Friday, April 24, 2009

Earth Day(and Thursday)

High tide has been in the afternoon this week so I've been trying to get there as early as I can. I can find shark teeth no matter what but when the tide is low, obviously there is more beach to work with. And I've always liked exploring the tidal pools. There are always some kind of fish or other animal that gets stuck and has to wait for the tide come back in to return to it's home in the waves. Wednesday I expected to run into all kinds of varmints since last weekend's shoreline was full of really deep tidal pools. For some reason the beach was flat that day. But I did find a few live things.

Since it was Earth Day, I have to bring attention to this plastic bag that was washed in. Apparently some anemones had attached themselves to it and were now stuck. I would have detached them from the plastic and given them a good throw back into the waves but unfortunately for them, they were all dead except for one.

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This one. So I gave him a good throw and put the plastic full of dead anemones in the garbage. Hopefully this guy didn't get washed back in. I have to preach a sermon here so bear with me. People please do NOT bring plastic bags or plastic ANYTHING to the beach. Sea turtles, that are highly endangered mind you, mistake them for jellyfish and suffocate. So I get livid when I see plastic floating around. Or just plain throw your trash in the garbage. It can't be that hard, probably an extra few steps. I don't go to your yard/neighborhood and throw my trash there so kindly don't do it on the beach please..... or anywhere for that matter. How lazy does one need to be who can't clean up after themselves? This is disgusting. When I see people doing that, I can only imagine what their home looks like and whether or not they keep themselves clean. This really shouldn't be an issue. This is the only planet we have to live on. Remember that.

Ahem, ok moving on I found this shark egg case. And you know it made me really happy. It was empty so hopefully that means it hatched and will grow into a big shark whose teeth I will someday find...

Turning it over, I saw that it too had an anemone attached so, of course I threw it back into the water. Actually my day was full of that: finding stranded anemone and sea cucumbers, feeling sorry for them and throwing them into the ocean, hoping they they don't get washed back in before high tide. To do otherwise would have made me feel bad. What can I say, I'm a big softie for animals, even the ugly ones.

According to my field guide, this is Green Fleece algae which I had mistaken for Dead Man's Fingers. The latter name sounds more interesting doesn't it? But I like the shape even if it is a little slimy.

This looks like a pile of throw up. It is actually what's left of some kind of tube worms. That yellowish spiral shaped looking thing are egg cases-unhatched. It looks disgusting doesn't it? Yeah, I threw it back in the water too, gross. I had no choice. The tide was coming in at this hour but what if it didn't come in fast enough to keep the eggs alive? I would have felt responsible.

Another shark egg case or stingray egg case. And yes, I was happy about this one because it was empty too. I've heard them called Mermaid's Purse, which is a cute name. You can see dead tube worm remnants attached to it too. No anemone so I left this one alone.

These next few pics have an interesting story. As you can see in the first 2, this in an osprey that has caught himself a really big fish. He was having trouble holding on to it when I noticed and started taking pictures.

You can barely see in the one above but I used my computer to zoom. You can see how huge this fish it caught was.

Too bad, he dropped his big fish. Here he is looking for it. I love ospreys. The black stripe across their eyes make them look so badass. I imagine they work as sunglasses to help with the glare from the water while they are fishing. There's a pair who live in a pine tree across the lake from my building that I'm always watching. I wondered if this was one of them.
I was so busy admiring his beauty, as I always do, I almost didn't notice an even bigger fish or small dolphin jump out and I'm assuming grab MrOsprey's dropped fish.

I looked around to see if anyone was there so that I could say OMG!DID YOU SEE THAT!?? But, as always, there's never anyone there when stuff like that happens. I wrote later in my journal that every time I get a private glimpse of nature's beauty like the one I had Wednesday and I realize I am the only person on Earth who got to see that, how thankful and privileged I feel. Of course it would have been better had I been quick enough with my camera. dammit

< I stood there for a long time smiling, hoping that big fish, which was either a small shark or juvenile dolphin, would jump out and flip again but no luck. But the only ones who missed out were you guys because I left that beach with a huge smile on my face which lasted for hours.
These pics were taken Thursday. This is a juvenile Willet. My guide says they "probe for coquina clams and mole crabs" and there plenty of those around.
< It was as if she knew I was taking her picture because she turned around and stood up straight.
< Thursday's tide line was full of tide pools this time, which makes looking for shark teeth a bit less challenging because the water acts as a magnifying glass. I saw what would've been a really pretty snail shell(Lightning Whelk) to add to the collection on my window sill. But as you can see, it already had an owner.
< Another person would have simply detached this guy and took the shell home and I'm glad I didn't. Because I looked it up in my field guide and this is a hermit crab anemone. These 2 species live together in cooperation trading travel for sting protection. The hermit crabs they live with are known to take their anemones with them when they upgrade to bigger shells. They are total BFFs
< I didn't see any legs sticking out of this shell but it's highly likely there was a hermit crab in there so I'm glad I put them back in the tide pool. I took a pic in case no one believed me. It was a pretty shell but I'm not that selfish.

