A pod of maybe 12 dolphins made a very close pass to our bay side cliff on the north side of the Pawtuxet river in Maryland. It was overcast morning with a bit of rain … this seems to bring out dolphins and whales to play at the surface. We saw rolls, flukes, jumps and a lot of splashing for about 1/2 hour. My wife had seen dolphins just north of here at Calvert Cliffs state park when she was a teenager. It was the first time we have seen them here since we bought our cliff top cabin some 6 years ago. It was a real treat … and got some good video of which I could grab some low resolution images. Watch the 1 minute clip at Open Tab/Window
Maybe it was the mild winter but this is the earliest I have seen jellyfish return in force to the middle bay. We were walking on Seahorse Beach, just north of Drum Point and saw one small jelly every few feet. It is too chilly to swim but it looks like even ankle waders need to watch out.
UPDATE: Looks like jellyfish have been gone since after Easter! Maybe it was a rouge current that brought them for an early but temporary visit.
We finally visited the Calvert Marine Museum at Solomons Island for the annual Easter Egg Hunt for our 3 year old. First of all the Museum is first rate, with a great mix of boats, live bay animals, indoor/outdoor, geology and fossils. You could easily spend 2 hours for your $7 adult (under 5 free) entrance fee. The Easter Egg “Hunt” was very well attended with maybe 100 kids of all ages. The eggs (5 per child) contained small fossils that the the staff labeled for the little ones to take home. I suggest showing up just before the 10:30 scheduled time to minimize your child’s wait in the auditorium. It was a 10 minute wait to get in but the hunt started late anyway. After 10-15 minutes on the hunt there is plenty of time to tour.
It was a crazy year for nature in 2011 … but it ended on a nice note (60 F and sunny). Made for a pleasant day to take a few pictures including some artsy macro shots.
I only saw a few around in early October … now they are gone. Some news reports suggested that all the rain in the Spring made the bay less salty and thus fewer jellyfish. Fine with me.
Looks like the Bay may be getting healthier: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-11-decline-dead-zones-efforts-chesapeake.html