Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Key West Beaches

As amazing as it seems to me, there are people who come to the Keys for the beaches. Boy, what a disappointment that has to be! This is Rest Beach on the south side of Key West Near the White Street Pier, and famous in history as the place where cattle shipped over from Stock Island were slaughtered. What you see in the picture isn't bovine entrails but dead seaweed, washed up by the southeast wind and left to rot. The beach itself is narrow enough, especially at high tide but the seaweed helps nothing. At very low tide Rest Beach exposes quite a lot of dry sandbar which is fun to walk. But as beaches go, around here this is as good as they get...
Wandering the beaches after the nasty weather we've had lately, where clouds and rain constitute " nasty" in my world, I decided to play with my camera settings a bit as I enjoyed the sunny beach day. White Street Pier from the west:
The tire tracks in the picture above mark the passage of the county hired tractor which scoops up the dead seaweed on the larger beaches to make the seaside experience less smelly.
Behind Higgs Beach, part of the Monroe County park within the city limits is the dog run fenced in and a useful stop even for my anti social dog as they have a water fountain there. apparently it's only for drinking. My mind boggles at the idea of people taking their animals to the dog park to wash them. My outside shower does the job nicely for Cheyenne and for me.
Higgs Beach, named for a prominent Conch family in town, has a delightfully old fashioned band stand most often used as a parasol for local residentially challenged hanging out at the beach.
I am not at all happy with the way certain powerful people in the city arts community have shredded the Sculpture Key West exhibit. Everyone wants a piece of what was a successful outdoor show put on each winter and which used to be focused on the open space at Fort Zachary Taylor. Nowadays bits and pieces of it show up everywhere, here at Higgs Beach and at the Botanical Garden on Stock Island as well as at Fort Zach. As a result it's impact is diluted which is a shame. Killing the goose that lays the golden egg is a parable that comes to mind.
Not everyone comes to the beach to sunbathe or look at statuary. Some come to play tennis on the public courts.
Some make their homes at Higgs Park between the dog run and the beach.
Before a group of determined people persuaded the county to let them fence in a portion of the park for dogs the city allowed dogs on the beach at one small spot where Vernon and Waddell streets run out. Dog Beach:
It is a fine thing to see  bright sunshine on the water in February.
And to enjoy sunbathing...
...though some people have to work to keep Paradise looking clean and tidy.
If you want big beaches and long strands you need to go to Fort Myers Beach or Fort Lauderdale and points north on the east coast. Mainland Florida is a sandy peninsula while the keys are a rocky outcrop, and the beaches are the proof.