Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Square Grouper


Cudjoe Key, Florida ( high 86, low 78)


It’s been stifling hot and humid the past few days, with no change in the foreseeable future.  This is the kind of weather that has us thinking of our RV lot in the north Georgia mountains, but we want one more good boating day first.

We also want to go back down to Key West for one more sunset celebration. 

The winds have picked up considerably, so boating has been out for the past few days.  We were actually glad because we were very tired from our 5 days in a row out on the reef.  We’re rested now though, so the wind can die down anytime!

I’m hoping to go back out to Looe Key Reef one more time to snorkel and take some pictures at the pretty little 7 foot spot.   Al is determined to find his expensive anchor, so we need the winds to die down for one last trip!  He was able to do a quick search for it the other day, but didn’t have any luck. I’m afraid it’s gone for good.

We are winding down our time here in our winter home on Summer Place.  :)   I’ve mentioned it before, but our Rv lot is actually on Summer Place.

We’ve been trying to get things ready to go, and plan to depart some time soon.  Al has rearranged our “deck box” so that we can store our bikes, scuba tanks, chairs and a few other items for the summer.  It’s getting a fresh coat of paint and hopefully no hurricanes will blow it down this summer.

Venture Out 611


One of our favorite restaurants here is called The Square Grouper.  It’s just a few blocks from our RV lot, so it’s pretty convenient.  They have wonderful food and a real chef to prepare them.  You can get everything from hamburgers, to things like yellowtail snapper with white clam sauce, or Brazilian shrimp soup.   They have wonderful lunch specials every day and we eat there often.  Too often!


They are also in the process of opening up a bar which will be called  My New Joint.  When I explain what a square grouper is, you will understand the significance of the name of the new bar.

For those of you that have never lived in Florida, you may never have heard of a square grouper.  Yes, there really is such a thing.  In the 1970’s and 80’s, they were a lot more common than they are now.

Here are a few pictures of actual square grouper that I found on the internet.


th (2)


No, that is not a fish.  A square grouper is a bale of either marijuana or cocaine.

We met a local at Springers Bar the other night.  She was quite a character and we’re hoping to see her again before we leave.  She told some wonderful stories of life here in the Keys.

Jeanne and her husband used to live on a sailboat and traveled between the Keys and the Bahamas.  She told stories of finding bales in the Bahamas, back in the 70’s.

They were young, it was a different time, and they and found it difficult to ignore this wonderful chance to get rich quick.  They grabbed the bales of marijuana and buried them all over the different Bahamian islands, but that is a far as they got and the bales are still there.  (yeah right)

One time, they found a drug plane that had crashed and there were bales of cocaine scattered all over.  No pilot in sight and they were on a deserted little island.  Temptation got to be too much, so they took some of the cocaine, stuffed it into scuba tanks, and buried the tanks all over the different islands.    A drug surveillance plane flew over and they assumed  it took a picture of the registration numbers on their boat.  They knew if they tried to come back into US waters, they would be boarded and searched, so they never brought the cocaine back (at least that’s what she told us). 

Sure enough, a few months later when they came back to the US, they were boarded and searched!  

She said back in “the day” square grouper” washed ashore quite often here in the Keys.   I asked if they were afraid to pick it up for fear of being killed by the drug dealers.  She said no, by the time it washed ashore, it was pretty much abandoned. 


The following is a story I found on the internet about what can happen if you find a square grouper.  This happened only two years ago.

Two brothers fishing in 200 feet of water off Fiesta Key found a package they believed to be a kilo of cocaine.

The brothers put the package in a bait well and kept fishing, but Kenneth Swindal told deputies he later saw his brother open it and snort whatever was inside.

About an hour and a half later, Thomas Swindal, 54, of Merritt Island, reportedly began to act strangely, running around the boat, throwing things into the water, including their means of communication, a cellphone and VHF radio.

He reportedly picked up knives, a pair of pliers and a gaff, and removed the engine cover, which fell overboard and sank. He then gaffed the engine and damaged it, leaving the boat adrift, according to Monroe County Sheriff's Office reports.

His brother reportedly threw all the sharp objects overboard, along with the package, which authorities did not recover. Kenneth Swindal then climbed on top of the boat and began signaling for help.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) responded to a nearby vessel's call for help and took both men ashore.

Paramedics took Thomas Swindal to Fishermen's Hospital.

