We arrived at 8:30 and paid the $3 Don Pedro State Park Fee then headed to the launch ramp. Beautiful weather! We paddled in the inner coastal to a dock then took a short walk to the Gulf beach. Manatees and dolphins swam ahead of us!
Our guides Mike Weinsensee and Leslie Brown
Along the way we learned about Fiddler Crabs (males have big claw) and about 3 Mangrove species.
White – white, white, bolts on tight most salt tolerant usually most inland – small propagules – leaves – round tip & 2 nodes at stem and one at tip
Red – red, red, pointy head lowest elevation most seaward
leafs tear drop propagules – has prop roots look like stilts
Black – black, black salty back of leaf (underside lighter in color) has pneumatophores (snorkel roots that stick up from ground to get oxygen).
Photo of Butterfly Mangrove buckeye host plant Red Mangrove shows flower and initial propagules that grow into long beanlike seeds. They float horizontally until they find a spot (just right) then change gravity to the brown end so is sticks in the soil to grow.
Cassiopeia, upside down jellyfish with tiny stingers – In Greek Mythology vain queen Cassiopeia, mother of Andromeda was cast to the bottom of the sea so the jellyfish is found at the bottom in shallow areas
Lighting Whelk – snail family with opening on left side
Starfish that we found in Mangrove tunnel
Sandy and Friend at secret lake with the only entrance through the Mangrove tunnel so no motors!
Then we paddled back through the tunnel and back to Don Pedro Dock. So much fun!!! Sandy’s wrist and my right hand made it!
More pics when Leslie shares