Wednesday, January 24, 2018

On The Beach

For Christmas, I was given two weeks in Melbourne Shores, Florida. I was so excited to be going to the beach and escaping the gray cold mid-January weather! And as it turned out, we missed some extreme snow and cold back home. 

Such wonderful sights to see on the beach - 
After the rain...

An empty winter beach meant Toby had some leash-free play.

Portuguese man-o-wars were washing up on the tide in all their vivid color.

Willets and sanderlings are so entertaining.

Two funny great blue herons hung out on the beach in the mornings. They weren't fishing like the ospreys and pelicans. Sometimes they just waded out and stared at the horizon.

And some not-wonderful sights too - marine plastic that washed up on every high tide.

The blue of the balloon could entice a sea turtle to eat it, thinking it's a man-o-war.

We collected a bag of plastic on almost every beach walk. 

The most common debris was bottle caps, tableware, and small shards of plastic. The worst for sea creatures is the balloons (we found several), fishing line, and straws. The weirdest? Toothbrushes, a waterlogged Go-Pro camera,  and cigar tips. 
We kept wondering "what if everybody who visits the beach collected a bag of trash?" but someone was way ahead of us with these ingenious bag dispensers!
We saw a LOT of beachcombers collecting seashells but only one other collecting plastic debris on the beach. What if that were reversed?!?

Melbourne Shores is on a barrier island with the Indian River on the other side. 

Watching the sun set over the river was a treat.

*if you are interested in the marine debris problem, here are two infographics you might like, and a couple of links about how/why plastic harms sea animals.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Bbbbrrrr-bye 2017!

And good riddance.
Personally and politically (hey, I love science and the environment) this year has been a bit less wonderful than some others. Not an annus horribilus, as Queen Elizabeth II would say - but I'm looking forward to a happier and healthier 2018. 

Wintry walk today.
As I write this it is about 16 degrees F in southeastern VA. Thank the jet stream and climate change. I thought tea, fireplace, book. Ted and Toby thought otherwise.

We bundled up - wind chill 11 - and went for a five mile walk at Northwest River Park. 

I was wearing three layers…how is he not cold? But he's not. He loves this weather.
Tomorrow I will be running in a 5k "Resolution Race". Expected wind chill is 8 degrees. However snow- or champagne - is a deal breaker. 

Accuweather is no longer predicting snow. So I will likely be freezing my glutes off tomorrow morning. Ushering my 61st New Year in with some running style.

And then getting out of Dodge - to Florida! It was my Christmas gift - two weeks in the sun and warmth when winter is at its dreariest. I'm so excited about escaping from Virginia in a few days. Toby is coming with us to masquerade as a beach dog.

Happy New Year, friends. I hope 2018 holds lots of happiness and excitement and excellent health for all of us.
Christmas Day, a cardinal devouring seeds in our front yard.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Santa Baby

Happy Holidays to All Of Toby's Pals 

Toby has told Santa

 that each and every one of you

has been very NICE this year!

From our home to yours, 


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