He later was airlifted to South Miami Hospital, where he died. No charges were filed against the surviving brother.


Nowadays, we have the blimp which is also known as Fat Albert.  It which watches the waters for suspected drug activity.

it was grounded in this picture, but it’s usually in the air and tethered to the ground.


I’ve read that here in the Keys, you have a better chance of finding a square grouper, or a bag of cash, than you do of winning the lottery. 

I think I’ll continue to buy lottery tickets and ignore any square grouper that we may find.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Shark Infested Waters


Cudjoe Key, Florida


The wind gods shined on us again and for the fifth day in a row, we were back out on Looe Key Reef.  What a spectacular place it is and what an amazing day we had.

We are both pretty pooped and have almost been hoping for the winds to pick up (just for one day) to give us a rest.  If the seas are calm, we’re going out to the reef, tired or not!  

We were able to to get back to buoy 5, which is where we saw the giant jewfish.

We didn’t get into the water right away,  hoping for the seas to calm down and the sun to get a little higher in the sky.

While we were waiting, we noticed a shark by the side of the boat. 


As we sat there, we noticed him again, and again, and again. Soon, he started circling our boat.  Round and round and round, always in a counter clockwise pattern.  

He always circled very close to the boat.


A few times, he came up closer to the surface.


We kept hoping to see the jewfish, but only this darn shark.

The shark circled our boat for a good two hours before we finally decided to move!   Al wanted to snorkel, but we considered this shark behavior to be abnormal, so we were a little leery.

We decided the shark wasn’t going to go anywhere else, so I convinced Al to move the boat to another buoy.  (It wasn’t too hard)

The shark was still circling the boat when we moved. We were hoping he wouldn’t follow us!

We moved up to buoy 3  and watched to see if we saw the shark.  When he didn’t appear after a few minutes, Al got in the water, and immediately saw a shark there too!   This one swam on by as they normally do, so it wasn’t a problem.  He saw 3 different sharks before I even got in.  As Al snorkeled around (being the test diver),  I slowly  got ready.

I handed him my new video camera, only to realize that some dummy (me) failed to put the SD card back into the camera so we couldn’t take pictures.

I mentioned on a previous post that I found a great deal this tiny underwater video camera.   It is so small that it fits easily in the palm of my hand.  It takes 1080p hd video or snapshots.  It’s an Intova.


I bought it on a whim at a local dive shop that had great prices on everything else, so I figured the $129 price was a good deal.  I did absolutely no research, or price comparison, but I wanted to film my snorkeling adventures at the reef.

I think I am going to like it real well.   It’s easy to use, but I can’t see much in the small viewfinder, unless it’s a really big fish. It has a nice wide angle lens, so I just point it in the right direction and shoot, and hope for the best. 

Here    Is a link for more info if anyone is interested.  Sherry, this might be something you’d like when you’re in the springs with the manatee!

Before I got in the water, Al saw the big jewfish.  I wished he would have had a working camera because he saw him roll over on the bottom, like he was trying to scratch his back!  DARN, I missed that!  Jewfish remind me of manatee.  They are gentle giants.

I finally got into the water after using Al as test bait.  No sooner than I got in the water than I also started seeing sharks too.  I was a tad nervous, but they all went about their business and pretty much ignored us.  No more of Mr. Circle the Boat guy.  

After we got out of the water, Al worked on a few things on the boat and I watched  the action around us.

This boat appears to be a little small for the ocean, don’t you think? 


Lots of charter dive and snorkel boats.


I wish I had better underwater pictures to show you this amazing undersea world..  There is a woman that works on the boat in the picture above by the name of Karen Walker.  She takes amazing underwater pictures.

The  Link  here is for the dive shop.  I encourage you to click on the link and look at her underwater photos.  If you scroll through them you will see a smiling parrotfish, a school of spotted eagle rays, and much more.  I had an encounter with a smiling parrotfish later in the day, so I hope you’ll look at her pics.


Later in the afternoon, we decided to head over to another buoy that appeared to be on a very shallow part of the reef.  We hooked up to buoy 36 and found ourselves in 7 feet of water.  We saw some dark blackish spots on the sand and they were moving, so we figured they were fish.  There was enough of a ripple to distort the image.


It didn’t appear to be a very nice site, so I sent my test diver in to check things out.  As soon as he got in, he was met by a decent sized barracuda, and a huge school of beautiful dark blue tangs. 

