Photos from Gulf of Mexico, 2010 early May
Gulf - 2010 May
2010 May, Gulf of Mexico
We watch the tragic toxic mass continue to grow, but scientists estimate that we are seeing only 2-5% of the oil. The rest remains below the surface and the damage will remain long beyond any eventual surface cleanup.
On the links below we've posted over 300 photos and some videos taken in late May on our first visit to the Gulf.
Sorry to be late with providing supportive text for all of the photos; as soon as we got back to California the necessities of earning our daily keep have taken most of our time and energies.
We're headed back to the Gulf shortly, this time with better knowledge and planning, more equipment for aerial and marine documentation and searching, and some powerful talent. In the meantime, if you have any questions about where or when photos were taken, just ask; the info is is readily available, as we've kept good records.
Probably what got us the most was the recognition of the thousands of breeding pairs of pelicans, egrets, and more on the Chandeleur islands, now with hatchlings. They hunt/fish together along the lines between the oil slicks and less oily water. Having seen some of those oiled fish wash up on shore, filled to the gills with oil and sludge, it becomes clear that the most tragic impending doom is not just a few oiled feathers -- it is the certain permanent and lethal damage to the entire populations from eating oiled and contaminated fish.
Zoom in on some of our photos and see the animals, see the oil and dispersant coming right up to the surface absorbent booms surrounding some of those islands. Browse the photos and videos, and read more about some ideas we have to help with this! We'd love to hear your ideas and comments, too.
We arrived in New Orleans on Sunday May 23, and immediately began a series of aerial surveillance flights covering most of the shore areas as well as the Chandeleur Islands. See photos, videos, and blog at Blog from Gulf Trip #1. Despite the FAA-mandated Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) which restrict flight to higher than 3000' agl (above ground level), by flying slowly with open window and long lenses, we obtained some good high-resolution footage of sensitive areas, and learned much about the numbers and conditions of wildlife in otherwise unreachable areas such as the Chandeleur Islands, Grand Isle, Barataria Bay, Venice, and the southern shores.
The photos and videos speak for themselves. You'll see the sheen of oil and dispersant extending for miles in places and having found its way into the estuaries. You'll see absorbent booms spread along shore areas and around the islands, and you'll see photos taken along Elmers Island and other shore areas showing boom that is full of oil and wrapped in bags to be removed. You'll see photos of some fish washed up along shore, such as a large bull red fish who had oil seeping out of his mouth and eyes; his gills were filled with the sludge shown in hands in a subsequent photo. Where there are no boats or rigs in the photo to give you the scale, note that the sediment-filled water usually extends about 100 m from the shoreline. The oil/dispersant line is only about 300 m from the shoreline in many places, and the lines extend for miles.
We also took boats out, thanks to some generous locals who donated their use as well as supporting equipment. We'll do more of that next trip, because we didn't get as far as we wanted or to the places we subsequently learned would have proven more fruitful. But we did get some wonderful footage of the local birds -- roseate spoonbills, egrets, herons, cranes, and yes, even a few alligators. We were amazed to see some shrimp trawlers still out there, apparently not for purposes of cleaning up oil or looking for wildlife. Needless to say, we wouldn't recommend eating any seafood in that area! Interestingly, on a boat trip from Venice toward South Bay we found two dead fish, non-oiled, who had had their rear quarters chewed off. Not by alligators, but what looked to be by sharks.
Our biggest news so far came from surveying the Chandeleur Islands. (For details see Blog from Gulf Trip #1 There we found many hundreds of nesting birds sitting on hatchlings. Brown pelicans, egrets, herons, and cranes. There were oil absorbent booms stretched around most of those islands, just off shore. The surface oil has come right up to the booms, and in some places the below-surface oil has made its way past the booms to inland pools. We saw several V's of birds 'fishing', right along what we began calling 'the line' -- that clearly visible line not far from shore where the red sheen begins. There's the horror -- worse than oiled feathers, these birds are dining on and feeding their young oil-contaminated fish, which will result in internal organ damage and eventual death. Components of the crude oil and the dispersant, which include benzene, tolunete, ethyl benzene, xylene, 2-butoxy ethanol, and more, are known carcinogens and serious hazards to most every part of a body -- eyes, skin, respiratory system, central nervous system, hematic sytem blood, kidneys, liver, and lymphoid systems. Exposure routes include all possible -- inhalation, absorption, ingestion, and contact.
