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From Shell to Rock

Published March 9th, 2013

About 125,000 years ago, the ocean covered Jupiter Island and much of Florida Ocean currents deposited drifting sea shells and sand to form an underwater bar. Rock formed when lower sea levels exposed the bar, cementing sand and small colorful shells called "coquina". The exposed coquina rocks at Blowing Rocks Preserve is the largest outcropping of the Anastasia Formation, which occurs between St. Augustine and southern Palm Beach County.
The rock outcropping creates a unique marine and land environment. Some marine animals attach to the rock, while others use it for shelter. While sometimes serving as a protective barrier to the beach, the rock can also increase beach erosion and intensify salt spray. Over time erosion creates blow holes, shooting salt spray up to 50 feet in the air. ~ Nature Conservancy



Yesterday we had an opportunity to experience Blowing Rocks in all its glory. I personally had never been exposed to this type of environment before and must admit I felt a little shaky to hear the “thunder” of the waves as they crashed unto the rocks. It was a beautiful scene, but a little scary.



We arrived close to the end of low tide and those waves were rolling and pounding as high tides was approaching. The ocean was moving in fast. I had a certain amount of time left,
before I could no longer take my shots. At one point I got bashed by a wave, but didn’t fall (no equipment damage either). I panicked and took camera, tripod and anything else I had nearby and ran like a crazy woman. After I gained some composure, I decided to return and go at it again. It was difficult to obtain the shots as the wind was pounding and the salt spray was piling on the filters. I changed my watch to the right hand to be able to hand hold my grad ND (to avoid any vignette from appearing) and look at the seconds for my long exposures. Well, it wasn’t working out, hahaha. There was just too much action from Mother Nature for me to keep it together. So I just chanced it and forgot about looking at my watch and concentrated on keeping the tripod and myself up and away from being submerged! What an adrenaline rush!!! Eventually I felt more comfortable near the shore (my husband says I was about 50 feet ) and took a few more. There will be other pictures coming with more of the rock formations and salt sprays, which are so interesting. It’s hard to believe this is part of Florida. I hope you enjoy it!~ gema

Blowing Rocks

From Shell to Rock
About 125,000 years ago, the ocean covered Jupiter Island and much of Florida Ocean currents deposited drifting sea shells and sand to form an underwater bar. Rock formed when lower sea levels exposed the bar, cementing sand and small colorful shells called "coquina". The exposed coquina rocks at Blowing Rocks Preserve is the largest outcropping of the Anastasia Formation, which occurs between St. Augustine and southern Palm Beach County.
The rock outcropping creates a unique marine and land environment. Some marine animals attach to the rock, while others use it for shelter. While sometimes serving as a protective barrier to the beach, the rock can also increase beach erosion and intensify salt spray. Over time erosion creates blow holes, shooting salt spray up to 50 feet in the air. ~ Nature Conservancy
Yesterday we had an opportunity to experience Blowing Rocks in all its glory. I personally had never been exposed to this type of environment before and must admit I felt a little shaky to hear the “thunder” of the waves as they crashed unto the rocks. It was a beautiful scene, but a little scary.
We arrived close to the end of low tide and those waves were rolling and pounding as high tides was approaching. The ocean was moving in fast. I had a certain amount of time before I could no longer take my shots. At one point I got bashed by a wave, but didn’t fall (no equipment damage either). I panicked and took camera, tripod and anything else I had nearby and ran like a crazy woman. After I gained some composure, I decided to return and go at it again. It was difficult to obtain the shots as the wind was pounding and the salt spray was piling on the filters. I changed my watch to the right hand to be able to hand hold my grad ND (to avoid any vignette from appearing) and look at the seconds for my long exposures. Well, it wasn’t working out, hahaha. There was just too much action from Mother Nature for me to keep it together. So I just chanced it and forgot about looking at my watch and concentrated on keeping the tripod and myself up and away from being submerged! What an adrenaline rush!!! Eventually I felt more comfortable near the shore (my husband says I was about 50 feet ) and took a few more. There will be other pictures coming with more of the rock formations and salt sprays, which are so interesting. It’s hard to believe this is part of Florida. I hope you enjoy it!~ gema

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