I decided to get in and check it out.  No sooner than I put my head in the water than the barracuda greeted me as well.  I looked over and saw the most amazing sight.  There was the huge school of fish 20-30 feet from me. There must have been a hundred or more of them.  I think they were tang. They were dark in color with an iridescent blue outline.  The barracuda was in front of them and we were all just drifting in the current.  It was a sight I’ll always remember. Too bad I don’t have a picture to show you!   grrrrr

The barracuda accompanied us the entire time staying 4-5 feet away most of the time.  It was like he was our tour guide.    I was close enough to him to notice the beautiful detail on his skin.  I estimated him to be at least 3 1/2 feet in length. 

The highlight of this trip for me, was after Al got back into the boat.  A beautiful green and orange parrotfish came swimming over.  He was 6-8 feet away and looked straight up at me and smiled!   Yes, he did.   He sat there looking and smiling for a minute or so and I couldn’t help but to smile right back at him.   I could have taken the most amazing picture if I had only remembered to bring the SD card for the camera.

The next picture is one I borrowed from the internet.  It’s similar to what I saw, but my fish was cuter, different color, and was facing me head on for a better picture of his amazing smile.


Parrotfish have big teeth that they use to chomp on coral  as they look for algae.  They chew pieces of coral, then excrete is as sand.  The next time you’re laying on a beautiful white sandy beach, just remember  that a lot of that sand is made from parrotfish poop!


Here a a few pictures from our day.   The reef police.


Al getting ready to snorkel with NO wetsuit. You’re the man Al!


The beautiful water.


And I know God is going to get me for taking a picture of this female snorkeler, but I couldn’t help myself.


the end



Friday, April 25, 2014

An Amazing Day


The weather gods are still cooperating, so we went back out to Looe Key Reef for the third day in a row. 

We no sooner than got hooked up to mooring buoy #4, than I looked down and saw something very odd right below the boat.  It looked like a big brown log.  I kept looking and then about decided it was part of the mooring buoy, when it moved.

It was a giant jewfish.  As I explained before, the politically correct name is now goliath grouper, but we’ve always known them as jewfish, so that’s what we call them.

This guy must be the one that our neighbor Ron told us about which is estimated to be about 300 pounds.  Ron is a part time captain for the Looe Key Dive Shop boat.  He told us that this jewfish usually comes right up to their dive boat as soon as they get to the spot. 



Fortunately for us, we had gone to a dive shop prior to going out to the reef and I bought a cheap underwater video camera.  I’ll post more on it later, but so far, I think I’m going to like it fine.  I had no time to read any manuals or learn much about the camera, so I was shooting blind, but I got some decent videos.

The visibility had dropped significantly from the day before and the water was pretty murky, but the murky water was 2 degrees warmer, so I didn’t mind the trade off!

The jewfish swam away from our boat, so  we didn’t think we’d see him when we got into the water.

Al got in first and as soon as he put his face into the water he discovered this huge guy right under our boat!

I jumped in as quickly as possible and pushed the button on the camera, hoping I was actually shooting video, but not sure I was.

The video needs editing, but I was able to take a few snapshots from it and I’m posting a few now.

I don’t know if you can tell the size of him by the photo, but if it helps, that is our boat above him.






After a few minutes the jewfish swam away to spread joy to other lucky snorkelers.

We swam around for quite a while.  We saw either three sharks, or the same shark three times!  He was always going away from me when I saw him, so I didn’t worry.  My method for not stressing when I see a shark is to concentrate on something beautiful, so that’s what I did.

I got some video of some beautiful fish and when I have time, I’ll share some with you.

It was an amazing day even with visibility being less than we had hoped for. 

We gassed up the boat at the marina and felt pretty good about the $24 cost to top off our tank, because the guys before us spent over $700 to fill up their fuel tanks!

We rushed home to shower and see if we could make it to Springers before happy hour ended at 6pm.   We made it there and ended up chatting with a few locals.  This one woman we met had the most amazing stories about finding bales of marijuana and cocaine in the shores around here and in the Bahamas.   I’ll tell you more about that later. 

On the way home, we saw the most amazing sunset.  The sun appeared larger than normal last night looked like a huge orange ball.  Unfortunately, in my rush to make it to happy hour, I neglected to bring my camera.  But oh the pictures I have in my mind!


the end


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Another Great Day on Looe Key Reef


The wind cooperated for us again yesterday and we headed back out to Looe Key Reef.   It was even calmer than the day before and we made good time getting to the reef.

