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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Everybody's Doing the....


STINGRAY SHUFFLE.

It's that time of year...
All along the west coast of Florida, the warnings are posted...




It's Time to do the STINGRAY SHUFFLE!

About this time each year, Stingrays are commonly found in our warm, shallow Gulf coastal waters. Most of the time, they can be found buried in the sand, and moving with the sway of the tide. Due to the stingray's coloration, which reflects the seafloor's shading, beachgoers are instructed to shuffle their feet when in the water, so they will not step on a stingray or especially their tails. The Stingrays' flattened bodies are composed of pectoral fins joined to their head and trunk with an infamous tail trailing behind. The tail has a barb, which holds the venom. The venom is not enough to severely harm a human, but it sure hurts like heck! By shuffling your feet, you warn the stingray of your presence and it can move away...and you will not step down onto a barb.

Although members of the shark family, stingrays - at least those who live in the Gulf waters, will not harm you. That's why there are stingrays found in most museum "please touch" pools.

Last spring, I was shuffling along, about 5 feet from shore, in knee-deep water, when I disturbed a ray... it rose from the sand and fluttered in the water. Seconds later, if appeared that the whole sandy bottom was rising. Stingrays rose from their hiding places in every direction! They swam by me, gently brushing my legs with their fins. What a glorious sight! (and I did not have a camera!!!)


These graceful creatures are an absolute joy to watch. Just be sure to SHUFFLE.....

Come to the beach...
Jane (artfully graced)

22 comments:

Ms. Bake-it said...

Great post Jane! I love watching stingrays, they are truly graceful. When we were at the beach a couple of weeks ago we were doing the stingray shuffle and saw a few. I am definitely ready for another dose of sea, sand and sun!

~ Tracy

Debbie said...

I enjoyed your post! they are so beautiful to watch. One could say they are "Graceful".

Deb

simpledaisy said...

Interesting!!!
See how much natives know:)
If I were to be visiting right now....i'd jump right into the water without a care in the world!!!
I'd probably get stung:)
haha...
Now I know to be careful!!!!

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

I used to live in Sarasota Florida...and boy! Do I know the shuffle!

Susan Erickson said...

I have seen rays in Mexico too....should I be shuffling everywhere? I know that there is an explosion of stingrays world wide...I would have been totally awed by that many rays ...too cool!

Joanne Kennedy said...

I used to like these guys until one killed the Crocodile Hunter. Now I'm scared to death of them.

Hugs,
Joanne

P.S. If you lived near me I would be happy to loan you my tablecloth for you to use this weekend. Do you have a Target near you? If so, they should still have them. there.

Deanna said...

Dear Jane,
I did not know this about these creatures. I will try to remember this when I get to the beach for I think walking on the beach would be heavenly!

Have prayed for your dear Mom. Will continue to do so. God bless you all...sometimes life is just full of challenges.

May you have a wonderful Mother's Day!
d from homehaven

Shellbelle said...

Ah yes, the stingray shuffle, a form of beach dancing, lol. I love when you try to explain it to tourists and they look at you like your nuts. They are amazing creatures and I love it when they're around, makes me feel welcomed to their world.

becky at abbeystyle said...

After 10 years on the Gulf, I've never heard about the stingray shuffle! Thanks for enlightening me...I know about the "shark tooth hunter's walk...well know in Venice, especially down near the pier at Sharky's.
Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday and leaving hints about what's blooming in Florida these days...I totally missed everything but the pollen before we left.

Karena said...

Jane,

These creatures are so glorious and graceful! Thank you for the info!!

Karena
Art by Karena

Maya said...

I just learned something! I think they would have scared me, ha!

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

We don't have them as much as your coast! I hope they aren't affected by the oil!

jmac said...

Cannot tell you how many times I've dived with the rays!! An absolute lovely experience!!
Blew Bayou is nestled in at Sarasota.....are you close to that? Prolly will come down sometime this summer to check on her. Maybe we can get together if you're closeby!!

Beach Vintage said...

We have them out the front of our house all the time, in the shallows, I often watch them swim by. I am not scared of them.

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Neat post! I hope you don't get the oil slick there. We are on the east coast.

Katherine

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

Amazing!
Sometimes we may forget, there's another world down there!

xo

Bama Belle said...

I adore watching the stingrays from the balcony!! They feed in the shallow water and can easily be seen when the tourist are not here. Part of why mt fave time of the year to beach has always been "off season" LOL Be well my precious friend!

Linda Starr said...

I never knew that about stingrays, thanks for the tip.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Hi, Jane... they have always fascinated me, too! I love to watch their flippers(?) go up and down.

How is your art work coming along? I hope well.

Hope all is well in your corner of Florida. When you get over this way, give us a shout!

XO,

Sheila :-)

pam said...

Yes! It is time for the stingray shuffle......and the cownose ray shuffle too. We both have been graced by their presents. I just saw them (my cownose rays) again on Sunday. Thanks for the really good info on the stingrays.

theoldboathouse said...

I'm with Maya...I think they would have scared me a bit too, but how wonderful, cheers Katherine

{ L } said...

Wow, fascinating. I so love the appreciation and knowledge you have for the area you live in! Titus has been studying sea creatures in school this year and I can't wait to read this to him!