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Archive for the ‘Gulf of Mexico Beaches’ Category

Fall colors at their finest!

Posted by Jody on October 20, 2017

Our white sand beaches and coastal areas are teeming with these beautiful butterflies these days! ~ Just in time for their brilliant autumn-like colors to mix and match with other seasonal Southern favorites like Halloween decorations, pumpkin patches, and sweet potato pies! 

According to the University of Florida Entomology & Nematology Department:

“The Gulf fritillary occurs throughout the southern United States southward through Mexico, Central America and the West Indies to South America. In Florida, it can be found in all 67 counties. The butterfly undergoes distinct seasonal movements each year. Adults move northward in spring and form temporarily breeding colonies throughout the southeast. Individual vagrants may occasionally reach into the central U.S., but rarely into the Midwest. Starting in late summer and continuing through fall, huge numbers of adults migrate southward into peninsular Florida. Adults overwinter in frost-free portions of their range.”

Fall colors at their finest!

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Have a great day, hopefully at the beach!

 

Butterflies and Moths of North America

Butterfly Plants and Mississippi Butterflies

Butterflies at Home

 

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Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Posted by Jody on October 8, 2017

Just a couple days ago, we were sitting out on Beach Boulevard watching lovingly  restored Bel Airs, GTOs, and Deuce Coupes cruise by with Mississippi’s beguiling beachfront as their backdrop. Today, the Mississippi Department of Transportation is cruising the coast in clean-up mode.

Let me explain: In the olden days (We’re talking pre-Katrina here.), we understand the folks ’round here used to host hurricane parties. These days, we all hunker down and try to prepare as much as possible when the h-word is mentioned. So, although Crusin’ the Coast – billed as “America’s Largest Block Party” – took place this past week, vacationers packed up and left a bit early due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Nate. The party was over!

This year’s event featured over 8,000 registered classic cars and other vehicles. Next year’s party (September 30 – October 7th, 2018) promises to be even bigger!

Thankfully, our beautiful beaches remain intact this morning. Here, mid-coast, we only suffered minor tree damage and overblown dunes.

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So long, Nate!

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Independence Day the Gulf Coast Way!

Posted by Jody on July 4, 2017

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You have to love a nation that celebrates its Independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”
~Erma Bombeck

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Holiday | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

We’re going to need a bigger shovel!

Posted by Jody on June 22, 2017

 

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Tropical Storm Cindy sure left a mess behind on our coastal beaches! Today, in South Mississippi, we still have lines of thunderstorms passing through, flash flood warnings posted, and a tornado watch in effect. Parts of the beachside highway are blocked due to sand coverage and many parking areas along the seawall fenced off by the county. Luckily, we were able to find a place to pull over and hop out for a quick look at one of the beaches in Biloxi this afternoon.

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The aftermath of Tropical Storm Cindy on the beach in Biloxi, Mississippi..

 

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Row of rental chairs buried in the sand.

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I’m guessing we can negotiate a discount on these!

 

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We’re going to need a bigger shovel!

Here’s one!

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MDOT Sand Clean-up Crew

We didn’t expect to see this little guy:

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Is anyone missing their pet turtle?

Cindy had a peculiar sense of humor.

She left this behind:

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Seriously?? “The CYCLONE!”

It’s with a great big sigh of relief that we say, “So long, TS Cindy!”

 

 

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Celebrating Father’s Day

Posted by Jody on June 18, 2017

“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!”

~Albert Einstein

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Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Holiday | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Mother’s Day, y’all!

Posted by Jody on May 14, 2017

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I’ve never considered myself a “birder” before. Don’t get me wrong – I certainly know a Road Runner from a Robin. And I can identify a male Cardinal by it’s brilliant red color and conspicuous crest. In the past, I’ve been known to enjoy watching the Harris’s Hawks nesting in our front yard tree in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and get downright excited spying an Osprey triumphantly returning to it’s nest with a freshly caught dinner in Nokomis, Florida. But, how many eggs were likely to be found in the Harris’s Hawks’ nest, and how long did the Ospreys’ eggs take to hatch?  I hadn’t a clue.

The thing is, since moving to our little beach house on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, I’m starting to understand a little more about how someone gets hooked on bird watching. I’m not talking just a little hooked – I’m talking really hooked!

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Not too long ago, on a morning walk along our beach, we ran across a few scattered orange marker flags indicating nests of what we assumed were Least Terns. The little coastal critters are pretty well known in these parts. We’ve spotted the permanently marked nesting areas on the beach near Biloxi, and we have noticed the sign on Highway 90 designating a section of the roadway “Judith Toups Least Tern Highway.” In fact, we encountered a very active Least Tern nesting colony complete with helpful Audubon Society volunteers in Sarasota County (FL) last summer. So it was pretty clear what was happening on our beach! We had an actual Least Tern nesting colony forming right there, not more than a couple blocks from our beachy hideaway.

To date this particular colony has had its ups and downs. According to the American Bird Conservancy website: “The Least Tern has two big problems. It prefers sandy beaches for nesting—the same kinds of places that people love to visit. And, because it nests on the ground, it’s vulnerable to attacks by cats, dogs, and other predators, which can destroy a significant portion of a colony’s eggs and chicks.” We have had a couple big rain storms resulting in nests being covered by windswept sand. Yet we remain hopeful that the little colony on our beach survives and flourishes in the weeks and months to come.

