A friend and fellow photographer recently shared some images of Fort De Soto on Facebook which showed what the north beach looks like after Tropical Storm Colin went through and the images were more than a bit shocking to me because the beach has changed so much since last time I was there. Tropical Storm Colin did more damage to the beach than Hurricanes Ike and Gustav did in 2008 and they didn’t come ashore any where near Fort De Soto.
The bridge I used to walk over to get from the parking lot to the beach is now a bridge over sand, the creek is gone. The lagoon I used to like to photograph birds at near the concession stand mostly all sand. The dunes at the north tip are mostly gone. From Steve Leach’s images and other people’s images I have seen posted from after the storm, the north beach wouldn’t be recognizable to me today.
Any how, I think the images jarred me and made me think about Fort De Soto and the birds I loved photographing there because last night I spent some time dreaming of oystercatchers. I could hear them in my dream and see them scurrying along the waves. I have missed them enough for them to visit me in my sleep (again) so I thought I’d post an image of one of them today.
I photographed this preening American Oystercatcher on a sandy flat near one of the lagoons the end of February of 2009. As I recall there was a stiff sea breeze blowing which ruffled up the oystercatcher’s feathers. Some people might think American Oystercatchers are a bit odd looking but I always enjoyed seeing them with their long orange-red bills, bright yellow eyes and their dark and white plumage.
There are worse things to dream about so I really don’t mind dreaming of birds at all.
Life is good.