Photos from Gulf of Mexico, 2010 mid-May
"The Story of Pellie Lou - a Pelican who survived the Gulf of Mexico oil spill"
by Bonny L. Schumaker, Ph.D.
With 46 photos from the Gulf of Mexico.
ALL proceeds go to benefit Gulf wildlife!
Order your autographed hard copies or an electronic copy here!
Read about our rescues under Rescue Tails!
Here are some samples:
A Dog Named Pepper Doesn't Give up Easily on Life!
20130428 - This 15-yr-old deaf, blind, arthritic senior held out in a hot, dry, desert parking lot until love finally found him!
CHAZ - No Ordinary Extraordinary Cur!
20130422 - Left to die but instead, this super-intelligent deep-hearted dog discovered love, family, and even fun -- from the most unlikely mentors!
Turbulent Trails for Tails from TX-20130413
Six rescue dogs from east Texas find forever homes in Nevada and California!
Who was rescued, and who was the rescuer? Anyone who has known this kind of bond has felt something so deep, so real, so ancient, that it cannot be described with words. These bonds ground us and free us from pettiness in our lives. Thank you Sheba. Rest in peace.
A Letter From Your Admirers! 20121231
This was a last-minute challenge that seemed beyond even our own grandest heroic imaginings. But it turned out not to be beyond the devoted hearts and energies of about 30 rescuers, shelter staff, volunteers, and families working together. Forty-three (yes, 43!) dogs in one day, from dead-ends in a Porterville shelter to homes and real lives with real humans who love and want them. Rescuers ROCK!
Orphaned very young, left alone and hungry til her fur fell out and her skin was covered with mange. Thanks to some big-hearted Texas rescuers, not only did she recover, she found the family who wanted to love her forever. How glad we were to be able to give this little pup with the big paws the ride to the rest of her life!
20121205-Blackie Goes Home at Last, and Taylor Turns Texan!
Four long months since Blackie's lifelong human companion and partner Tammy suffered a serious injury from a passing truck and disappeared from his life. Suddenly Blackie was in a shelter kennel, and Tammy fought for her life as she dreamed of her beloved dog. Thanks to many people, both of these souls survived to find each other again! This was a rescue and a reunion we'll never forget.
The same rains that made us work "On WHEELS Of Care" this week kept us grounded for this trip, which serendipitously combined the transport of Skip northward and the joyful and miraculous reunion of Miss T'Chen, who had been rescued and taken to Illinois after Hurricane Isaac, with her family in Baton Rouge!
This flight went almost as planned, and our plane was filled to over-flowing on every leg. And we met some wonderful new cat and dog rescues in Idaho and Oregon!
20 Lucky rescued dogs flown to homes in Canada!
2012 Sep 22
It turned out to a journey full of unexpected challenges, but these 20 lucky lovable canines who had been through the worst of times in California were just the best through it all, and now they are warming the hearts and laps and lives of some very lucky Canadian families!
Spindletop Scandal and the Search for Scarlett
2012 July 17 - present
With pitbull-like tenacity, we wouldn't take "NO" for an answer. Out of 21 dogs we sought, we have closure on all but two. Alas, one of those two is our Scarlett.
Tale of seven cities, six cats, and five goats!
2012 July 16
Who knows if the pleas for help brought the plane, or vice-versa.
But when serendipity puts this much together, there's no saying no!
Homeless Mom and Pups no More!
2012 July 08
Sometimes rescuers find the IDEAL person to adopt that animal in need ...
themselves! And in the process, a hole gets filled for the entire family.
This lucky mom now lives with Bear, Sheba, and Dave!
From Empty Nest to Love Fest!
2012 May 11
That last urgent plea came for the five orphaned pups ...
but what about the two large senior boys who would probably never get adopted?
Some people are just angels, meant to be who they are and where they are.
Check out these two and their new happy pack!
JEREMIAH has come home to us!
UPDATE 2012 July 7!
