Feeding Frenzy

Nine videos taken the same morning, February 5, 2022

A multi-day hatch of small fry around the time of a new moon triggered this Black Skimmers (scientific name: Rynchops niger) feeding behavior surf off Cocoa Beach, Brevard County on Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Here and There

Around Cocoa Beach

Sights and Sounds

Black Skimmers

Scan of Lori Wilson Park beach

Hunter

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Whale Sighting

Right Whales in February

No, the Manatee mailbox on Atlantic Avenue is NOT the whale sighted….more of that later. February 3rd 2022 dawned with scattered clouds to fracture sunbeams.

Walking south I made the 2+ mile point where, up from the beach on South Atlantic Avenue, is a memorable facade.

Also exotic schefflera, paths to the beach through Sea Grapes.

February is the time for Right Whale sightings on the Florida Atlantic Coast. On the beach, near the blue dot on the following map, were lines of people facing the ocean, some with binoculars and cameras with long lenses.

About 500 feet out, beyond where the wave roll begins, a person sat on a paddle board looking to my right. In the following IPhone videos an occasional black hump, roiling water, a flipper and the signature spout are visible. It is too far for identification, I call it a Right Whale from their reputation for visiting these shores in late January/February.

An hour later, I left the beach at South 4th Street to capture the following local color.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Iridescent Plumage

shiver me timbers

The third of my postings about the peafowl of Cape Canaveral…..we had our most intimate interactions on a Oak Lane, a small unpaved road off a Circle K (roadside convenience store). At one point a peacock approached Pam on the open windowed passenger side and almost pecked her.

The iridescent coloration is an illusion created by the structure of fine feather elements, called barbules. The impression on peahens varies with viewing angle, between 90 (head on) and 45 degrees to either side. The peacock will shiver his train when faced with a favored peahen. 

Click me for the first post of this series, “Male and Female Peafowl.”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Train of the Male Peafowl

And some history about the “Peacock Neighborhood” of Cape Canaveral

February is Peafowl mating season and for Cape Canaveral the displays were especially fine. These were captured on a photography expedition via automobile, being especially fortunate in observing peacocks (male peafowl) on high perches oriented perfectly to display the magnificent train (trail).

Here is some information on Reddit from “Mr_mayhem77 “According to locals, the Eberwein family lived between Port Canaveral and what is now the Villages of Seaport. In fact a street is actually named after them (Eberwein Drive) at the northern edge of Cape Canaveral. They had the peafowl among many farm animals. The family moved in 1986 and abandoned the peafowls. Over the years the peafowl have slowly populated our community with the greatest concentration being north of Central Ave.”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Male and Female Peafowl

Peacock Neighborhood, Cape Canaveral I

On a day February 2022 Pam and I decided to walk the beach starting from Cheri Down Park, Ridgewood Avenue, Cape Canaveral headed north toward Jetty Park hoping to catch a postponed rocket launch rescheduled for that afternoon. We were encouraged to find video news crew positioned near the park entrance as these professionals were in the know for the best spots to watch the spectacle.

We walked a mile or so, more than halfway to Jetty Park, when the word circulated the rocket launch was cancelled. Rather than turn around, we decided to explore the walkway that opens on “Peacock Beach” as Google Map listed a public parking space there, quite a bit closer to Jetty Park. This park charges a hefty entrance fee to non-residents, so we were parking at Cheri Down, we saved $10 for each mile walked.

Having leisure, we decided to walk back to Cheri Down the long way. In what turned out to be a 1.7 mile stroll we encountered these residents for which the beach is named. Then and there Pam and I decided to return for a dedicated photography expedition, the results of which I will share over several posts.

Click Me for the next post of this series, “Train of the Male Peafowl”

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Sand Abstracts accepted by Getty

Success.

I am happy to report 100% of the photographs presented in my “Sand Abstracts” posting were accepted for publication by Getty.

Click Me to view these and my other “texture” photographs on Getty

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Sand Abstracts

A beach littered with wonders

The same day I captured “Rosy Fingers of Dawn” and “Oceans Eons”, these still lives were found using a 100 mm macro lens.

The following I reserved for our private enjoyment.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Two-Sided Story

Sea Oats and Sand

At first glance, Northerners may mistake this for fine snow blown on a bitter wind; but no, this is indeed a north wind, the temperature is above freezing, the material is beach sand. Keeping the sand in place is a concern for Brevard County.

Golden brown infructescences (seed heads) of Sea Oats grass on stalks growing from dunes, seen here in early morning light, are one element of this plant beneficial to the goal of keeping beach sands in place. Tall stalks and broad leaves catch blowing sand. Deep roots hold the plants in place, shallow root systems hold sand in place to form dunes.

Returning after staying away for COVID-19, we found new plantings of Sea Oats by the county.

Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved