Catch of the Day

This evening on my beach walk, I borrowed a gull’s dinner so I could take a few photographs.* I was enthralled by the fish’s striking appearance.

The first part of the common name, Honeycomb Cowfish (Acanthostracion polygonius), derives from the unique hexagonal plates of the fish’s carapace (yes, this slow moving species sports armor). Each plate has a dark ring, creating a honeycomb pattern. While cowfish, comes from the spines (that look like horns) over the prominent eyes and sloped forehead.

Measuring about 8 inches long this was an average size specimen. While the bright coloration suggests it was a juvenile. This species is somewhat uncommon in the Gulf of Mexico though there is a known population that hangs out along the coast of Florida.

*After a quick rinse and snapping a few shots I returned the fish to the impatient gull. Bon appétit!

Good Work

Leo Gomez Mural in St. Petersburg

Many of you know that back in mid-March I was forced out of work by the closure of restaurants here in Florida. Shortly thereafter, I began volunteering at a local food bank. As is my wont, I researched many local organizations before settling on the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.

I chose to volunteer with them for a couple reasons. One, they’ve been serving the community for 50 years. Two, the nonprofit has three main components: food bank, health and dental clinic, and recovery housing (as well as many other assistance programs).

While I’m a hard worker, I must admit that my time volunteering these past nine months has also been incredible beneficial to me. It provided much needed bolstering of the spirit to be in the company of all these dedicated people striving to help those in need.

So, I am delighted to announce that I Monday I started working for the clinic. I’m in a small, behind the scenes role but it is a good fit for me right now and I’m happy to be a part of the team.

The mural featured above was just finished this week and I feel it embodies the ethos of the organization. Added bonus – I drive by it every day on my way to work!