Two days in a row, we’ve been offshore and I haven’t been sea sick.  I hope I’m not jinxing anything.

We decided to go back to buoy #3 since the water there is shallow and perfect for snorkeling.

Since I was chilly in the water the day before, I brought along a shorty wetsuit, which is like a regular wetsuit but with short legs and arms. 

I put on my two thin skin suits and added the wetsuit on top. It was not comfortable out of the water but felt pretty good in that cold 77 degree water. I felt much better with that added layer.

Al toughed it out with only his thick skin suit.

We saw a lot of barracuda yesterday.  Most of them smallish 2 footers.  We saw a shark or two while we were on the boat, but none in while we were in the water.  A lot of people saw spotted leopard rays, and sting rays, but we didn’t.

I tried out my housing for my underwater camera, but I couldn’t see anything when I tried to take a picture, so I was just pointing the camera and shooting blind.  I had hoped for the best but my pictures were terrible.   I have another idea for today to see if I can improve anything, but I’m not hopeful.

The yellowtail were back waiting to be fed.  We were better prepared yesterday because Al brought along some cat food. 


I think the water was even more clear than the day before.

In the next picture, you can see the buoy we tied onto, and notice the reef down below.  That was probably 25 feet deep there.


This family was having a wonderful day on their houseboat.


The Boy Scouts of America seem to have a pretty good gig going, because not only do they have a huge WATER FRONT campground IN THE KEYS, but apparently they have at least two boats.

I wonder where they got the money for all of this?  Their beach property must be worth millions.



This boat was filled with young girls, and when they got into the water for some snorkeling, they couldn’t seem to keep their snorkels in their mouths because all they did was talk, giggle and scream.  Here they were on a gorgeous reef and they couldn’t shut up and enjoy the beauty.   I wanted to tell them to put those snorkels in their mouths and their heads in the water!   (but I didn’t)

After we snorkeled for a while, we decided to head further offshore to the deep water.  We cruised over there through some very beautiful and clear water.  As we got deeper, the color of blue changed from the color of a swimming pool, to deeper and deeper blues.

My photos can’t quite capture the true colors.


In the next picture, you can see all the boats at Looe Key Reef in the background.


We got into 100+ depth of water and turned around and came back.  We decided Al wasn’t really set up to do any deepwater fishing, so we went back to the spot he was at the day before that was full of fish.  We were careful to get well outside the boundaries for Looe Key so we didn’t get in trouble for fishing there.

We no sooner got anchored, than Al started catching fish.

He caught grouper, grunts and a special surprise that he thought was going to be a really big fish!!  It wasn’t.




wait for it….here’s the special surprise.


None of the fish were big enough to keep so we came home empty handed, again.

He fished a while then we decided to more to a little different spot.  Unfortunately, our anchor had other ideas.

The anchor was hung really good and would not budge.  We moved the boat all around, coming at the anchor from all different angles and still it would not budge.

Al finally decided to go down and get it, but that required scuba gear since the water was 26 feet deep.  I dressed his tank while he put his skin back on for the third time.   Unfortunately, our very old scuba regulators had some issues and after trying unsuccessfully to get one of the 4 regulators working properly, I started getting uneasy.  I believe sometimes God may be trying to tell you something and the money to replace our anchor and chain was not worth risking his life.  After a few more attempts at the regulators, Al finally decided to give up on the anchor.

The regulator is what you attach to your scuba tank. It has a mouth piece that allows you to breathe the high pressure air inside the tank.  If the regulator doesn’t work, you don’t breathe.   Neither of us have been scuba diving in many years and we planned on our first dive trip in shallow clear water so that we could ease back into it.  This was not the right place, so we marked the spot on the GPS and cut the anchor.  We plan on going back another time to retrieve it.  In the meantime, we have a spare anchor, so we’re heading back out today.  New regulators will probably be in our future.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Snorkeling, with Sharks, Jewfish and Colorful Tropical Fish


Cudjoe Key, Florida (high 81, low 74)


The wind finally let up and allowed us a near picture perfect boating day yesterday, and hopefully today as well.


We launched the boat at our marina, hoping for flat calm seas, clear water, and blue skies.   That is pretty much what we got.