As you can see my shark teeth finds were not wonderful but so what?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Peanut is everyone's favorite nap partner

Speaking of naps. No nap for me today even though I only slept 3 hours last night(because I want to go to the beach). In fact for the past week or so I haven't been sleeping much either. I beg the heavens that I don't fall into the hell that is insomnia. I get a little neurotic when I know I'm not sleeping enough because I'm still a little traumatized from when I was 17 and was only able to sleep 3 or 4 hours a night. It lasted a few months and was only cured when we had to flee what we thought would be a head on hit from a really big hurricane. So we drove up to to West Virginia to visit my Grandparents for a few days. The hurricane ended up in the Carolinas, as most hurricanes did that year, unfortunately for them. And my insomnia went away, fortunately for me. Odd, you say? I had a similar experience the summer I turned 14. I. COULD. NOT. SLEEP. It lasted about 2 months. At the end of the summer just before school started, we went to visit my Grandparents and somehow it just went away. I was able to sleep again. Are you sensing a pattern? Obviously being around my Grandparents made me feel relaxed, peaceful and I just fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. But they are no longer in this world with me so I can't just buy a ticket to West Virginia and cure my insomnia as before. What should I do? I don't sleep well when I'm on vacation either, in case anyone was going to suggest a trip.(I would like to go on vacation though...there's a river in Central Fl where I can dig for megalodon teeth.) There is only one other place where I always sleep like an infant. That is in Canada, in my mother-in-law's guest room. BUT, my damn passport is expired and anyway, a ticket there costs a damn arm and leg because you have to catch the special plane from Montreal to get to MrPea's hometown whose airport is smaller than a 7-11(which, strangely, is why I love that place so much). You know the kind with the propellers that you can't bring heavy luggage on? Yeah that one. It adds about 4oo dollars to any cheap ticket anyone could find and I'm too scared to drive on the scary, bumpy mountain road. Sigh.

And I feel like I need to note that the 3 hours I did sleep last night were filled with horrible nightmares. I'm not stressed out, I don't think, so it can't be that? I don't eat at night so it can't be that? Maybe the beach will cure my problem.

Anyone have any ideas? The non medicated sort....what do you do, Internets, to help yourself sleep when you need the rest?
(Oh! And Happy Earth Day btw. Pictures of how I celebrate our Earth Home tomorow)
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

'Yer Age

Whenever I catch myself doing or saying things that when I was a kid I swore I would never do, I feel like such an Old Hagggis. For example, my nephew is nearly 20 and I still treat him like a baby. Since I was the baby of the family I HATED being told I was too young for something or treated like I was a complete idiotic and naive child.(I'm still treated that way and I still hate it BTW) When my nephew was born, I was 12 and felt completely grown up so it seems that I would probably feel more sisterly towards him than like an Auntie but that's not the case. He is to me, the son I would have asked for if I had had the powers. I try very much to regard him as a grown up but it's impossible. Last week, he came over for lunch and I found myself reminding him 3 times not to touch the pan because it was still hot as if he were a total dumbass without the skills to notice that on his own. I still refer to him as "Little B--" which is what we called him as a baby since he shares his father's name and his father was then called "Big B--" Recently I asked him if it bothered him that we(meaning mostly me) still called him that and if he knew that we would most definitely be calling him "Little B--" even when he was 80. Didn't bother him and no, he said he likes it. This was funny for me because I've told my family several times if anyone tries to refer to me in one of the nicknames they came up with, no one would get an answer from me. I will only answer to the name I was baptised with thank you very much. But that's the difference between he and I. If he told me it bothered him, I would make a better effort to stop.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic-that's a post for another day. For sure, one of the things I SWORE, PROMISED, SET IN STONE FOR ALL TIME that I would NEVER do was utter any sentence that began with the words,"When I was your age......." Because when I was young enough to be so cursed as to have to listen to those kinds of sermons I still remember thinking how much I could give a flying rat's ass about "yer age," and what everyone did or didn't do at "yer age." Or what everyone had or didn't have at "yer age." I didn't give a featherweight's care about who had to walk to school, stay after school, clean the school, make dinner, couldn't wear their hair the way they wanted, got slapped if they talked back, got soap in the mouth, had to eat everything on their plate, never wasted anything, had to plow, had to finish chores on time, rode horses, never heard of computers nor needed get my point. Still, I have begun to catch myself saying those very words to my own beloved eldest nephew. As in, "When I was yer age, we didn't have ipods. Do you have any idea how lucky you are?" Just shoot me now.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Put your ear here

Hear anything?