The area is now roped off and signage has been placed. Hubby and I are planning on joining the Audubon Mississippi Coastal Bird Stewardship effort by becoming active volunteers.  I may be a real live birder when next we meet. I’ll keep you posted!

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Please Tern Around

In the meantime, you can learn more about the Least Terns on the Mississippi Gulf Coast here.

 

 

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Birding, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

How to Sneak in an Extra Beach

Posted by E.G.D. on April 11, 2017

Hello, beachgoers!  Greg and Jody are off on another one of their grand adventures, and true to form, they actually found an extra beach to visit in transit to a cruise that will be stopping at a large number of fabulous beaches.  Did you know that Cypress Point Park is walk-able from TPA (Tampa International Airport) and a good number of the airport hotels?  Granted, Google Maps says it could take a person an hour on foot from the airport.  For those of you who would rather do your walking on the actual beach, there’s a bus you can catch from the terminal for $2 each way.

It would appear it’s a lovely location for kicking around at the beach (albeit without your canine friends), as well as plane spotting!  According to Tampagov.net, “Cypress Point Park is a relatively undiscovered treasure with a beautiful beach. The park includes a .90-mile asphalt trail and .44 miles of nature trails. Cypress Point Park provides visitors with stunning sunsets, gorgeous beach walks, dunes, beach wildflowers, and fishing opportunities. Park amenities include a bus stop, ample parking, ADA accessibility, bicycle racks, benches, a boardwalk, a canoe launch and picnic pavilions.”

So, ladies and gentlemen, if you have a layover in Tampa and you don’t feel like spending hours and hours inside an airport, you now know that you have the option of popping out for a quick beach trip!  I don’t know about you, but when I’m flying long distances, I’ll take any excuse to stretch my legs, and there’s no better place to do that than a good beach.

Do you know any good escape-the-airport layover beaches?  We’d love to hear about them!  Please drop us a line in the comments, and if we get a good response, I’ll patch together an airport-beaches list for the site.  In the meantime, have a great day, hopefully at the beach.

Posted in Beaches of North America, Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Seaside Style

Posted by Jody on December 1, 2016

Show us your seaside style!

Happy Holidays from the Mississippi Gulf Coast!

Posted in Beachy Keen Art, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Holiday, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Cruisin’ The Coast

Posted by Greg on October 9, 2016

There is a celebration we didn’t know about when we moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast a couple months ago. It’s not something people usually think about when they say, “Lets go to the beach!”.  Touted as “America’s Largest Block Party,” Cruisin’ The Coast is winding up its 20th anniversary year this weekend. According to the Cruisin’ The Coast web site, “Cruisin’ The Coast® has become the biggest special event in the state of Mississippi. As Cruisin’ The Coast® has grown, the honors and awards have followed suit.”

From the reports I’ve heard, this year there are between 6,000 and 7,000 registered classic cars and many more that are not registered. I haven’t seen final numbers yet, but last year there was a record 7,639 registered cruisers that participated in the event. Cruisers and spectators come from all over – packing hotels and setting up camp along Beach Boulevard. If you love classic and custom cars this is the week-long (8 days, really) event to attend. And even if you don’t love cars it’s still one heck of a  party at the beach!  Jody will freely tell you she doesn’t know a Edsel from a Studebaker and she thoroughly enjoyed the nightly parade of cruisers along Beach Boulevard, aka: Hwy. 90.

This is a collage of some of the photos we took as the sun set last night. Classics were represented from a wide range of years up to 1989 (the newest models the organization considers classic), with a huge number of 1950’s Chevys in the mix.

Ya’ll can start planning for next year’s event with a little help from the following sites:

Cruisin’ The Coast

Visit Mississippi: Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau

Welcome to the coast!

Wishing you safe cruising! ~ From a motorhead of yesteryear, Greg

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

S.H.A.R.K. in the Sky!

Posted by E.G.D. on September 23, 2016

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Photograph © Jody Diehl

It isn’t really noticeable here in the Houston area yet, but it is officially autumn!  Can you believe it?  Summer just flew by.  One way or another, we’re past peak beach season, which never really made much sense to me.  In the autumn and winter months, I’m as likely to go to the beach as spring and summer.  Granted, the sorts of things I do on the beaches change with the seasons.  In the colder months, most of us are pretty unlikely to go wading and swimming, but shelling is often best in the dead of winter, and if you ask me, there’s no better time for beach kite flying than autumn!  Here in La Porte, TX, we are truly fortunate to have a spectacular organization that sends sea creatures into the sky on a pretty regular basis right at our very own Sylvan Beach: The South Houston Area Recreational Kiters, or S.H.A.R.K. for short.

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Photograph © Jody Diehl

At the tail end of last autumn, Jody (my mom) captured some great photographs of some S.H.A.R.K. kites, and while we were there, the kiters kindly arranged it so that we could pet the dolphin kite (and while doing so, we got a chance to show everyone how big these kites really are!).  The only photo in this lineup that does not belong to Jody is the one of crab ground-kites, which were at Sylvan Beach on a different day and were photographed by F. Travis Riley.  I hope you enjoy the slideshow:

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If you like what you see, S.H.A.R.K. meets to fly beachy kites at beaches all over the Port of Houston/Galveston Bay area.  They have a great calendar of events that lets you know where they’ll be and when.

Have a great start to your autumn, everyone!  I hope you don’t miss a chance to see high-flying sea creatures at a beach sometime soon- E.G.D.

Posted in Friday Finds, Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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