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Posts Tagged ‘Alabama Gulf Coast beach’

Orange Beach is Golden!

Posted by alainaflute on August 5, 2014

Flip Flop Parking Lot

Flip Flop Parking Lot

After last year’s National Flute Association convention in New Orleans, Mom (Jody) and I traveled east along the Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana through three more states: Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. On our coastal driveabout, we saw beautiful white sand beaches, tumbled shells, great blue herons, and surfers. I expressed shock and glee simultaneously at my first jellyfish sighting (my mom was less than impressed).

We made Orange Beach, Alabama our home base. Our hotel was right on the beach, and we took in the refreshing sea breezes from our balcony. We ate breakfast on the sun deck and kicked off our sandals at the flip flop “parking lot.” The beach was as long as any I’ve ever seen. To be honest, I had no idea how wonderful those gulf beaches could be! The sugar-white sand squeaks under foot and goes on for miles and miles (really, we just set a time limit for our turn-around because the beach just kept on keeping on).

Here’s a look at our golden day on the white sands of Orange Beach:

Click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through.

~~~

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

Stress-free Parking Lot!

Posted by Jody on December 6, 2013

Crowded car parks?

Not for me!

Stress-free Parking
Stress-free Parking!

~~~

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!

Posted by Jody on October 5, 2013

Carefree Morning for Father and Son

Carefree Morning on Alabama’s Gulf Coast

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme is “Good Morning!”

~~~

Posted in Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

“A Fabulous Destination” ~ Dauphin Island, Alabama

Posted by Jody on June 1, 2012

Beach lovers are friendly folks! Case in point: I just recently met Elaine Rutledge, an artist who lives on the Gulf Coast of Alabama.  She’s a beach and water lover, and she’s definitely friendly! Well, we didn’t actually meet in person, we met in cyberspace. I just happened to be looking for other beach loving bloggers and came across her site, Elaine Rutledge Art. We struck up a conversation and Elaine told me her “favority haunt is the beach at Dauphin Island.”

Dauphin Island (East End with Throne)

So, I checked it out! Historic Dauphin Island is a barrier island in Mobile County, Alabama. It’s located in the Gulf of Mexico, three miles south of the mouth of Mobile Bay. According to the Town of Dauphin Island, “The island is approximately 14 miles long and 1 ¾ miles wide at the widest point. The eastern six miles are inhabited while the western 8 miles are undeveloped and privately owned. It is estimated that 1300 permanent residents call Dauphin Island home. The number of residents soars during vacation and holiday times.  The entire island has been designated as a bird sanctuary and thousands of visitors come to experience the annual migrations.”  Judging from the website, I’d say it looks like Dauphin Island is the ideal haven for swimming, surfing, beachcombing, bike riding and bird watching.

Dauphin Island, Alabama (East End)

Never having been to Dauphin Island, I asked Elaine if she would share the beach experience with us, which  she very graciously did! She even sent along photos of the East End beach on Dauphin Island. Elaine told me: “The island is a fabulous destination….if you google Dauphin Island, you will find many beautiful images. There is an airport, golf course, beaches at each end, and in the middle of the island….Fort Gaines, and a ferry that takes you across the mouth of the bay to Fort Morgan. Also fun is the Bird Sanctuary. The restaurants are some of the best in the area. And Cadillac Square is a lovely large park with ancient oak trees. The island had bedrock on the east end, mostly sand on the west end, that was split by hurricane Katrina. Now you can only reach the westernmost tip by walking across the cut on a “bridge” made of rocks that closes the cut. This rock barrier is vital to the oyster farming located on the leeward side of the island in the Bay.”

Dauphin Island (East End – On the Rocks)

Dauphin Island, Alabama (East End)

The Dauphin Island Park and Beach Board maintains and operates many of the islands historic sites, natural habitats, and family recreation areas which include Dauphin Island’s beaches and public parks.  The board also oversees campgrounds and the 850-foot Dauphin Island Fishing Pier which, interestingly enough, no longer even reaches anywhere near the water’s edge!

You can check out Elaine’s art (much of it is beach themed) at Elaine Rutledge Art ~ Art from the Heart. I’m sure she’d just love to have you stop by. And, you won’t even have to call ahead! 😉

Yessiree, beach lovers are mighty friendly folks!

Posted in Beach Birding, Friday Finds, Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

The Alabama Beach Mouse

Posted by Jody on February 1, 2012

The Alabama beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus ammobates) lives in the sand dunes of Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Primarily active during the night, this little beach critter burrows and nests exclusively in Baldwin County’s coastal dune areas.

The Alabama beach mouse ranges in length (head and body) from 2.7 to 3.4 inches.  But, the tail length can add up to another 2.3 inches! Pale gray, with a white tummy, this species sports a faint dark stripe on its tail.  Their diet consists of plant seeds (primarily from  beach grass and sea oats) and insects.

Alabama Beach Mouse (USFWS Photo)

The Alabama beach mouse has a lot going against him! Since 1985, this small, light colored mouse has been designated federally as an endangered species. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Coastal residential and commercial development and roadway construction have fragmented and destroyed habitat used by this species. Hurricanes, tropical storms, and dune use by pedestrians have also damaged or destroyed sand dunes and related habitats. Stalking by domestic and wild cats, as well as other animals, plus competition from other rodents have also contributed to Alabama beach mouse declines.

The website further explains,Beach mice are an important part of the coastal dune ecosystem. Thriving beach mouse populations indicate a healthy dune system. The mice themselves contribute by collecting and distributing seeds. Uneaten seeds grow into plants which help to stabilize dunes. Beach mice are also an important part of the food chain, providing a food source for dune predators such as the snakes and owls.

Sand Dunes – Alabama Beach Mouse Habitat, Bon Secour NWF (USNFW Photo)

It’s actually easier than you’d think to help protect beach mice and their habitat.  Visitors to any coastal environment simply need to take special care not to walk or drive in dune areas.  Where dune walkovers are provided for beach access, use them! ~ It’s that easy! ~

For those who live near beach mouse populations, the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service has very easy, clear recommendations.  Basic steps for coastal home owners and beach house renters include placing bagged garbage in rodent-proof trash cans, with tight-fitting lids, to prevent the establishment of other rodents (so they don’t compete with beach mice) and controlling outdoor and feral cats to reduce their hunting of beach mice.

Check out this FWS  webpage for more information on the Alabama beach mouse and how beach goers can help the little guy out.

“Now it was Ralph’s turn to be frightened. Oh-oh, he thought, I’d better be careful. If there was one thing Ralph disliked, it was people who traveled with dogs. Dogs always sniffed around where they had no business sniffing.” ~The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Food for thought from E.G.D.: “If a farmer fills his barn with grain, he gets mice. If he leaves it empty, he gets actors.” ~Sir Walter Scott

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

 
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