Blog Archives

June Grass Update for Walton County 6/24/13:AM

June grass update for Walton County 6/24/13:AM

on the June Grass Grossness Index. 

I stopped by the beach quickly this morning, while I was exercising, just to check. The water looked very clear but there were some dark areas out further in the surf. I suspect the conditions may be similar to what I experienced on Friday evening. There may be clouds of June grass just waiting to be pushed up to the beach. Mind the storm clouds offshore.

At the time this report was made the beach flags were yellow and purple, but check them again before you head to the beach. In Walton County you can text “beachflag” to 67463*

I would love it if you would share your personal June Grass and beach condition reports on the Most Recent June Grass Sightings & Beach Conditions page, to further improve the June Grass Report. It would also be great if you left a comment to tell me where you’re traveling from to visit the beach!

If there isn’t a current June Grass report up on this site I suggest checking the link to local beach cams on the left side of this page. They can often give you an idea of what the water is like. It is also important to “Know Before You Go” and check local beach flags. They are updated twice daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm.

PLEASE ENJOY THE BEACH RESPONSIBLY!

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June Grass Update for Walton County 6/22/13:AM

June grass update for Walton County 6/22/13:AM

0-2 on the June Grass Grossness Index. 

After getting stung repeatedly last night and seeing the big clouds of June grass waiting just off the beach I didn’t think I’d be going in the water today. However, while I was riding my bike early this morning I realized the wind was coming from NNE. I figured it had probably, temporarily, pushed the jellies and June grass offshore so I went for a swim. The water was nice with small waves good for boogie boarding,  and just a little June grass. It should be a beautiful beach day!

At the time this report was made the beach flags were yellow and purple, but check them again before you head to the beach. In Walton County you can text “beachflag” to 67463*

I would love it if you would share your personal June Grass and beach condition reports on the Most Recent June Grass Sightings & Beach Conditions page, to further improve the June Grass Report. It would also be great if you left a comment to tell me where you’re traveling from to visit the beach!

If there isn’t a current June Grass report up on this site I suggest checking the link to local beach cams on the left side of this page. They can often give you an idea of what the water is like. It is also important to “Know Before You Go” and check local beach flags. They are updated twice daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm.

PLEASE ENJOY THE BEACH RESPONSIBLY!

June Grass Update for Walton County 6/21/13:PM

June grass update for Walton County 6/21/13:PM

1-3 on the June Grass Grossness Index. With areas of 5-10 depending on where you are swimming!

I went for a swim with my husband around 5pm. The water was about the same temperature as the air and there was virtually no surf. When I entered the water I noticed that there were a lot of planktonic invertebrates including at least three kinds of jellies and what I think were salps or larvaceans. There was a little June grass in the water near the beach, but not bad. As we swam out toward the second sand bar I noticed a small low-hanging cloud of June grass hugging the bottom in about 6′ of water. Out further, in about 10′ of water there was a huge nasty cloud of June grass and sargassum that the waves and wind hadn’t quite pushed up to the beach yet. Yuck!

At this point I started getting stung by “sea lice” (transparent broken-off jelly tentacles, usually caused by rough surf). Fortunately I was wearing my Ecostinger swimsuit. Unfortunately it was my “shorty” model, not the full-body, so my legs were getting stung as well as my wrists and hands. These kind of jelly stings are not serious, unless you are allergic. They are mostly annoying and make swimming less fun.

I deal with minor jelly stings by taking a very hot shower and occasionally sluicing the stings with apple cider vinegar if there are noticeable red marks. Usually they feel better once I leave the water and aren’t a big deal, which is the case for most people. Caution should be used with small children or people who are sensitive. I have had a serious sting from a sea nettle many years ago in the Virgin Islands. I am a little sensitive, so if I still feel itchy I take a benedryl. “Sea lice” may not effect everybody the same way: my husband rarely gets stung as often as I do even with bare arms and legs. If you think a sting that you or your child has is serious enough for medical attention I would recommend Emerald Coast Urgent Care. I go in there for things like sinus infections and tick bites and find the service to be fast, friendly and cheaper than an office visit. If somebody who has been stung by a jelly is experiencing itchiness in their throat and/or trouble swallowing or difficulty breathing they may be experiencing anaphalactic shock need to be taken to the emergency room IMMEDIATELY!

