When we think of August we think ... well, let's stay positive and just say... we're looking forward to cooler weather. August just does not afford ideal conditions for visiting beaches.
At least not in the usual make the picnic lunch, grab the towels and chairs and let's go lolly-gag on the shore all-day-long kind of visit. Maybe that's just me... but there are so many other perfectly fine months to linger on our wonderful beaches that August is just not a draw for me.
These days begin and end with temps in the eighties, peaking in the nineties, with high humidity. With all that said.... still, Florida people learn to work around the uncomfortable weather.
Sanderling, Calidris alba
Especially if you're like this Florida girl who just can't bear to be indoors. EVER. Besides there's a whole world of nature waiting outside to greet me.
Willet, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
AND... you just never know what a trip to the shore will surprise you with.
So I recommend getting out and about either very early in the morning or waiting until later in the evening to do some coastal browsing. These are delightful times to be there no matter what season of the year.
Willet, Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
When the Gulf of Mexico is only a short driving distance away it seems a shame not to go there to hang out more often.
There isn't a whole lot of human activity on the beaches very early in the mornings. But one thing you can count on is the wildlife is out in abundance as the sun crests over the horizon.
As I mentioned in an earlier post it had been many years since visiting Fort DeSoto Beach in Pinellas County. What a treasure that beautiful piece of land is where the Gulf of Mexico meets the entrance to Tampa Bay. It has been named America’s Top Beach 2009 for the second consecutive year by TripAdvisor, the world's largest online travel community.
The park is vast with 1,136 acres made up of five interconnected islands. Annual park attendance averages more than 2.7 million visitors.
There are over 7 miles of waterfront, including almost three miles of the finest white sand beach in the United States. There is an 800-foot-long boat launching facility with eleven floating docks. And a 238-site family camping area with facilities including picnic tables, grills, water, electricity, washers, dryers, sanitary disposal stations, modern restrooms, showers, play areas, and a camp store.
The park offers so much more than I've listed here. All of my information is right off the official website for the state parks which you can check out for yourself for lots more information if you're interested.
It was a restful, quiet morning stroll for me. With camera in hand it's easy to lose all account of time. The worries of the world fade away and for the time being it's just me and my lens out to capture the beautiful and glorious world that God made.
Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea
I took my time to enjoy every little nook and cranny of the public beach. While just steps away from the white sandy shore is the back side of the bay with its inlets and bayous teeming with all kinds of plants and wild life.
Sea Grapes ... which are loaded with... you guessed it... sea grapes this time of year.
It was worth climbing the steps to the top of the Old Fort. Reading all the informational signs that I'm sure I've walked past a dozen times in my lifetime I learned a few things.
Is this what people do once they get old and realize they've whisked past so many treaures in the hurry-scurry of ordinary life? As much as I'm loving my renewed desire to 'not take things for granted that have always been here'... I admit ... it makes me wonder if I'm old.
If you're like me and live in the area but haven't been to the park in a while I suggest you give it another visit. It doesn't compete with Anna Maria Island or Longboat Key for white sands and pristine waters by any stretch (in my opinion) but its closer.