We decided to head out to the Atlantic side and go to Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary.  It was named after a ship that sunk there in 1744.  The reef is well offshore but there are depths of only 4-5 feet in places.  It’s easy to see why a ship could become grounded and sink.

As we navigated out through the channel markers in the shallow water we found the seas to be a bit choppier than we had hoped.  We were disappointed, but decided to keep on going.

On the way out, we came across a pod of dolphin that appeared to be fishing.  They came over to the boat and seemed to check us out by coming out of the water and looking at us a couple of times.  I was late in getting my camera out, so I didn’t get a good photo.

Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary is about 6 miles from our marina on the Atlantic side. Since it’s a marine sanctuary, everything is protected, so there is no fishing or spearfishing. 

The reef is a series of “spurs and grooves” and is part of the only coral reef in the United States.

The following is an aerial picture I borrowed from the internet .  It shows what I mean by spurs and grooves.  The light color is sand, the darker colors are the reefs. 

According to the internet, the water ranges from 5-70 feet, but we never saw anything that deep.


In order to protect the reefs from the damage from boat anchors, they have installed a series of mooring buoys that you can tie your boat to, and avoid dropping an anchor on the fragile coral.  What a wonderful idea! 

That’s the mooring buoy.  Notice the clarity of the water.



There are 54 mooring buoys, each numbered.

We wanted a spot away from the other boats and in shallow water. We slowly approached buoy number 3 with me driving and Al manning the little grabber hook to snag the rope that’s attached to the buoy.  The seas had calmed down some, so it was easy. We tied off to the buoy and we were all set without having to drop our anchor on the reef.

Once you hooked up to the mooring buoy, you just looked down and there was the reef! 

This is what I saw when I looked down


We sat there awhile and watched the other boats and enjoyed the view.  There was a pontoon boat behind us that was full of kids.  They had the best time snorkeling, screaming, laughing and calling out all the interesting things they saw.


We kept watching the water temp gauge on the fish finder and it was saying it was 77.5 degrees.   Brrrrrr.   We were determined to do some snorkeling, so we put on our skin suits, mustered up all of our courage, and jumped in. The spot we had chosen was in a depth of 12-17 feet, which is perfect for snorkeling.   When you’re snorkeling the shallower the better.  When you’re diving, you can go down to where the fish are so it’s okay to be a little deeper.  We tried to stay in the shallower areas which were only about 12 feet.

The water was a bit chilly and it took me a minute to catch m breath and finish shrieking into my snorkel.   We both had on our skin suits, which cover your entire body including arms and legs.  They take off the chill a little, but are not as warm as a wetsuit.

As soon as I put my head in and looked down,  I was amazed by the beauty. Beautiful and colorful fish were everywhere. Even though I’ve been diving hundreds and hundreds of times, I am always amazed by the beauty of an underwater reef.   

I did not have my underwater camera with me.  Don’t  ask me why, but I will definitely bring it the next time.

Before long Al came over to me and told me to look down.  He had spotted a Jewfish.   The name Jewfish has become politically incorrect in the past few years so it’s now been named Goliath Grouper, but they will always be Jewfish to me. Goliath Grouper might be more appropriate, because it’s basically a very big grouper.  Some think this is the fish that swallowed Jonah.

It took me a minute to spot the big jewfish which was hiding under a ledge.  He probably only weighed about 60-80 pounds, so he was small  for a Jewfish.  They can get to 800 pounds.  It was a thrill because it’s only the second one I’ve ever seen in my many, many, many scuba dives!  Since they are endangered, you can no longer hunt them, so their population is rebounding. 

We’ve heard there is a huge 700 pound Jewfish on another buoy at Looe Key.

A few minutes later, Al came over to me and told me he had spotted a large shark.  I went with him, but only saw it swimming away.  It was a big shark.  Al thinks he must have swam right beside him because when he looked up the shark was right in front of him. 

We snorkeled for about half hour, then decided to get back in the boat and warm up.   We ate our lunch and then started feeding the sergeant major fish that were waiting near the surface beside the boat.




Soon the yellowtail snappers came in droves. 



Sherry and David, I thought of you two with your new snorkeling gear.  I hope you get a chance to come to the Keys one day and snorkel and witness this amazing place.  It’s a perfect place to snorkel.

By the time we ate our lunch, the seas and wind had calmed down.  More and more boats came but it wasn’t a problem, since everybody had to tie off to a mooring buoy, no one was in your “space”. 


