All posts by The Beach Review

#TurtleTuesday: Man O’War vs. Litter

PicMonkey Collage (1)

On the left, you will see a favorite sea turtle delicacy known as the Portuguese Man O’War.

On the right, you will see a piece of garbage I found washed up on the shore.

Look how similar these look! It is easy to see how a sea turtle might confuse this garbage as food.

Please keep the beaches clean and dispose of your trash properly! Protect the sea turtles!

Happy Mother’s Day from The Beach Review!

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the human and animal moms out there! To celebrate, I have assembled a collection of images from my last trip to Wakodahatchee Wetlands. As it is springtime, I was fortunate to capture many nests full of infant and juvenile birds, as well as a baby alligator!

Check out the gallery below, and be sure to share with your mom or your own baby bird!

I think it is incredible to witness the relationships between the mother birds and their babies. Maternal love and protection comes in many different forms!

Great Blue Heron vs. Snake

A few days ago, I took my camera to one of my favorite nature and bird hotspots in South Florida, Wakodahatchee Wetlands in West Delray Beach, Florida.

The Wakodahatchee Wetlands teemed with freshly-hatched and adult herons, egrets, common moorhens, gators, and more of the usual suspects.

It was a magical photo journey, and one of the highlights of this trip was an amazing fight between a Great Blue Heron and a snake. I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

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This Great Blue Heron walks through the grass. Unbeknownst to me, it was on the hunt.
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Snipe! Quicker than a blink of an eye, this heron snagged a snake right out of the grass!
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At this point, the snake is still alive. The heron walks towards the water’s edge.
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Dunk! The heron begins dunking the snake underwater.
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The heron pulls the snake from the water. It is still alive.
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If you look closely, the snake’s mouth is wide open. It is not happy.
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The heron completely submerges the snake again.
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Is the snake still alive?
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The snake is still alive and is not going to be eaten without a fight! The snake begins to wrap itself around the heron’s beak.
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The snake is wrapped around the heron’s beak!
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The heron had to completely submerge its beak in order to get the snake to release its grip. Now, the snake is limp.
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The heron begins to gulp the snake down the hatch.
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A piece of the tale hangs from the heron’s beak.
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Almost gone!

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The snake lost its battle, and the heron was fed. This was a circle of life moment of nature unfiltered, and I was lucky to be there to capture this epic fight at Wakodahatchee Wetlands!

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! Earth day is a great holiday that everyone should celebrate. Whether you are inspired to pick up some trash at your favorite park or beach, or make a donation to a conservation organization, no action is too small.

We are all here together on this planet, and Earth Day helps us remember that.

Just as you should not only be nice to your mother on Mother’s Day, or only be thankful on Thanksgiving, each day we should respect our earth and strive to take care of our home planet and all of our fellow species.

Whether the citizen is a microscopic phytoplankton, a cat, a dog, a person, or a blue whale, everyone and everything deserves a safe, clean, and beautiful home!

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Images clockwise: John D. MacArthur Beach State Park  in North Palm Beach, Florida; An alligator relaxing at Green Cay Wetlands in Boynton Beach; An Ibis wading in Wakodahatchee Wetlands; An orange butterfly suckling nectar at Winding Waters Natural Area in West Palm; A crazy Heron; A mother wood stork with two baby wood storks in Wakodahatchee Wetlands; An anole photographed at Morikami Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach; and a beautiful pelican photographed on the Jupiter Inlet Pier. 

 

Video: Slow Motion Sea Hawk with Fresh Catch

This awesome video was recorded on my iPhone 6s with the slow motion capabilities. While visiting the beautiful Blowing Rocks Preserve in Hobe Sound, Florida, I captured this magnificent sight- a sea hawk carrying a large, freshly caught fish!

Let me know what you think! Enjoy the video.

A Walk on the Beach in Boca

Thought I would share some wonderful images of the last beach walk I took in 2015 for all of those reminiscing about their holiday beach vacations.

I started at the South Beach Pavilion in Boca Raton, and walked north towards Red Reef Park. The beach in front of the pavilion is usually concentrated with people, and this day was no different. (This is a favorite spot for the FAU students.) Despite all of the people, I was able to capture so very relaxed gulls. I also saw man-o-war aplenty, so beware if you are swimming in the South Florida region!

I took all of these images with my phone. Enjoy!

Resolution #2 Action Plan

Resolution 2: Donate time, money, or skills to raise awareness and help the environment

Action Plan: Donating your time to a cause you care about is one of the greatest gifts you can give to both yourself and the world. Spending time cleaning up a beach or volunteering at a local nature center will allow you to spread your passion and inspire others.

There are many different ways to help the ocean and environment, even if you are busy with a job or with a family.

If you are financially able to donate, there are many great organizations that would welcome your financial support. Most environmental organizations are non-profits, and the success of their programs relies heavily on fundraising.

Sometimes potential donors are apprehensive about donating to organizations and not knowing how the money will be spent. It’s always important to do your research, and there are websites like Charity Navigator that rate charities and provide in-depth reports as to how the funds are allocated so you can make sure your money is going to a reputable organization.

You can also search Amazon wish lists to see if your favorite organization has one. Organizations compile lists of items they are in need of, and you can purchase the item and have it sent directly to the organization of your choosing. (Check out Save-the-Manatee Club’s Amazon Wish List or the Whitney Lab’s Sea Turtle Hospital’s Amazon Wish List.)

Donating your skills is a great way give back while also building your portfolio. Maybe you are a fresh-out-of-college web designer or social media manager. A lot of smaller non-profits don’t have the time or the resources to keep their websites updated. Volunteer your services! You can help an organization, while getting a great piece for your portfolio. If you have a skill, volunteer it.

There are many different ways to make this resolution a reality in 2016. What will you do?

New Year’s Resolution #1 Action Plan

Resolution 1: Reduce personal consumption and output of plastics

Action plan: In our modern lives, it is hard to go a day without touching plastic, especially if you are an on-the-go person. This year, a viral video of a turtle with a straw stuck in its nose heartbreakingly showed us that our everyday choices are not without repercussions.  Continue reading New Year’s Resolution #1 Action Plan