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Monday, June 28, 2010

Photo Friday - Motionless

This heron stands "motionless" waiting for some unsuspecting sea life to pass within its reach. When it does, the heron is anything but motionless. The sad part is that the bird is looking out to Pensacola Pass on the Gulf of Mexico where the oil is marching its way toward the shore. The oil will have an impact upon all of the wildlife that depend on the Gulf for their food. It's not a good situation!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beach Closed, Oil Mats, the Food Chain

I went to the beach after work again today. The same place where I took this picture yesterday. The sign read - BEACH CLOSED! So no new photos.
I took this one yesterday. You'll have to enlarge the photo (click to enlarge) to see that the little light colored objects protruding from the surface of the oil mat is some form of sea life. The creatures trapped in this mat were going to be supper for some other, larger sea creature.
This mat was only about 6 inches across. So with all the oil in the gulf and the bay now, imagine how many of these small creatures have been trapped. Some fish or other sea creature went without supper last night. How many more nights will there be?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More Oil on the Beach

Things aren't looking good! I visited this same stretch of beach two days ago and it was still clean and pristine. Not so today! The brown speckles on the shore line is oil. Some of the oil patties were as big as a doormat. This stretch of beach is directly across form the Pensacola Pass. There was actually more oil "inside" the booms than there was in the unprotected areas to the west. The boom in this picture is supposed to protect the entrance to a tidal lagoon and marsh area. It's not working. Although the tide was going out there were signs of oil along the shore leading into the lagoon.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tree on the Beach

The other day while I was down at the beach at NAS Pensacola I spotted this dead tree. Up against the backdrop of the clouds and the tree in the background it provided an interesting contrast. If you look close you'll notice a couple of things. First, I used some photo editing to combine both black and white, and color within the photo. Second, if you click on the photo and enlarge the photo try counting how the number of Dragon Flies who use the pinnacles of the dead branches to cling to.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Backyard Beauty

After posting a variety of somewhat depressing photos of what's happening to our beaches I thought I would move in a different, more visually pleasing direction.

Sunday it was HOT! About 95 degrees HOT. The pool was 94 degrees not so cool. While sitting under the umbrella, trying to avoid dehydration, this bougainvillea that was basking in the bright sunshine kept calling out - "take my picture!" So I did.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oil in the Pass and ICW 6/10/10

"The Boom Stops Here!"

Today, Thursday, 10 June, there's oil in Pensacola Pass. This section of boom is tied off to the range marker across from the pass and protects the beach eastward toward Barrancas beach. Unfortunately, there isn't any more boom in place between this point and Sherman Cove to the west. The shoreline is unprotected!

This is one of the NASP's oil skimmers. The skimmer and another boat were encircling some oil on the surface with the boom. What you can't see is a Channel 3 film crew taking some video that will probably make the 10 O'clock news.

At first glance, looking westward down the beach, things appear normal. BUT, looks can be deceiving! When you take a closer look at what makes the high tide line you begin to see the problem that is beginning to develop.

This photo gives you a idea of the relative size of the "tar balls" that came in on the incoming tide.

The tar balls really aren't balls. They are flat clumps of this brownish oily material. This is what it looks like close up.

Looking closer along the shoreline, the problem becomes more obvious. This is oil washing up on the beach!

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Oil Spill Preparations at NAS Pensacola - 6/5/10

Trout Point

With the wind now coming out of the southwest and reports of tar balls on Pensacola Beach I spent the morning checking out what was being done to protect the shoreline aboard NAS Pensacola. I started out at Trout Point on the west end of the base and made my eastward toward the Bayou Grande Marina where I have my boat. You can see in the photo that there's a boom in place here. BUT!

Trout Point

The booms made it around the point and a couple of hundred yards toward the east but well short of Sherman Cove. There is still a lot of unprotected shoreline left to be taken care of on this end of the base.

Sherman Cove Marina

Sherman Cove Marina, the power boat marina, was closed to all but work crews on Friday. Right now, they have a setup a channel with booms blocking off the east and western ends of the cove.

Barrancas Beach is Still Open

I walked the beach and saw no evidence of any oil anywhere. There were several families spread out all along the beach. But the beach wasn't crowded.

Enjoying it While They Can

With the boom boat crews working in the background, some folks were taking advantage of the great weather, enjoying the beach and the water while it's still clean and open.

Boom Crews on the Beach

Looking west down the beach you can see the booms that are already in place.

Paying Out More Boom

Crews on the shore help to pay out more booms as the boat crews link them together. The crews appear to be linking up the booms as they move toward the east. If you look close you can see the Ensign flying on the boat on the right. The wind was blowing in from the southwest - NOT GOOD!
Next Stop, Bayou Grande to see if they have closed it off yet.

Bayou Grande Marina

When I got to the marina it was still open. They hadn't blocked off the channel into the marina yet. I spoke to one of the the staff members. They had no idea how much longer the marina will remain open. It's a day-by-day situation. So, if you've got a boat in the water at BG marina, how much longer you'll be able to get in or out is anybodies guess.

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Photo Friday - Aqua

This photo was taken a couple of years ago. Water flowing back into the bay from a tidal pool met some incoming flow and created these ripple peaks.

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