We saw another shark swim by while we were in the boat.

When we went back in the water the second time, we were even colder, and didn’t stay too long.

By the time we got back in the boat, we noticed it was getting cloudy, so we decided to head towards a fishing spot (out of the sanctuary).  Al wanted to try to catch some fish.

On the way out from Looe Key we passed over some beautiful areas of sugar white sand.  The water looked just like a swimming pool.  My photo didn’t quite capture what we saw, but it was gorgeous.


Al didn't manage to catch any fish, even though they were all around under the boat, nothing was biting.

By the time we got home, we were still cold, hungry and tired.  We ordered a pizza, ate dinner and then headed to the hot tub to warm up.  We were in bed early, and are getting ready to head back again, hoping for another day like yesterday.

Hoping for calm seas and clear (and warm) water.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Missed the Drag Races


Cudjoe Key Florida, Venture Out Resort (high 81, low 71)


We are settling in here at Venture Out and establishing our routine.  Unfortunately, our routine hasn’t included much boating, due to fairly consistent and gusty winds.

We did get out a few days ago, and Al managed to NOT slip and fall on his butt like he did the last time.  He ended up with a pretty nasty bruise from the previous fall.   I’ll spare you the pictures.   :)

When we leave the marina here, we can either stay on this side of the bridge and go out into the Atlantic, or go under the bridge and go to the “back country” as it’s called.  This time we chose to stay on the Atlantic side, thinking it was calmer.  It started out pretty choppy, but the seas gradually laid down a little.  We went over to an island hoping it would block he wind a little bit.  We saw this in the distance. When I zoomed in with my camera, I saw that it was a sunken yacht.  Recently, there was an article in the local paper talking about the cost of removing these derelict boats that have sunk in the coastal waters.  I think the birds appreciate it though.

derelict ship


I managed to hurt my knees a week or so ago.  The only thing I can think of is when we took a power walk one morning and I was wearing little flat Keds instead of a good walking shoe. Soon afterwards, both of my knees were hurting all the time, but got even worse when I did any walking. 

Aspirin and ibuprofen didn’t work, so I tried some Joint Flex, which helped some, but not enough.  Al finally suggested I take some Glucosamine, which helped a lot, as long as I keep taking them.  Anyway, lesson learned.  Don’t take power walks on concrete with bad shoes.  I can’t believe I did that.


We talked about going down to Key West the other day for the drag races. I wasn’t sure my knees would handle the walking, and as it turned out the wind and seas were down, so  we went boating instead.  Boating trumps drag races any day.

Now, keep in mind, we’re talking about Key West, and the drag races might be a little different than what you’re used to.  :)

The Key West drag races were between drag queens in heels.  There were different categories depending on the heights of the heels the “girls” were wearing.   Only in Key West!  

Here is a picture I borrowed from the internet. Check out those heels as she is jumping a barricade!  That queen had some pretty muscular legs.

“Drag Racers” Compete In Wacky Key West Competition « CBS Miami

It’s an annual event, maybe we’ll get there next year.

We had a nice day boating, and Al caught a bunch of small fish, so we came home with an empty cooler and left over bait.

There is a nice place by the marina to rinse your boat.  It even has a power washer.  It’s another nice amenity here at Venture Out.  Al is a madman with the power washer, so I walked away for the protection of my camera.

Venture out

At the fish cleaning station, the pelicans and and gulls wait patiently for any fish scraps from the fishermen.  Al fed his leftover bait to the pelicans and seagulls, and then started rinsing out his cooler.

I noticed this guy watching patiently in the background so I quickly grabbed my camera.

Al and Great White Heron

I was able to walk right up to this beautiful and rare Great White Heron.

He squawked at me and seemed upset the free meal was gone and he didn’t get any.  Sorry fella.

He was nice enough to pose for some pictures though.

He looks very similar to the common Great Egret, but the egret has black legs.   You have probably seen plenty of egrets, but maybe not the Great White Heron.

Notice the pale legs of the heron?

great white heron

great white heron

great white heron


We spent Easter mostly around the house relaxing.   Today looks like a good day for boating, so I need to get moving to get us some sandwiches made for our lunch.


Here are my usual sunrise pictures from the past few days.

sunrise at Venture Out

I’m trying to find new places to photograph, since I’ve done so many of the tiki hut.


There is no good place we’ve found here in the park to watch the sunset.