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I found this big whelk shell the other day and it was like Christmas for me. Not so much because of how huge it was but because I happened upon it whilst thinking of a drawing I've been working on but hadn't quite been persistent enough to finish. There it was rolling in the waves when I saw it and ran towards it before someone else saw. The barnacles are dead by the way, otherwise I would have given it a good throw back into the ocean so as not to commit "barnacide." And lucky for me. It's now gracing the tile floor next to our fire place.

My drawing was based on this photo I took back in September when I found this whelk shell in very much the same way I found BigMama up there.

I was so inspired, I finally finished it last night.

As you can see I took some licence in aligning the horizon because I felt like if I drew it as it is in the photo it would look, well, badly aligned. I couldn't fill in the rest of my hand because I'm not good enough at doing hands thus that triangle of empty space but it's my drawing so I don't really care. I also need to get a frame that covers up my thumb because I was told that it would look too much like a male naughty part to those with dirty you like?

Here's the rest of my find from that day in case anyone was full of suspense. That diamond shaped thing is actually a bone from the head of a Sheep's Head fish-I think. I'll have to look it up. And as you can see I found a Great White tooth so double happiness for that day.

I couldn't end this post without showing you peeps the dead jellyfish which is, by now, the tradition over here so here you are.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Still on the mend

I really was starting to feel better Saturday when I posted. Then Sunday I woke up and my throat felt swollen again. I thought it must be allergies but I just started to feel worse and worse. Finally last Tuesday I broke down and saw my doctor who told me I had a sinus infection and double ear infection. So I've been on antibiotics since then and I feel so much better this week. I can't go in the sun though so I haven't had any beach time but I've been too tired for all that anyway. Last night was the first night in about 2 weeks that I got a really decent sleep. So I'll be good to go in a couple days. I'm beginning to feel like an indoor cat though.

MrPea has been lucky enough to avoid catching my germs and getting sick(knock on wood!) himself. I only have two days left of antibiotics which is good because I keep forgetting to take them on time.

I'm thinking about changing pharmacies and I'll tell you why. One of the pharmacists who works there talks really loud about people's personal issues. Last month when I went in to pick up my birth control pills, he exclaimed upon printing out my receipt,"Look! You have a coupon for free pantyliners!" Then last week when I had my antibiotics filled, he told me,"You should go next door(grocery store) and pick up some yogurt. It may help you to avoid a yeast infection." Now mind you there are about 5 senior citizens standing behind me who, I'm sure, don't want to hear about my hypothetical yeast infection. Mistaking my wrinkled nose as a distaste for yogurt(which I do have but that's not what it was for) he said,"Oh well, if you don't like yogurt that's fine. You can always pick up a box of Monistat from right over there if you end up with a bad yeast infection. Oh and don't forget to put on sunscreen." Wonderful fun isn't it. I'm not sure if I should just put up with it because I like the Head Pharmacist or flee like my arse is on fire to another Drug Store next time. He does this to everyone and I can tell some folks like it as a lot of the seniors in my neighborhood will talk to me, a total stranger, for hours about the matters of their colon and hysterectomies and all kinds of personal health issues. I'm more of the variety that likes NOT to talk to people I've never seen in my life about regular bowel movements, fiber intake and vaginal health.

While I'm on the subject of yogurt, I took Mr.BigMouth's advice and bought some. It was my first time and ohmigosh ya'll, it's as disgusting as I had suspected all my life so much as to avoid it for 32 years. Gross! My husband loves the stuff which is surprising to me as usually I'm the healthy eater and he hates all things nutritious in our household. He told me since I love sour things such as lemons, Key Limes, tart mangoes and sour candies so much that I should love it. NO. I. DID. NOT! Here's why: those above mentioned fruits and candies are supposed to taste that way. Because they are fresh. Yogurt tastes sour because it is milk that has gone bad. Do I sound like an 8 year old who won't eat her corn? Well in so many ways my culinary tastes never evolved past that age and I'm not ashamed to admit it. And I'm not ashamed to admit that I would rather get a yeast infection than eat yogurt. Yep. Sorry Yogurt lovers, I couldn't get on that bus with you guys. I tried and it just didn't happen for me.

Now I laugh like a hyena everytime a yogurt commercial comes on tv. All those women look like me. I am their demographic. Well I can tell you, I was not making all kinds of orgasmic faces and giggling blissfully, spoon in hand. And have you noticed they are all usually doing yoga or wearing a yoga outfit? An advertising exec somewhere out there probably got promoted for coming up with that. "Yo-ga, Yo-gurt. Hey it's almost the same word! Women will be pushing down the doors for this stuff!"

I hate when people tell me,"Oh honey, you just need to get used to it." Why would I ever need to get "used" to something that tastes repulsive is beyond my intelligence level. Next time someone says that to me, I will ask if they could ever get used to being slapped in the face. No? I didn't think so.

BTW if this post sounds like a rerun, it pro'lly is. But as I've said, I am MsKitty looking out the window, not being allowed to go out into the wild like I so want to so creative thought has escaped me for now.