Florida beach life

In early January we took a much-needed vacation and spent a week on the beaches of Sanibel island in Florida.


Since our days were spent walking the shoreline and lounging on the beach, this post is about the wildlife we found, all of it fascinating to us. Don't expect to learn any names though, as "crab" is about the best I can do on most of these.

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The first thing we noticed were the crabs:


Several different kinds (many no longer alive).







One super-hairy one that looked like a spider...


...and had another crab on it. A baby?


We did see some baby crabs on the sand:



My big toe got pinched by a crab when I was out in the water. I wonder what type it was? It was startling and scary!


Sanibel beaches are shell beaches, and I spent lots of time looking for nice ones -- it's impossible to resist!


For me though finding a shell with something living in it was much more rewarding than finding an empty shell.

There were large finds...




...and small:





Anything alive got thrown back into the water.

There were lots of other beached creatures too:





Not alive, but no idea what this is. Strange things!


The best live finds were the puffer fish (?):


and the octopus:


We saw several of those, and you had to hurry to save them before the birds got them.

It's a crazy thing to a Midwesterner to see a puffer fish wash up right in front of you as you walk by!


We probably saw more creatures than normal because a storm came through one night. The beach was heavily loaded with "stuff" the next day:


So much to see!

More on the vacation in coming posts.

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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (January 30, 2017 at 1:51 PM)  

Wow, that's a lot more sea life than you typically see on a California beach. I can't help with names either--like you, I know little more than the basics: crab, star fish, etc.

Studio Maywyn  – (January 30, 2017 at 8:32 PM)  

Beautiful pictures. Amazing how many shells are on the beach there.

danger garden  – (January 31, 2017 at 12:13 AM)  

That's crazy cool! Florida beaches are very different than the ones I'm used to (Washington, Oregon and California). Great photos!

Rock rose  – (January 31, 2017 at 6:55 AM)  

Oh My! I have walked those Florida beaches a lot in winter but have never seen so many sea creatures. There must have been a storm to wash up so many things like the starfish, puffer fish-or something is going on in those waters to kill them. Red tide? I would say unusual. If that twirly thing is soft then I suggest it is an egg casing for some sea creature. Nice photos.

Rock rose  – (January 31, 2017 at 6:57 AM)  

Just checked. Whelk egg casing.

outlawgardener  – (January 31, 2017 at 9:18 AM)  

Gee, that's a lot of interesting sea life on the beach! Really cool crabs. Did you find any empty shells to bring home?

Alan  – (January 31, 2017 at 1:29 PM)  

Jenny: Most of the creatures were still alive (except for crabs -- most of them were dead). It really was amazing. I have a couple of videos I'll post soon...

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