Son John finally arrived yesterday morning after his flight into Atlanta was delayed causing him to miss his connection into Fort Myers Airport. He spent the night in a seedy motel near the airport where the clerk didn't understand English and the person ahead of him was a little tipsy. Apparently their conversation was quite interesting.
After he vented his frustrations and relaxed, we headed over to Fort Myers Beach so he could visit with his Aunt and Uncle.
We walked on the beach up to Bowditch Park, around the north end of the island and back. Along the way I spotted this Royal Tern.
In the park we saw another gopher turtle and John got an up-close look. The turtle didn't seem to mind the audience and just kept eating.
Naturally, I collected some shells as I walked - mostly very small, but colorful examples.
Bill decided I needed a horseshoe crab exoskeleton (or molt) in my collection and the animal that shed this one left it intact. Horseshoe crabs are among the oldest residents of planet Earth, preceding dinosaurs by millions of years. They are actually more closely related to spiders than crabs. The molts are perfect replicas of the animal that once lived in it. They exit through an opening in the front of the shell.
This is my growing collection. After I wash them and let them dry, I put them in vented and labeled containers. Some of the specimens need to spend a night in a 50% bleach bath before they can be put away.