/sherlock

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cousin/writersblock

my cousin’s friend and her son came down from ‘bama tuesday night and they stayed through thursday.  wednesday, while we labored, they went to pensacola to see the blue angels train.  sounded like they had a lot of fun.  they spent thursday on the beach and touring town so as to leave us a nice, quiet work environment and then we dragged them to the bridge for some much needed torture.  happily, it was a much better run for my cousin than our midnight run and i think she had fun (in as much as forcing your body to drag itself over a bridge can be fun).  for me, it was my first time ever doing two laps over the bridge!  granted, i had to start thirty minutes before everyone else in order to finish with the rest of them and i was ready to die at the end, but i did two laps! 

friday, we took another day off and went to the state park so that they could do some fishing from the jetty.  while they were out in heat fishing, i found a nice shady gazebo and grabbed a nap.  until i was awoken by the naval hovercraft coming through the pass.

cool breeze + shade + beach sounds = naptime

cool breeze + shade + beach sounds = naptime

hovercrafts are noisy

hovercrafts are noisy

but still pretty cool - how do i get me one?

but still pretty cool - how do i get me one?

after doing some more touring of the park, we came back home where i started on dinner while hubby kayaked and cousin and CIL fished in the backyard.  apparently i missed quite the catch by my cousin when her fish decided to exact revenge by covering her in a healthy coat of blood.  obligatory in-mouth-spurts included.  blech!  sadly, this is also when she discovered that her brand new waterproof camera (same model as my cobalt) had died a watery death.  very, very, very sad, that.  after my fabulous dinner of bacon-wrapped fillets, asparagus, and cob corn, we all headed back down to the beach for some night fishing.  sadly, my cousin did not have any more spectacularly bloody catches but both CIL and hubby managed to reel something in.

writersblock assembling the perilous pink pole

writersblock assembling the perilous pink pole

sherlock's big beef stick strikes again!

sherlock's big beef stick strikes again!

sherlock's haul

sherlock's haul

hubby's proud catch

hubby's proud catch

sherlock eyeing hubby's big fish

sherlock eyeing hubby's big fish

before leaving this morning, they took one last fishing trip to the beach.  i’m glad they enjoyed it so much but it’s a shame they didn’t get their fishing licenses earlier in the week so that they could have had fishing fun every day.  after a good breakfast, they got on the road around lunchtime.  it was a wonderful visit with my favoritest extended family!

2009
8
Sep
12:05

fish-mongering

   Posted by: arcanai

my cousin is part fish so sunday, monday, and today have been mostly water days.  we did go to a neighborhood mixer that tat and o’neil invited us to on sunday but it’s been primarily about the water.  there was some kayaking and a lot of swimming and snorkeling.  CIL and i pretty much held down the umbrella chairs while cousin and hubby explored the backyard.  hubby got some great shots!  i especially love the rays.  they’re my favoritest pets these days.  my cousin is more into videography right now.
kinda artsy, no?

kinda artsy, no?

reach out and touch someone

reach out and touch someone

whispers out of corner of mouth: don't look... but that guy is totally checking us out!

whispers out of corner of mouth: don't look... but that guy is totally checking us out!

make sure you get my good side!

make sure you get my good side!

rays in stealth mode

rays in stealth mode

rays in flight mode

rays in flight mode

what?  you didn't believe me that my cousin is part fish?

what? you didn't believe me that my cousin is part fish?

toe nibblerz

toe nibblerz

i don't know what this little guy is but he sure is cute

i don't know what this little guy is but he sure is cute

circle of life

circle of life

2009
21
Jun
22:37

shell island

   Posted by: arcanai

hubby managed to sleep a few hours at a time last night after starting the new pain meds.  this morning he was even feeling well enough to brave a trip over to shell island.  in all the time we’ve lived here, i’ve never been there.  i’ve heard nice things about it.  and i’ve really wanted to go because so many people have said that the dolphins gather around the snorkelers and i was excited at the thought of snorkeling with dolphins.  anyhow, we packed up all of our stuff and took the ferry over to the island.  there was a long walk along the jetty to get from the bay side to the gulf side.
how do you roll a cooler on water?

