July 24 | Tarpon Landing

Tuesday, July 24 – Tarpon Landing – We drove to the edge of a Northport suburb and stopped at the entrance gate to the right-of-way for the Tarpon Landing property. Things seemed off as there was now a second gate, installed by a property owner. After the second gate, there were two other barricades blocking […]

July 24 | Manasota Easement

Tuesday, July 24 – Manasota Easement – On our stop at the Manasota Key Conservation Area, an easement of just over half an acre, we saw a Maritime hammock; a shady oak and palm forest that only occurs near saltwater. On that day in Manasota there was a high concentration day of K. brevis, commonly […]

July 24 | Manasota Scrub Preserve

Tuesday, July 24 – Manasota Scrub Preserve – This was not on Lee’s scheduled inspections, but he thought that it was an important site for us to see. It was there that we had the chance to taste some wild cucumbers. Driving to another location on the preserve, we saw a strangler fig wrapped around […]

July 24 | Michael Biehl Park

Tuesday, July 24 – Michael Biehl Park – We met with Lee Amos, Land Steward in the parking lot of the Venice Theatre for our first outing. The Michael Biehl Park is a small urban park that was once a parking lot. The Conservation Foundation purchased the lot in 2006 and invented this urban oasis. […]

July 22 | AM | Venice

July 22 – Morning – Nature vs. Culture: visits to abandoned urban sites – To conserve is to protect something from harm or destruction. Both terms involve a degree of protection, but how that protection is carried out is the key difference. Conservation is generally associated with the protection of natural resources, while preservation is […]

July 22 | PM | Venice Rookery

Sunday, July 22 – Venice Area Audubon Rookery – We passed the sign for the Venice Area Audubon Rookery several times when driving south along the Highway 41. When we looked at a map we realized that it sits just behind the Anderson Sarasota County Administration Center. It was surprising to find this small bird-safe […]

July 22 | Evening | Nokomis Beach

Sunday, July 22 – 9:30 p.m. – midnight, 2nd night of shadowing Mote Marine Laboratory Sea Turtle Patrol on Nokomis Beach – The weather stations forecast red tide, rip tides and thundershowers. The surf was rough, the sky was mainly cloudy, but when the moon burst through, the beach was illuminated enough to make out […]

July 20 | Historic Spanish Point

Friday, July 20 – return Visit to Historic Spanish Point – During this self-guided tour of the grounds, we had a close look at some of the places and points from our first tour with Curator Garrett Murto. After visiting several sights, we approached a small bridge where a woman was walking her two small […]

July 18 | PM | Historic Spanish Point

Wednesday, July 18 – PM – Historic Spanish Point is just next door to the Bay Preserve at Osprey. Both places offer summer camps and yesterday the children were over here fishing at the boathouse. We saw two Tramcars full of kids riding along the pathways down to the water. Curator Garrett Murto gave us […]

July 18 | AM | Siesta Beach

Wednesday, July 18 – AM – Morning Turtle Patrol on Siesta Key – We met Coquina at the North Siesta Key Beach Pavilion at 6:45 a.m., shortly before the sun rose. Rachel was the first Intern to join us as we walked on the beach. She and Coquina were checking out turtle nests made the […]

July 17 | Oscar Scherer Park – The Yellow Trail

Tuesday, July 17 – Scheduled for an early morning turtle patrol on Wednesday, we decided to go out for an easier day of activities on Tuesday. Heading out on the somewhat familiar territory of the Oscar Scherer State Park scrubland around 1 p.m., this would be our second hike into the scrub. It was a later […]

July 16 | Ringling Museum of Art

Monday, July 16 – A day at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art – Upon entering the Museum, one of the first things we saw was a marble statue of a boy taking a thorn from his foot. This sculpture, often seen in museums is called Fedelino or Thorn Puller, was one of […]

July 15 | Myakka River State Park

Sunday, July 15 – A reconnaissance outing to the Myakka River State Park – Close to the very popular bridge for sighting alligators, we took a walk into the trees and found it to be quiet and welcoming. While listening and watching for the more dangerous creatures whose environment we were entering, we settled into […]

July 14 | Midnight Pass

Saturday, July 14 – Kayak trip to Midnight Pass. We arrived to find the landing full of boats. A film crew was recording from a drone and on the ground. We found a place to beach the kayak and walked down to a spot with less going on. A plane flew by towing a banner […]

July 12 | Nokomis Beach

Thursday, July 12 – Turtle patrol night watch – We got out with Kristen Mazzarella to sit on Nokomis Beach. As part of their sea turtle research efforts under a permit from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), two other Mote Marine Laboratory scientists rode an ATV slowly and quietly up and down […]

July 11 | Casey Key

Wednesday, July 11 – We got out with Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium on one of their morning turtle patrols at Casey Key. Shadowing Melissa Bernhard, we were able to see the nest of a Green Sea Turtle, only the 2nd so far of this season. When first arriving on the narrow beach, we thought we were […]

July 9 | Pine Island Preserve at Matlacha Pass

Monday, July 9 – The main event was getting out with Lee Amos, the Land Steward for the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast and Jennifer McGann, Summer Intern on an inspection of the Pine Island Preserve at Matlacha Pass. Lee used his routine of checking on points of progress to coach Jennifer on finer […]

July 8 | Sleeping Turtles Preserve

Sunday, July 8 – Sleeping Turtles Preserve – A walk through the forest along the Black Myakka River. A family of squirrels ran through the live oak canopy, cicadas filled the air space, and the river kept its secrets. A motorboat ran through the scene.

July 7 | Little Sarasota Bay

Saturday, July 7 – We started the day early with a paddle over to the Gulf. The tricky part was passing the channel markers in between motor boats. We saw a blue heron, heard an osprey and several woodpeckers. We often turned to see a fish jumping or the concentric rings still moving the surface […]

July 6 | Sarasota | Mote

Friday, July 6 – Meeting with the Turtle Program staff at MOTE. Plans made to shadow them once a week on morning outings and once a week for night patrol. In the afternoon, we took a reconnaissance trip over to Casey Key to have a look at the turtle nest locations that we will start […]

July 5 | Oscar Scherer State Park 

Thursday, July 5 – Visit to hiking paths, Oscar Scherer State Park  – Excellent day of recording both video and sound. We met a family of scrub jays. The river water had a lazy, southern feel, especially in slow motion setting. Here and there, yellow partridge peas attracted the butterflies.

July 4 | Independence Day, 2018

Wednesday, July 4 – Independence Day, holiday – 2018 – 8 am. – When I think the day is just getting started, the paddlers are coming back to the clubhouse carrying their canoes. We recorded sound and video on the Kilbourne Nature Trail here at the Bay Preserve and on the docks. We played a […]

July 3 | Bay Preserve at Osprey

Tuesday, July 3,  2018 – First day on the ground – Meeting with Suzanne Gregory, Director of Programs & Marketing and Lee Amos, Land Steward. Tour of the house, artists’ apartment/studio. Introduced to Pam, Sabrina, Jennifer and Sam. We drove to Sarasota to get art supplies. We are excited to be here and feel very welcomed.