Here are some photos of what it looks like swimming out beyond the beach. They aren’t the best photos (I had to screen capture them from video my husband shot on a GoPro) but they will give you an idea of the water conditions.

sortaclear

A moderately clear area

ray2

A small-medium stingray in some June grass and sargassum

pompano

Pompano in front of a big nasty cloud of June grass

clearishwithfish

The clearest area and some fish if you squint

juvblackdrum

I know June grass is nasty but it seems to be providing a hiding/feeding area for this juvenile black drum. Black drum between 50-100lbs are currently being caught in Choctawhatchee Bay

stingray

Medium-sized southern stingray with 10 level June grass and sargassum

At the time this report was made the beach flags were yellow and purple, but check them again before you head to the beach. In Walton County you can text “beachflag” to 67463*

I would love it if you would share your personal June Grass and beach condition reports on the Most Recent June Grass Sightings & Beach Conditions page, to further improve the June Grass Report. It would also be great if you left a comment to tell me where you’re traveling from to visit the beach!

If there isn’t a current June Grass report up on this site I suggest checking the link to local beach cams on the left side of this page. They can often give you an idea of what the water is like. It is also important to “Know Before You Go” and check local beach flags. They are updated twice daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm.

PLEASE ENJOY THE BEACH RESPONSIBLY!

June Grass Update for Walton County 6/20/13:PM

June grass update for Walton County 6/20/13:PM

0-1 on the June Grass Grossness Index. 

Very similar conditions to yesterday but the June grass was even more sparse. There were some schools of small (1/2″) fish in the water and I found a stingray about the size of a medium pizza right up by the beach. Mind your feet! Stingrays don’t “attack” people but they will sting you with their venomous barbs if you step on them because they think you are trying to eat them. Stingrays are actually a favorite food of tiger sharks. So, no reason to fear stingrays but be mindful and shuffle your feet if you think they are around. They are actually really fun to see in the water! Again I had to get out of the water because of a thunderstorm, right when I had just found the ray and wanted to watch it! Exercise common sense in regard to electrical storms!

At the time this report was made the beach flags were yellow and purple, but check them again before you head to the beach. In Walton County you can text “beachflag” to 67463*

I would love it if you would share your personal June Grass and beach condition reports on the Most Recent June Grass Sightings & Beach Conditions page, to further improve the June Grass Report. It would also be great if you left a comment to tell me where you’re traveling from to visit the beach!

If there isn’t a current June Grass report up on this site I suggest checking the link to local beach cams on the left side of this page. They can often give you an idea of what the water is like. It is also important to “Know Before You Go” and check local beach flags. They are updated twice daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm.

PLEASE ENJOY THE BEACH RESPONSIBLY!

June Grass Update for Walton County 6/19/13:PM

June grass update for Walton County 6/19/13:PM

0-2 on the June Grass Grossness Index. 

I went for a quick swim around 7pm. The surf was mostly flat, the water was warm, and I didn’t see any jellyfish and not much June grass. It was clumped up in a few places but easy to avoid. My swim was quick because a thunderstorm approached. If you hear thunder get out of the water and go indoors! Do NOT stay on the beach, umbrellas and canopies get fried on a fairly regular basis.. If you can hear thunder you are close enough to the storm to be stuck by lightening. If you can see lightening get off the beach FASTER!

At the time this report was made the beach flags were yellow and purple, but check them again before you head to the beach.

I would love it if you would share your personal June Grass and beach condition reports on the Most Recent June Grass Sightings & Beach Conditions page, to further improve the June Grass Report. It would also be great if you left a comment to tell me where you’re traveling from to visit the beach!

If there isn’t a current June Grass report up on this site I suggest checking the link to local beach cams on the left side of this page. They can often give you an idea of what the water is like. It is also important to “Know Before You Go” and check local beach flags. They are updated twice daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm.

PLEASE ENJOY THE BEACH RESPONSIBLY!

June Grass Update for Walton County 6/16/13:PM

June grass update for Walton County 6/16/13:PM

0-2 on the June Grass Grossness Index. 