how do you roll a cooler on water?

when we got to the gulf, we set up our little sun tent and donned our snorkeling equipment.  hubby thought that he could do a little light snorkeling but this was about as far as he got before he started spasming in pain again. 
hubby's extremely brief attempt at snorkeling

hubby's extremely brief attempt at snorkeling

since pain spasms and underwater don’t mix well, hubby went back to the sun tent to take another pain pill while we three snorkeled a bit.  sadly, no dolphins flocked to us.

sylvis-fish

sylvis-fish

i have no idea what this little guy was.  he was probably about six feet below us and this was the best pic i could snap of him.  when i tried to dive down to get a closer look, he freaked and bolted.  the pic isn’t very plain but he really looked like a teeny-tiny shark from the water surface. 
tiny shark-looking-guy

tiny shark-looking-guy

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peach-fish

peach-fish

my poor hubby spent the whole time missing me like crazy.  or not… 

this is how hubby spent our snorkel time

this is how hubby spent our snorkel time

we spent much longer out there than i expected.  i think we all spent some time napping in the tent.  it was wonderfully relaxing.   when we finally packed up and walked back to the ferry landing, we had a bit of a wait.  peach found a nice cool seat while we were waiting.  shortly thereafter, he had to give it up to hubby so that he could lay down and writhe in pain a bit. 

peach was very fond of his new raft

peach was very fond of his new raft

much like the dolphins, the gators were also a no-show.  however, the stop at alligator lake did give me the opportunity to try out the cool face detection self-portrait feature on cobalt.  i turned it on, pressed the button, and took my time getting in place.   when i turned my head and looked at the camera, it recognized the new face and took three consecutive shots.  what a cool frikkin feature!!!

testing out the face-detection timer

testing out the face-detection timer

i’m glad that we were able to get out and have a few good hours with our guests.  by the time we got back home, hubby was feeling terrible again.  a few hours ago, he spiked a fever.  a few minutes ago, i came into the room to find him asking for a scale.  i brought the scale into the bathroom and when he got out of bed i noticed that his torso and face were swollen, his stomach distended.  he stepped on the scale and was eight pounds heavier than normal.  that’s eight pounds of water bloating that came out of nowhere.  i’m very concerned and will be watching him carefully throughout the night.

2008
25
Jul
7:31

don’t tell my sissy

   Posted by: arcanai

we just spent about twenty minutes out on the balcony watching a relatively large (probably about five foot) shark swimming all around a couple of swimmers. i don’t think the swimmers noticed him, even though he got as close as ten feet from them. we watched him swim out to sea and come back in around them again several times but i think he finally got tired of them and went out to sea for good. it was fascinating to watch. i had my camera ready but he was too far away (next building over) and staying too far under the water. it was a fun break anyhow. and, luckily, those two body surfers must not look very tasty.

2008
18
Jul
7:09

companionship on a sleepless morning

   Posted by: arcanai

i woke up just before 0400 because i had to pee. after that, i could not get back to sleep. i woke hubby up for a few minutes but he was able to go right back to sleepi (i hate that about him). i got up and went out to the balcony to watch the moon over the water for a bit. i rummaged in the dark through our closet to find batteries for my camera (both sets of batteries are dead; anyone know where my charger is???) and tried to take pictures of the moon but, as much as i heart my camera, it sucks in low light. it was beautiful though. it was a full, orange moon. it was behind a light cloud so the cloud was glowing orange with just the tip of the moon peeking out over top and then there was a trail of the orange moonlight all the way across the water into the shore. it was wonderous. shame about the lack of good photo. this doesn’t do it justice at all. and it was after the clouds moved away.

