Thursday, December 04, 2014

Unusual Finds at the Beach


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 80, low 62)


We’ve had several days of perfect weather,  so we decided to make a trip to the beach. We hadn’t seen the ocean for many months.

On Tuesday, we thought about going out to Big Bend power plant to see the manatees, but changed our mind and ended up at Honeymoon Island.  Most of this is owned by the state of Florida.  They had talked about putting a campground there, but there were too many people protesting.  It would have actually made a nice campground.  Not along the water, but there is quite a bit of scrub land that would have been perfect without much impact on the environment, I would think.  It would have been popular, for sure.  It will probably happen one day.

Map picture


It’s a beautiful place with a nice visitor center with two very nice volunteers.

The island is being eroded from the ocean currents, so they are doing some beach re-nourishing.  The beach is rocky because the sand keeps washing away.  They keep adding more sand, but nature has it’s own idea of where it wants the sand.

Honeymoon Island

It’s still a beautiful beach with a nice trail called  The Osprey Trail.  It actually should be called Poison Ivy Trail,  because that was the first place Al had picked up poison ivy since he was a little boy.  We walked the trail on New Years day one year many years ago and he got a raging case of the stuff.    We decided not to walk the trail the other day, since he’s still battling the current rash.

We hadn’t seen an armadillo in a long time.


It was a beautiful day for the beach.

Honeymoon Island

Honeymoon Island

There weren’t too many people, but everyone seemed to be having a good time with near perfect weather.

Honeymoon Island

Honeymoon Island

The usual seabirds.

Honeymoon Island

Honeymoon Island terns

terns on Honeymoon Island

We enjoyed a few hours at the beach and had such a good time, that the next day, we decided to head over to Tarpon Springs and Fred Howard Park.

No rocky beach here.

Fred Howard Park beach

Fred Howard Park beach

We sat in the truck a few minutes looking at this view while we ate our lunch.

Two couples parked next to us and were outside taking turns taking pictures of themselves.  They spoke Spanish and we’re guessing were visiting from another country.  They  were kind of dressed up for the beach with both women wearing heels. 

After a few minutes, I asked them if they would like me to snap a photo of the 4 of the together.  I took a few pictures of them with this background, then they walked off.  I didn’t think they’d go down to the water with the way they were dressed, but shortly afterwards, we spotted them down near the water.

They were still taking pictures of themselves, but I was pretty far away (used a zoom here) so I didn’t offer to take any more pictures of the four of them together.

Fred Howard Park beach

I wondered about the high heels, but soon I spotted them sitting in the sand.  It was the strangest think I’ve ever seen at the beach, and I’ve seen some unusual things!

It made me laugh.

Fred Howard Park beach

This beach wasn’t too crowded and everyone was enjoying themselves.  I hope this guy didn’t catch any flies.

Fred Howard Park beach

This guy had the coolest octopus kite.


Can you see it’s eyes?

Fred Howard Park beach octopus kite

We walked all around and met a nice gal from New York. 

The day could not have been prettier.

Fred Howard Park beach

This is Anclote Key, which was one of our old stomping grounds when we used to have a boat here.  We would go offshore about 24 miles, do a few dives, then come back to Anclote for some relaxing time.  This is the back side of the island.  The front side was beautiful white sand beach.  We saw a pair of eagles on the beach there a few times.

Anclote Key

We enjoyed walking around and seeing all the beauty of the beach.

Fred Howard Park beach

sea oates

This starfish had washed up on the sand.  We think he was dead, but Al threw him back into the water, just in case.




After  waking around a few hours, I mentioned how nice it was not to have to pay for parking like at so many beaches.  About that time Al noticed this big sign.

Uh oh


After we saw this sign, we noticed a bunch of others that we had somehow missed.  How we missed all these signs, I don’t know.

We hurried back to the truck, expecting to see a big fat ticket on the windshield.

We got lucky.

no ticket

Instead of paying $5 to park for the rest of the day, we cut our losses and headed home.

Over the causeway.

causeway leading to Fred Howard Beach

We wish we were in the Keys, but since the lot is rented, it would be a little crowded anyway!   Hoping to go in February, but as usual, we’re not holding our breath.


  1. Love your pictures of the royal terns. That's quite a bit of beaching for one day. Nice not to end it with a fine.

  2. When we were at Little Manatee River SP, I was sitting and reading next to the coach, when I heard a noise coming closer in the brush. I thought it would be the turtle we had seen a little while before, but it turned out to be an armadillo. First live one I could recall seeing, as opposed to many roadkill specimens. Today here at Long Key, Merikay saw her first iguana.

  3. Looks like you really enjoyed a couple of beach days there, nice....

  4. We can't wait to visit FL in Feb (if everything goes according to plan). Those beaches have our name written on them! ;c)

  5. 11 days and counting until we leave the cold here in Michigan for Florida and get back to our Motorhome. Been to the Fred Howard beach several times, love the palm trees!

  6. Great shot of the dilo. We have not seen any for a while.


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