I played with my boogie board and swam for about an hour. I found that the waves were a lot smaller and the longshore current from last night was gone. Big clumps of June grass and sargassum are piled up in certain areas of underwater topography from the wave action. There are a lot of small jellies around. This is a species I haven’t seen before. It’s about the same circumference as an adult making the American “OK” gesture and purple-blue in color. I didn’t get stung, but maybe I was just lucky for once. The water was a really nice temperature and a pretty aquamarine color.

At the time this report was made the beach flags were yellow and purple, but check them again before you head to the beach.

I would love it if you would share your personal June Grass and beach condition reports on the Most Recent June Grass Sightings & Beach Conditions page, to further improve the June Grass Report. It would also be great if you left a comment to tell me where you’re traveling from to visit the beach!

If there isn’t a current June Grass report up on this site I suggest checking the link to local beach cams on the left side of this page. They can often give you an idea of what the water is like. It is also important to “Know Before You Go” and check local beach flags. They are updated twice daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm.

PLEASE ENJOY THE BEACH RESPONSIBLY!

June Grass Update for Walton County 6/15/13:PM

June grass update for Walton County 6/15/13:PM

0-1 on the June Grass Grossness Index. 

Where is everybody? I’ve been watching the beach cameras all day. I don’t usually go to the beach in the middle of the day because I have very very pale skin, so I was watching and waiting. The beaches were nearly empty, despite the nice weather today, so I thought maybe the June Grass was really bad. I felt compelled to go look and post a report. All I found was a few random bits of June Grass and some sargassum!

I decided to go out with my boogie board and discovered that there is a good longshore current going parallel to the beach as the wind and waves are coming from ESE. Novice swimmers and small children should NOT go in the water right now. Not only is the longshore current quite strong, but there is a good potential for rip currents to form. If you don’t know what you’re looking for/at don’t go in! The water was a nice temperature, a bit turbid due to the surf, the surf is about chest-high on me in waist deep water, there were lots of small bait fish and nothing stung me despite the purple flag. I was pleased to note that the trash was in the trash cans and not on the beach! I overheard two small children talking with their parents:

Kid: Whoever made the beach…

Parent: That would be God…

Kid: IS AWESOME!

At the time this report was made the beach flags were yellow and purple, but check them again before you head to the beach.

I would love it if you would share your personal June Grass and beach condition reports on the Most Recent June Grass Sightings & Beach Conditions page, to further improve the June Grass Report. It would also be great if you left a comment to tell me where you’re traveling from to visit the beach!

If there isn’t a current June Grass report up on this site I suggest checking the link to local beach cams on the left side of this page. They can often give you an idea of what the water is like. It is also important to “Know Before You Go” and check local beach flags. They are updated twice daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm.

PLEASE ENJOY THE BEACH RESPONSIBLY!

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June Grass Update for Walton County 6/12/13:AM

June grass update for Four Mile Village/Coffeen,THPSP, and Stallworth Blvd./S. Bishop Public Access-Walton County 6/12/13:AM

on the June Grass Grossness Index. 

The water is still a bit murky but looks nice otherwise. I got to see a track from a nesting sea turtle on the beach and a few shorebirds. There were a couple of stingrays in the water close to shore, so mind your feet. Apparently there are jellies around too. Most of the sargassum is off the beach too. It’s supposed to stay nice for the weekend according to the latest weather forecast, but that might change in five minutes.

I PICKED UP ABOUT 9 MILLION PIECES OF TRASH, MOSTLY BEER CONTAINERS AND CUPS, AND I STILL DIDN’T GET ALL OF IT! PLEASE PICK UP YOUR OWN TRASH AND DON’T THROW IT IN THE GULF! IF THE TRASH CAN IS  OVERFLOWING PACK YOUR TRASH OUT WITH YOU, SINCE YOU CARRIED IT DOWN TO THE BEACH ANYWAY!

I also found a second dead baby corn snake on the bike path for the week. DO NOT KILL SNAKES ON PUBLIC LAND! IT IS ILLEGAL! CORN SNAKES ARE HARMLESS EVEN IF THEY LOOK SLIGHTLY LIKE CORAL SNAKES, WHICH WE DON’T HAVE AROUND HERE! Leave the snakes alone, they aren’t interested in biting you. Snakes eat rodents. Rodents carry diseases like Hanta virus, which we do have around here. Rodents are attracted to trash, so pick up your trash and don’t kill snakes!

