2008 Keys 2 Canada travel blog

boardwalk over the marsh and dunes

you can hear the surf now

across the marsh an egret is fishing for lunch

a patient bird

it's a good morning

and there is beauty

everywhere you look

the beach at last

a path through the dunes


there is no shortage of color here

berries for the land birds

to think that some call these 'weeds'

and this a 'swamp'

a 'medium hazard' day



this little guy held his ground

he let us get quite close

but he kept an eye on us

this fellow did the one legged ballet

until he spotted something to eat

then he went wading

until he got it

there isn't any scene so beautiful that man can't screw it up

the beach is littered with shells

back home Madolyn took this beautiful picture of an egret in the...

Thanksgiving morning the sky was cloudy

we headed for the bay and the boat launching marina

a few kayakers were on the water

the marsh

there are two dredges on the bay

two egrets fishing the bay

and two spectators watching it all


an elegant bird

Thanksgiving traffic


great blue heron

a colony of fiddler crabs

heading home for Thanksgiving dinner

not bad for a little RV

Madolyn's owl stands guard

life is good

Thanksgiving sunset

Friday's walk took us far up the peninsula


this fiddler crab scared us off by waving his big claw at...


horseshoe crab shell

small horseshoe crab



the wind piles the sand up pretty high

rain is predicted

some people have way too much time on their hands

a last sunset

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

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(MP4 - 2.52 MB)

Egret in a Tree

(MP4 - 1.46 MB)

Paddle Fishing Boat

(MP4 - 2.34 MB)

Egrets in Saint Joseph's Bay

(MP4 - 1.51 MB)

Watching Grandpa D

(MP4 - 2.35 MB)

Fiddler Crabs

(MP4 - 837 K)

Crab-Up Close

(MP4 - 3.32 MB)

Blue Heron

(MP4 - 1.98 MB)

Small Bird

(MP4 - 3.45 MB)

More Pelicans

Thanksgiving on the Florida Panhandle - Friday, November 28

We left the sea on October 2nd, when we turned inland from St. John, New Brunswick. Now we’re back, and we’re reminded of how much we’ve missed it. The Florida Panhandle is quite different from the Bay of Fundy, and neither one is the open ocean. But salt water is salt water, and it’s good to smell the ocean breezes again.

You soon realize that something is different here. There is only one tide a day! We haven’t found an explanation for that yet but one tide a day means less to remember, and it’s definitely better than no tide at all. Another thing that’s different here is the height of the tides. Two feet is a big tide on the Panhandle, and if the beaches weren’t so flatly sloped you’d hardly notice the difference at all. Still, each day there is a new deposit of shells on the beach, and while most of the big ones are broken there is always a chance that you’ll find a whole one.

So we walk and we walk, and we beach comb every step of the way. It’s amazing what a few hours of that can turn up. Wednesday we stuck to the beach, with it’s sandpipers and pelicans and gulls. Occasionally we’d see a sand crab or a beach mouse’s hole, and we did find two big shells in good condition.

Thursday we hiked to the bay side where we saw egrets and herons and sea kayakers, but no sea cucumbers crawling around the bottom this year. Last year we were two weeks later, and seashores can change radically with the seasons. On Friday we hiked five and a half miles, and our route took us far up the peninsula. On the bay side we found whelks, sponges and urchins, and in one place the water’s edge was alive with fiddler crabs - but there are only a few horseshoe crab shells lying around this year and they are mostly small ones.

On Thanksgiving we cooked a turkey, complete with stuffing and cornbread and cranberry sauce. It turned out fine, and we enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to the sound of surf and a view of the dunes and the gulf beyond our open door.

It’s also traditional to mention all the things you’re thankful for before you start to eat, but if we did that our dinner would be stone cold before we were half through. So we mentioned a few of the most important ones and then proceeded to dig in. It’s not like we were forgetting all the other things. We think of them each and every day. Gratitude plays a big part in our lives. It is always on our minds, and there is nothing we are more grateful for than our family and friends.

So Happy Thanksgiving to you all - and may the rest of your holidays bring you every good thing you wish for.

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