2012 January 13
His adopter called to say she had become ill, and could we care for Jeremiah? You bet we could. We rented a plane and flew to Arizona and retrieved him immediately. Jeremiah was indeed a true friend, and we aim to be his true friends, too. He has been eating like crazy and slept his stress away for the first few days, and now he's acting like a young dog again. Read more here!
CHAMP found at the airport!
2012 January 01
A sad, scared but dignified young Champ quickly won the hearts of everyone who met him at the New Orleans airport, and within two days we had permission from his original breeders to give him to a young couple with a younger female boxer mix, all of whom fell totally in love with him at first sight! Champ and Miss Princess are leading the good life now, and Champ's new dad finally has the fishing buddy he wanted! They tell us we made their dreams come true. We think they made Champ's come true, too.
Abby & Dinozo -- Two of a Kind!
2011 September--2012 January
Orphaned brother and sister, rescued and adored until calamity struck and they lost their family. Orphaned again, these gentle gems and perfect canine citizens found love and adventure with us until we found them their true forever home! Abby & Dinozo came with us to Washington January 7, and they were welcomed warmly and immediately into a home. Read more here!
Yo! Get a Load of Yolo!
2011 November--2012 January
Left in the cold, high in the mountains of southern California, life was over before it had barely begun for this orphan teenager.
Little did he know, his adventures had only begun! As of January 7, it's back to snow but this time with a family who adores him, and lots of fun and play in the Pacific Northwest!
Saving Scarlett -- Love Forever at Last!
Found on the streets, teats full but puppies absent, a battle-torn very hungry pitbull.
Hardly that sought-after doggie in the window.
But after we brought Miss Scarlett home to love and food, warmth and stuffed animals,
we discovered a warm heart and sweet spirit that changed us forever.
2011 July--September 29, A Joyful Reunion At Last!
Here they are during their flight with four other dogs Sep 29 (New Orleans to Oakland, CA, fuel stop in Roswell, NM).
And here's a photo from the happiest reunion ever!
More photos and updated videos here!
Sheba-Cosette - this lovely lady waited a lifetime!
Jeremiah - a true friend finds a new lease on life!
Two Giant Dogs & three cats reunited with their family on Whidbey Island, WA
Chihuahuas "Betty" & "JellyBean" fly to their rescue in Bremerton, WA!
New Year's Rescue: 33 dogs & cats are flown to rescue in the Pacific Northwest!
Hounds fending for themselves for years in Alabama fly to rescue in Arizona!
Romo & Stanley are flown to safe havens in Arizona!
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico - 2013
2013 Apr 12 - Mayflower, AR Pipeline Spill
2013 Apr 02 - Bayou Corne #6
2013 Mar 23 - IMMS Marine Mammals
2013 Mar 19 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#5
2013 Feb 15 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#4
2013 Jan 26 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#3
2012 Dec 24 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#2
2012 Nov 08 - Tar Sands and Texas
2012 Aug 30 - Hurricane Isaac Conquered
2012 Aug 28 - Hurricane Isaac Arrives!
2012 Aug 13 - Sinkhole in Bayou Corne, LA
2012 Jun 13-Dispersant Spraying Exercise off LA
2012 April - Chronicles of the Endeavor
2012 Dec 10 - How Dilute is Dilute Enough?
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico - 2012
Sat Nov 17 - Platform Explosion
Wed Nov 14 - Barrier Islands 1
Sat Nov 10 - OIL
Fri Nov 09 - OIL
Sat Oct 06 - Whale Sharks
Fri Oct 05 - OIL
Fri Sep 14 - OIL
Sun Sep 09 - Hurricane Isaac
Sun Aug 12 - Whale Sharks
Wed Jul 11 - Whales & More
Fri Jun 29 - Whale Sharks & More
Dominica - The Nature Island!
On Wings Of Care flies to the Eastern Caribbean for whales and sea turtles!
Read more here!
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico - 2011
Sperm Whales & Whale Sharks:
Cape Cod, MA
Our Gift for YOU for 2011!
Click Here to Smile
from your heart, out!
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf, 2010
Galapagos Veterinary Support
Galapagos vets do much with little,
thanks to true friends who shipped a TON of supplies and meds from the U.S. in June, 2011.
“Man can no longer live for himself alone. We must realize that all life is valuable and that we are united to all life. From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship with the universe.”