Sorry for all the caps, since I am pretty sure June Grass Report aficionados would never do any of the aforementioned stuff, but I bet folks wouldn’t like me doing the aforementioned stuff in their backyards and might even feel a bit screechy about it.

It was really neat to get to see the turtle track and nest this morning. I also saw a lot of big holes in the sand on the beach, which apparently kids dug yesterday. It’s fine for kids to dig holes and I heartily encourage it, but they need to be filled in when you leave the for two reasons: they can catch and harm nesting turtles and hatchlings and they present a hazard to public safety and conservation personnel who drive on the beach as part of their duties. Also be sure to watch your little ones when they dig big holes so the sand doesn’t collapse on them, which can be very dangerous.

At the time this report was made the beach flags were yellow and purple, but check them again before you head to the beach.

I would love it if you would share your personal June Grass and beach condition reports in the comments section. It would also be great if you left a comment to tell me where you’re traveling from to visit the beach!

If there isn’t a current June Grass report up on this site I suggest checking the link to local beach cams on the left side of this page. They can often give you an idea of what the water is like. It is also important to “Know Before You Go” and check local beach flags. They are updated twice daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm.

PLEASE ENJOY THE BEACH RESPONSIBLY!

 

June Grass Update for Walton County & Okaloosa 6/10/13:AM

June grass update for THPSP-Walton County, Clement Taylor Park (bayside), Crab Island and Gulf Shores National Seashore Okaloosa Island(bayside)-Okaloosa County  6/10/13:AM

on the June Grass Grossness Index. 

I stopped at the beach during my workout and there was no sign of June grass despite yesterday’s storm. It was quite a strong storm since some frigate birds were patrolling near the beach. Normally they stay way offshore in the Gulf and I’ve only seen them come to shore when we have tropical storms. The waves are still pretty big and there is another series of thunderstorms coming from the west so strongly I recommend skipping the beach today.

On the way to work I stopped at Clement Taylor Park in Destin and had a look around. Choctawhatchee Bay seems pretty calm but that is no reason to be complacent. Crab Island and the National Seashore also appeared June grass free. The water was as flat as a pancake on the bay side of Okaloosa Island but I’d stay out of it with the thunderstorm approaching. Getting struck by lightening is more common than you’d think.

Two more people drowned yesterday, so I really recommend staying out of the water until we get the yellow flags back.

At the time this report was made the beach flags were red, but check them again before you head to the beach.

I would love it if you would share your personal June Grass and beach condition reports in the comments section. It would also be great if you left a comment to tell me where you’re traveling from to visit the beach!

If there isn’t a current June Grass report up on this site I suggest checking the link to local beach cams on the left side of this page. They can often give you an idea of what the water is like. It is also important to “Know Before You Go” and check local beach flags. They are updated twice daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm.

PLEASE ENJOY THE BEACH RESPONSIBLY!

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June Grass Update for Walton County 6/8/13:AM

June grass update for Walton County 6/8/13:AM

on the June Grass Grossness Index. 

I went down to the beach just now, even though the Gulf sounded angry. Actually the waves weren’t especially big. Perhaps the cool still air amplified the sound of the surf breaking on the beach. The water is still murky from the storm but no sign of June grass. The waves are about the right size for boogie boarding right now. I stuck my feet in the water and it’s currently warmer than the air. I saw a flock of ibises, a squirrel, and a (harmless) corn snake crossing the path on the way down to the beach. Keep in mind that it is illegal to kill snakes on public lands in Florida!

At the time this report was made the beach flags were yellow, but check them again before you head to the beach.

I would love it if you would share your personal June Grass and beach condition reports in the comments section. It would also be great if you left a comment to tell me where you’re traveling from to visit the beach!

If there isn’t a current June Grass report up on this site I suggest checking the link to local beach cams on the left side of this page. They can often give you an idea of what the water is like. It is also important to “Know Before You Go” and check local beach flags. They are updated twice daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm.

PLEASE ENJOY THE BEACH RESPONSIBLY!