This is one cloudy beach

posted in Family, Photography on Aug 18, 2012

For weeks the midwest (and pretty much the rest of the country) was sitting around stewing in their own sweat juices because it needed to be over 100 degrees every day this summer for no good reason. The beach was to be a nice change of pace: sunny, but cooler with the ability to get wet. That happened, for sure, but much of the week was off-and-on rainy with chance of water spouts.

Throughout the week we jumped between Gulf Shores, AL and Pensacola, FL for general beachery since they are so close. Pensacola ended up having the better beaches and waves, but this day that we were there certainly had its share of stormy weather.

One other day we were on this beach during some very nice weather. I can only assume it was nice because a pod of dolphins were jumping out of the water a few hundred yards from the shore having a good time. I didn’t have my camera that day, so too bad! Look at these clouds!

A few water spouts tailed the storm here and there, stirring up the water the best they could. They are essentially just tornados out in the sea, and they look far less destructive than their on-land counterparts. Whether they are or not, I have no idea, but they were certainly interesting to look at, gathering pretty much everyone’s attention.

Back behind the beach there was an old fort (Fort Pickens, of which I will make a separate post for those photos) and a couple of bunkers that look out towards the sea. We decided it was a good idea to climb up to the top of the bunker and see what we could see.

Something that I didn’t expect to see were tarballs. They still exist, and they float around near the shore like oily turds. To be fair, they weren’t just covering the shores and you had to search a little to find one, but that they were there at all is pretty sad. Maybe if instead of “tarball” they were called “oily turds” things could be better somehow:

“Well, BP says that there might be some tarballs that come floating up to the shore…”


“Oh, I’m sorry, ‘oily turds.’ That’s the actual name. You will be swimming with oily turds if you go to the beach today. They are clumps of oil that look and feel like human feces and by getting any of that ocean water in your mouth you probably will have some oily turd residue get in there, too. Oily turd residue that by any other measure you would think is human feces right in your mouth where you eat regular food and kiss your girlfriend. In fact, she could get some oily turd residue in her mouth, too, and both of you could be kissing each other with remnants of oily turds because an oil company decided not to actually test what they were doing.”

“Disgusting! If you had just called them ‘tarballs’ they wouldn’t sound that bad, but ‘oily turds’? WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS – because I don’t want a turdy mouth, mostly, but still holding them accountable for their actions will help everyone and the environment, too.”