about 0500 i laid back down and tried to go back to sleep. no such luck. at 0530 i decided to get up and go jogging on the beach. while i am not a morning person or jogger at all, it was very nice and peaceful out. there are no waves so the water just lapped at the shore and my feet a little. it was cool and quiet and relaxing (in a i-am-so-not-a-jogger/morning-person kind of way). my goal was to go to a building that would have made it about three miles round trip. i’d say i was about a quarter-mile from that buildng when i got an unexpected jogging companion. i kid you not, five feet away from me a shark was swimming the shoreline. it was only a baby, three feet from nose to tail, but it was soooo cool! i was very excited and ticked off that i didn’t have my camera. it stayed five to eight feet away for probably thirty yards before it finally decided to swim back out to sea. i could have reached out and touched it, it was so close. i’m no shark expert, but i’m pretty sure it was a black tip based on body style. clearly, i need a super tiny, high-tech, spy camera. something tiny that i could carry on me at all times no matter what i’m doing but takes great pix. yes, i did vent to the shark about him having the audacity to show up when i was completely cameraless. maybe he’ll come back around while we’re kayaking this weekend so that i can get his closeup. we’ve also had a six foot or so eagle ray passing by the last couple of days. i had no batteries in my camera yesterday. i did get a couple pictures today but he was much farther out and you can’t hardly make it out as an eagle ray.

2008
5
Jun
6:08

duuude

   Posted by: arcanai

i really am not sure what the deal is but i have been exhausted all week again. it’s very frustrating. last week we were actually able to lunch-gym a couple of days. this week i just can’t bring myself to do anything more than fail at taking a nap. i’ve had a hard time getting up in the mornings again – hubby kicked me out of bed this morning when i thought i had another snooze but i was actually late for work. of course, that was after i was wide awake at 05:41 and tried to convince myself to get up and go to the gym instead of trying to go back to sleep. oh well. maybe next week will be better again. however, we did just see our first sea turtle. i’m actually a bit surprised that we haven’t seen any before. seems like turtles would be pretty common around here. not sure why it seems that way but it does. anyhow, YAY for another creature sighting!

2008
30
May
12:51

sea cow

   Posted by: arcanai

my cousin will find this especially interesting in light of her facebook gift to me today… we just had our first manatee sighting! at first, she was just a very large dark figure in the water, not all sleek and angular like the shark i saw. i guessed it might be a manatee because i didn’t know of anything else with such a… ahem… rotund body shape but it seems like a strange time of year/day to see a manatee swimming along the beach. hubby broke out the binoculars and i watched her until she came up for a breath – confirmed manatee sighting! i saw her cute little ugly face take a deep breath and then her body arched over the water until her rounded tail waved goodbye. how exciting. that’s one i never even expected to see. unfortunately, even though hubby did bring my camera to me, there was just no way to get a good pic of her. it’s really tough to focus through the moving water that far out. maybe she’ll come around again and be more photogenic next time.

“Barbara Manatee! You are the one for me! Sent from up above, you are the one I love.”

2008
25
Apr
9:08

rays of happiness

   Posted by: arcanai

last night, whilst we sat on the balcony eating dinner, we noticed two four-packs of sting rays swimming right along the shoreline. i so enjoy watching the rays. they are delightfully playful. as we watched the two groups diverge in opposite directions, i commented how it was strange that i always see them in four-packs. then we noticed that a little further out, there were two groups of 12-15 each. rays everywhere, i tell ya! it was a great dinner-show. this morning, there is another four-pack again and another very large group again. have i mentioned how much i love our backyard?

2008
20
Apr
8:31

SHARK!!!

   Posted by: arcanai

i saw my first SHARK today! i was very excited when i looked down from my balcony and saw the large, dark, angular sea creature swimming in that very defining zigzag pattern. i wish my hubby had seen it too but he was down at the pool swimming (i had just gotten out of bed). unfortunately, i was so enthralled with watching it for the short time i was able to that i did not run back in to find my camera and shoot it. you can, however, take my word that it was SO COOL! happily, my wii hubby did come home to me late yesterday afternoon. we mostly relaxed last night and not much on the schedule for today. i think we’re going to walk to some stores to see if we can find my boy a new kite. the wind broke his last time he was flying. i should do some masking and painting but i’ve been cooped up all week so i’m ready to get out a little. the paint will still be there tomorrow, right? and maybe we’ll get around to building our mii’s sometime too.