Entries in Gulf Shores (2)


February Beach Trip to Gulf Shores

February at Alabama's Gulf Shores can be iffy. The weather can be cold, windy, and rainy; or it can be warm, sunny, and wonderful. Or some combination. My family's recent beach trip to Gulf Shores was perfect! During the day, the temps were warm enough to be on the beach in shirt sleeves and shorts. I even saw people in the ocean. No doubt these were "snow birds" escaping the frigid air of places like Michigan and Minnesota, where temps in the 70's are considered high summer and as good as it gets for dipping in the water. Nope, not for me. The water was still cold, despite the balmy air. I did enjoy our condo's hot tub and heated indoor pool, however.

The beach is photogenic year-round. Here are a selection of images from among the many I took:

A view from our condo of the State Pier at Gulf State Park:

What people do at the beach in February:

Besides the usual beach activities, we enjoyed a 3-hour kayak tour of the nearby Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge with WildNative Tours.

We also spent time exploring inside Gulf State Park, which was very close to our condo. The park has an amazing series of trails. These photos were taken inside the park:

Lake Shelby is the largest of three freshwater lakes inside Gulf State Park, just across the road from the salt waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The ecosystem here is amazing.

The next two photos may look a little dangerous, but be assured I used my telephoto!

I visited the State Pier, which stretches out into the Gulf, a couple of times to see if anyone was catching fish. Once I heard a guy say, "I told you chicken would work!" When I turned, I saw him hauling a decent sized fish up. That was the only fish I saw anyone catch.

I wasn't the only one watching the fishermen. Pelicans were hanging around the fish cleaning station, clearly waiting on handouts.

Our condo had wonderful views. Sunrise and sunset over the Gulf is always something special. This view from our bedroom wakened me one morning. I took a photo right through the window. It was worth waking up for!

Now I am home, and it is time to turn my attention to my garden!

Best wishes to you all!  Deb 


The Beach in January

I had business in southern Alabama this week. Lou accompanied me, and we decided to drive on down to Gulf Shores and spend the night at the beach. Our beachfront condo had great views:

We enjoyed panoramic views. We could see not only the Gulf of Mexico but also the Intracoastal Waterway that separates the coastal city of Gulf Shores, Alabama, from the mainland. Charming cottages and condos occupy the area.

There had been a recent storm, but the day we were there, the Gulf was calm with the water gently lapping at the shore:

There were some dramatic shadows created by fencing that had been blown over by high wind:

This American flag on the beach reminded me of the famous "One small step" moonscape photo with astronaut Neil Armstrong.The sun was shining, but the air was cold enough for coats. So what does one do at the beach in January?

Hunt for seashells; many were washed up by the storm:

How about some extreme kite flying?

This man was flying a drone:

Fishing is always popular:

Did you see the Grey Heron? (In many of these photos his feathers have a golden glow from the sun as it is setting.) We were amazed at how tame he was as he posed for me and others. He seemed to be a part of the fishermen's community and stayed in the same place for almost an hour!

The heron was very territorial and would chase other birds away from his spot. As the sun sank into the horizon and the fishermen began to pack up to leave, we discovered why. They gave the heron their leftover bait! Apparently this was something the heron was accustomed to. When the last fisherman left, so did the heron.

Sunsets at the beach are always beautiful.

The next morning we wakened to more splendor as the horizon was once again flushed with color, this time from the sunrise:

Another day, and too soon it was time for us to leave. Before heading home, however, we drove over to Mobile Bay, where we saw the big platforms that are used for drilling for natural gas.

We also saw some dramatic colonies of sea oats.

Finally, we turned north. This had been a quick trip, a last minute decision. We met people visiting Gulf Shores from as far away as Wisconsin and Michigan and Texas. We are fortunate to be less than four hours from this great beach. It had been an unexpectedly delightful winter pick-me-up, and now we want to do it again!