Archive for ‘Observations’

Fun Find

Allow me to introduce my new little friend, Gator Greg.

I “discovered” him in a neighbor’s trash* last week. How could anyone throw him away? He’s adorable!

Oh sure, he’s a little rough around the edges, but aren’t we all somedays? I think he’d make a great Muppet, he has a slightly bemused look befitting a member of that troupe. Then again, I often have that look when out and about in the world…

I love “folk art” and became even more impressed with Gator Greg when I found out he was carved from a coconut husk.

* I’m not a true dumpster diver but when something cool is peeking out the top, I just can’t resist.

Water Colors

Usually, water with high levels of tree detritus turns brown from all the tannins in the plant matter. So these bright green leaves and cloudy white puffs in the water on Weedon Island certainly caught my attention last week.

The striking chartreuse color on the left could very well be due to the presence of the aptly named Yellow-green Algae (Xanthophyceae sp.).

As for the other photo, in the field I thought it resembled the cloudy atmosphere of Venus. After importing the day’s images I discovered that it was an egg mass. Look in the lower righthand corner, you’ll find some developing creature staring back at you.

Nature never ceases to intrigue me!

Kayak to Shell Key

Thanks to a birthday gift from my thoughtful cousin, Shane, I finally made it out to Shell Key. Since we were heading west you would think having the wind out of the east would make paddling to the island a breeze.

Except for the minor detail that it was low tide and the wind was pushing the remaining water away. Our shallow crossing became more of a wet slog as kayaks ran aground and some folks had to get out and pull their way across the bay.

The water was chilly but not unbearable and our guide Chris had everyone laughing about the situation. At least we knew nobody was gonna drown!

After reaching the small sand bar we had about an hour to wander and explore. The beach lived up to its name as the sand was covered with shells and sand dollars. Since I already have quite a collection I happily shared my finds with a nice lady vacationing from Indiana.

On our return trip we were accompanied by a small pod of dolphins. Couldn’t have asked for a better morning!

Six Degrees (Or Fewer)

At work we receive random donations of food, hygiene products, and other items from the public everyday. We weigh the incoming items and then sort them into the proper areas for distribution to our clients.

During sorting duty this week I came across this vanity pack with a logo that I recognized instantly. The Arizona Inn is a small, cozy, long-time Tucson institution that I had the pleasure of working at not once, but twice. Odd that something from over 2,000 miles away ended up in here in St. Petersburg!

I showed it to my coworker, Andrew, and explained why I was taking a photo of it. He looked surprised for a second and then said that he lived in Tucson in the early 2000s. That started a fun conversation about some of the great places we both used to visit.

Just this evening as we were all leaving work, I mentioned this little place that served the best milkshakes, right outside Glacier National Park. My coworker Ben exclaimed, “Wait, don’t tell me. Park Cafe, right?” Turns out his brother worked at the cafe the same summer that I worked at the park.

What a small, interconnected world this is. Move over Kevin Bacon, I’m working on fewer than six degrees!