Some chilly weather earlier this month found a sizeable herd of West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) congregating near the relatively warm outflow of a large drainage pipe just off DeSoto Parkway in Satellite Beach. The smaller manatee, who likely was born over the summer, quickly became a favorite with the small crowd that gathered to watch.
Hurricane Irma brought us a navigational mystery marker with an intriguing "11" stenciled on it. This is the beach at Patrick Air Force Base about halfway between the Hangars and 2nd Light parking lots.
It's still warm enough to enjoy the surf and many did as they watched a SpaceX Falcon 9 lift a communications satellite skyward. This flight used a first stage that was previously flown for a Space Station resupply mission in February, and then recovered and refurbished by SpaceX.
Bernard's Surf was an iconic restaurant known for its clientele of astronauts, media figures and other celebrities during the heyday of the space race. The demolition site has become a popular attraction for Space Coast residents eager to get one last glimpse of the storied landmark.
What appear to be rocks along Florida's east coast are actually living reefs built up over time by tiny marine bristle worms of the family Sabellariidae. The Sabellariid worms build protective tubes out of sand, ultimately forming large colonies that grow into mounding reefs. The reefs sometimes are exposed at low tide, creating tide pools and providing a habitat for a variety of other marine organisms.
Hurricane Matthew chewed hard on our beaches as it passed last week and very rough high tides continue to threaten the fragile dune. This wasn't much of a morning for photography but I challenged myself to find a picture despite the wind, the rain, and the unfortunate condition of the beach.
The western eye wall of Hurricane Matthew crept menacingly close to us here but most of the structural damage was limited to the docks and boathouses that line the Intracoastal Waterway. We're deeply grateful we were spared and sadly mindful that many, many others experienced much worse from Matthew's fury.