Last weekend, I attended the Novelists’ Ink conference, which was held in St. Pete’s Beach in Florida. As well as the conference being fun and informative—and a chance to see good friends—there was The Beach!
I walked the beach every day and here are some of my pix. We had truly gorgeous weather, over 80 degrees every day with clear skies. I walked mostly in the mornings. First off, the beach itself. This is looking north from the hotel:
Then there were the birds. I love the pelicans, which are quite common in this area. These are seagulls but this variety are a little smaller than the more common ones. They hang out together and have jazzy little black caps:Here’s a sand piper. There were two different kinds that I noticed – this is the taller kind.Here’s the smaller sandpiper. They were a bit fluffier.Here’s a heron with a more common seagull looking on. When I first saw this one, he was fishing up a storm, so busily snatching at little fishes in this pond that he blurred in every picture. He’s eaten his fill now and is heading out.At the north end of the beach, there’s this rock pier where people fish – and of course, the birds that like to eat fish hang out in the vicinity, just in case. There are at least three kinds of herons in this shot, including a great blue heron to the very far right (who blends in very well.) If you go back to the first picture, you can just barely see this rock pier at the end of the beach.Here’s a shot of a large white heron. The two on the left are smaller, like the one I showed above.Of course, there are also shells on St. Pete Beach, given that it’s on the gulf side. I picked up a fighting conch shell and it vibrated like a cell phone. I thought maybe the conch was still alive and, since they’re poisonous, left it alone. Farther down the beach, I met a woman who knew the real answer: there was a crab inside. Here’s the crab she found, taking a peek at the world: And here’s the crab I found further on, having a bolder look. He might have a neighbour in the next shell, too. The fighting conch shells with barnacles tend to have been abandoned by the conches and taken on by the crabs.I brought home a few shells, too, but not any crabs!