Gulf of Mexico at Ft. Pickens

Osprey on nest

Osprey on nest

This place is indescribably beautiful.  I took 229 photos today and will do my best to share only the ones I think you would most enjoy.

Turquoise water, white waves, white sand

Turquoise water, white waves, white sand

I grew up on the Atlantic coast and am used to beige sand and murky greenish ocean water.  I am always enthralled by the difference on the Gulf side of Florida.  The sand is pure white, and the water a beautiful, clear turquoise.

It’s been hot, but with the constant ocean breezes, it is chilly in the shade.  We’ve worn windbreakers with our shorts several times today.  We haven’t run the air conditioner at all.  We just open all the windows and bask in perfect temperatures.  It gets chilly at night, so we do close them at night.  Except mine stays cracked open.  I like to sleep cooler than Ron.  🙂

More of that incredibly turquoise water

More of that incredibly turquoise water

The beach goes on forever.

The beach goes on forever.

In addition to the glorious beach, I’ve found beautiful flowers blooming here in the most inhospitable places.  I’ve also found lots of wild edible plants, but since they are everywhere, I’ll skip them today.

We did have a scare this morning.  Sunny woke up sick, in pain and lethargtic.  So we spent the morning at the Gulf Island Animal Hospital.  They aren’t sure what’s wrong with him, but gave him a shot for pain and inflammation, more meds to help settle his stomach and relax him, and special food to eat for a week.  He is doing a lot better this afternoon, so I think he will be okay until we can get to our vet at home.

Wild lantana at our campground

Wild lantana at our campground

Spiderwort flowers on the edge of the woods in our loop

Spiderwort flowers on the edge of the woods in our loop.

More beautiful wildflowers

More beautiful wildflowers

These exquisite beauties were growing in the dunes.

These exquisite beauties were growing in the dunes.

Rugged dune life

Rugged dune life

This tree on the dunes looks like it barely survived the last hurricane.

This tree on the dunes looks like it barely survived the last hurricane.

There are many birds here.  Sitting outside listening to them is a pleasure.  This photo shows two of them in one tree.

There are many birds here. Sitting outside listening to them is a pleasure. This photo shows two of them in one tree.

We got such a kick out of watching the birds trying to get Sheba's food.  Every time they would get brave enough to try, Sheba would move and they would take off.  I don't know if they ever succeeded in snitching a bite!

We got such a kick out of watching the birds trying to get Sheba’s food. Every time they would get brave enough to try, Sheba would move and they would take off. I don’t know if they ever succeeded in snitching a bite!

Since Sunny wasn't feeling well, we left him in the trailer when we took our walk.  Here he is welcoming us back home.

Since Sunny wasn’t feeling well, we left him in the trailer when we took our walk. Here he is welcoming us back home.

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18 Comments

  1. Poor Sunny! Maybe he just ate something he shouldn’t have? But I guess then you would see some GI symptoms. Here’s hoping he’s all better tomorrow. Ft. Pickens looks awesome! Is the campground very crowded?

    • I’m hoping it’s just something he ate that didn’t agree with him, Kim.

      There is a beautiful Roadtrek under a big tree in the next loop. I think of you every time I see one now.

      The campground was pretty full on the weekend, but a lot of people pulled out this morning. I’d say it’s maybe half full right now.

  2. I love that place….we need to go back when it’s not the dead of winter! There’s a lovely nature trail with lots of plants identified. We accessed it from the middle of Loop A…..you could drive over…was not far at all.
    Hope Sunny continues to mend. Any chance he got overheated and threw his electrolytes off? only mentioned it ’cause it happened to a friend’s dog.

    • Lynne, as cool as it is now when the wind blows, I definitely would not want to be here in winter! It’s really perfect right now.

      I saw that trail on the map and we are planning to walk it tomorrow. I think it’s called the Woodland Marsh Trail? Something like that anyway.

      Sunny is acting fine now and he ate a big dinner. But he has lost two pounds. That’s a lot of weight for a dog that small. I’m looking forward to having his regular vet give him a thorough checkup when we get home.

  3. Love those perfect days and nights. We’ve always done condos in that area-BC (Before camper) and we will definitely put Ft. Pickens Campground on our camping bucket list. Beautiful.

    • I looked at the condos and thought it would be so cool to live there — in nice weather! The thing about wheels is you can leave when a storm is on its way.

      I have to admit, after seeing the unbelievable traffic in Gulf Island, though, I wondered how on earth we’d get out of here if we had to evacuate.

      You can tell I’m a Florida native…. evacuation routes are the first thing I think of when I get near a beach! 😀

  4. That place is so cool. If you venture into loop A, if the camp host is Chuck, tell him HI. Great guy. Super pictures, I can see us going back there for sure. hope Sunny continues to bounce back. He looks like he is glad you are back.

    • We intend to walk over that way tomorrow. I’ll see if Chuck is still the camp host.

      Sunny ate like a horse tonight! So that’s pretty good proof he’s on the mend!

  5. You sure captured the beauty of the land! I love lantana…it survived our drought here last year and just bloomed and bloomed. I think it is my favorite of all the flowering plants! Hope Sunny woke up rearing to go….eating a good bowl’s full is a good sign! Enjoy scoping out the area today!

    • I also love lantana, especially the pink and yellow kind. Yes, Sunny woke up raring to go and ate all the food I put down for him. He would have eaten twice as much if I would have let him!

  6. Janice Stevenson

     /  April 23, 2013

    Beautiful pictures, thank you. I am packing up and heading to Fort Pickens next week. Can’t wait, enjoy your stay!

    • Janice, I am so glad you are headed down here! So far, everything about it has been great. And all the campers we’ve spoken to have been so friendly!

  7. I laughed to see that you took 229 photos in a day – now I don’t feel so crazy for doing the same thing many times. Digital cameras are the best, aren’t they?

    • Remember when we used film? I don’t know how many rolls I took that I couldn’t afford to get processed! I DO love digital cameras. This way you can take bunches of pictures of the same thing and pick the one that turns out best!

  8. What a beautiful beach. I miss the ocean so much even after 38 yrs. The flowers are so colorful. You can buy pretty flowers but there is nothing like wild flowers.
    Hope Sunny makes a full recovery.

    • Jo, it’s the prettiest beach I’ve ever seen in the Southeast.

      Sunny appears to be doing great. The meds he is on are making him forget he’s an old doggie! 🙂

  9. You take such pretty photos, and we are enjoying your descriptions of what you are seeing. I haven’t been to Ft Pickens since my now-adult children were babies. Time to go back! Thanks for showing how pretty it is.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the descriptions and photos. Another bonus was that we had the nicest campground host I’ve met anywhere.

      Hope you do get back to enjoy it soon! 🙂

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