Thursday, December 06, 2012

Invasive Species

Sunshine Key, Florida  (high 80, low 68)

We decided to head back to Curry Hammock State Park yesterday and get some more pictures of “BOB”…..big ole boy  (the iguana)   I wasn’t happy with the pictures I took the other day.

He lives on a campground road and sometimes walks down towards the beach.  You aren’t supposed to go on this private road so we have to wait for Bob to make his way down.

For those of you that think I’m brave getting so close to this big guy, let me tell you, I’m a  looooong way from him.  I’m probably 150-200 feet away.  I just have a really strong zoom lens!  I’m not that brave.

I had the camera lens zoomed almost to the max, so I had trouble keeping the camera steady enough to get a decent picture.  Yeah, I know I could use a tripod, but it’s much easier to just hold the camera, and I’m pretty good at keeping it pretty steady.

big iguana at Curry Hammock sp

I just think this is such am amazing looking creature that I love to look at all his different textures.

Just look at those spines on his back.


Once, I saw him stick out his little pink tongue as he was eating.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of that.


We were hoping “bob” would make his way down the road so I could get some photos without having to zoom in quite so much.  Unfortunately some ranger walked down the road and frightened Bob away.  How rude!

A few people commented on these Iguanas.  Unfortunately, I believe they still sell iguanas at pet shops, as well as pythons and boa constrictors.  The snakes are causing a lot of problems in the Everglades, the huge snakes are thriving and eating the native species, like deer, raccoons, and even gators!  They find snakes 18-20 feet in length.   They are trying to remove/kill them but they are multiplying way too fast.  They are destroying the balance of nature in the everglades. 

In the Keys, they are encouraging people to kill and eat the Iguanas.  I hate that, but they do eat bird and turtle eggs, and I hate for that to happen also.

Another invasive species that’s causing problems here in the Keys, is the beautiful Lionfish.  They are not native to the Florida waters, and are killing the native fish and crustaceans.   They are having spearfishing derbies and encouraging people to take them.  Those beautiful spines are venomous, so you have to be very careful.  Supposedly they are good to eat.



After getting a few photos of the iguana, we decided to go back to our little area by the beach, and do some reading.

Al is really enjoying his book, huh?

Al "reading" at Curry Hammock SP


We had planned on going to watch the sunset at the Sunset Bar, but once we left Curry Hammock, we noticed the clouds would be blocking the sunset, so we decided to just stay home…and save money.


JC posted a commend on the previous blog about the “green flash,”  that people look for as the sun sinks into the ocean. I had always heard about the green flash, but wasn’t sure was something real or just fiction. I’ve watched many sunsets over the water and haven’t seen it yet.   JC actually saw it, so I guess I’ll have to keep watching for it.  JC said when the top part of the sun finally sinks below the water line, if the atmospheric conditions are just right, you can see a flash of green light.  

Anybody else out there see the green flash?


After getting back home, we decided to take Mr. Baxter out for a stroller ride.  He enjoyed the new smells and sites of the ocean. 

We were hoping to get the kayaks wet today, but this morning we awoke to thunder.  I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll get a paddle in before we leave on Sunday.

Here is our view from the coach this morning at sunrise.

Sunshine Key sunrise

Red sky at night, sailors delight.  Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.  I guess this means we should take warning. 

It looks like today might not be a great kayaking day.  I guess we’ll have to go to “plan b”


  1. Fabulous looking creatures, those iguanas but I guess they really do a number on the foliage and vegetation, too...just had to say loved the photos of Sunset Grille, our favorite place in the Keys to watch the sun go down! We can't wait to get back there the first two weeks in January.

  2. That Lionfish is beautiful, but...

    I just can't get over how big “BOB” is. I clicked on the photo to show Paul those spines. That is scarey.

  3. The green flash is real, although I've never seen it. During my Coast Guard days at sea, we always were watching for it, but the conditions were never right when I was looking. Other guys on my crew saw it at various times, of course when I was off duty. :c(

    I hate to see these invasive species causing so much trouble to the native flora and fauna. With all the government regulations out there, you'd think there would be one against the importation and sale of iguanas, boas and such.

    But then, that would make too much sense... :cO

  4. They are so beautiful it is such a shame they do so much damage. Even Bob is beautiful. Man sure is good at messing up the balance of nature. Wish your weather would improve enough for you to get out those kayaks.

  5. Great pics of the Iguanas. They are beautiful and interesting creatures.....Yes, I have seen the green flash while in the Bahamas on our sailboat. My husband didn't and is sure it was the light shining through the bottom of my green beer bottle. The atmosphere has to be just right and it happens in an instant so you can't blink or you'll miss it.

    1. now are you sure, it wasn't the green beer bottle??? :)

  6. I saw it once watching a really so so sunset over the Pacific in San Diego.

    Itwas one of those things that happen so fast you know you wern't thinking of it before it happened. Nothing else quit like it. When you see it you will know.

    lucky you can keep watching for it.

  7. Hoping you get your kayak in the water. Glad to hear Baxter got a stroller ride. Hope he is doing better. Looks like a great spot to spend the winter!

  8. Your photos are just gorgeous - you have such interesting animals down there. I've never seen an iguana in the wild, that big ole boy is really interesting looking.

  9. "Bob" sure is and interesting looking fellow for sure, awesome pictures. Too bad about you weather, better luck next time.

  10. I love your iguana pictures. We've seen them only in Mexico and Costa Rica and to me, they are a treat to see. We've seen the green flash several times when we've lived on the (west coast) beaches of Mexico. It's caused by the channeling and focusing effects of cooler layers of air settling closer to the warmer air in contact with a warmer water surface... the field guide says it last about 2 seconds, but I've never been able to get a photo of it even using the video mode of my camera. Hope you see it... or even better, capture it in a photo.

  11. Fantastic post! What great pictures! And I love the information. You write so well. Easy to follow and informative. As for the 'green flash' - I have never seen it but when we lived in Hawaii in the 80's folks would talk about it. Guess I haven't seen enough sunsets… After the clouds clear out a bit we intend to see a few more in KW. It took me a while… but I just finished a post about our time in Flamingo Campground. I think you two would really enjoy it.

  12. We lived in Marathon for about 10 years and saw many beautiful sunsets. We saw the green flash a total of ONE time. Good luck!


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