Walking the Dog Friendly Beach On the Forgotten Coast of Florida

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My Dog Tidbit and I Walk Our Beach in Lanark Village, East of Carrabelle, Florida and Share the View with You

My dog Tidbit and I spend a good amount of time walking a stretch of beach along the Gulf of Mexico in Lanark Village, just a few miles east of Carrabelle, in the Florida Panhandle. The coastal region in which we reside is considered part of Florida's Forgotten Coast (a registered trademark).

Like most of the locals here (I transplanted from another area of the country) I am kind of glad this area has "forgotten" status. For instance: In the past year, Tidbit and I have walked on the beach nearly every day. I have seen only a dozen humans and only two other dogs on the beach during our time here - and I brought half of those people to the beach when they visited us from my old home state of Ohio!

We know you will enjoy the views we have captured on camera to share with you of our time well spent just a block from our home. Oh, and about these pictures... I am not, by any means a photographer. All photos were taken with my basic cell phone camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images on this web page are the copyright of Ruth Cox. Please do not remove without my written permission.

First Steps in the Sea

Gulf of Mexico

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Scott and Tidbit first steps in the sea.

Tidbit surveys her new domain.

Tidbit is on a mission...

Tidbit introduces Ruthi to the "Old Ones".

We head to our new home; we shall return.

Pier View

Tidbit Walks the Pier

First Pier View That first day on what we now call “our” beach, Tidbit had to check out the pier and the sea birds, including a pelican, in the distant end, on the right. She was a bit hesitant, so we didn’t go all the way to the end of the pier that first day. She would have many opportunities for walking the plank and chasing sea birds in the coming days.

What I found interesting about this photo is that the horizon is round! I have no idea why it turned out this way … Unless, maybe the earth really is round and we captured proof on camera right here in Lanark Village, Florida!

Pier Views

Walking the Pier With Tidbit

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We got close but the seabirds fly away!

This evening there were hundreds of birds on our pier, several varieties, too. They let us get much closer before flying away this time.

Ah! This is my Cotton Candy Sunset! A variation of this is available for purchase in my shop at Zazzle.com/abitosunshine

The gulls were in the air with the clouds when we arrived at the beach on this day.

Tidbit has tired of sniffing seaweed critters and is now headed to see what's going on at the pier.

About the Florida Panhandle

History and So Much More

These books and even an album from Tom T. Hall will tell you all about the history and local interests in my neck of the world.

It is quiet here, even during tourist season. We have our fair share of vacationers, but thankfully, not like other parts of theSunshine State. I lived in South Florida for 20+ years and can tell you I am much happier up here in the peacefulness of the Panhandle.

Redneck Riviera

Castle in the Sand

Gary P. Nunn sings “Redneck Riviera,” one of the songs from Tom T. Hall’s album, “Songs From Sopchoppy”.

The town of Sopchoppy is about fifteen minutes from where I live. It takes but a few minutes to fly by the town on my way to the nearest Walmart store in Crawfordville, about a forty-five minute drive from my home.

Woof It Up With Tidbit

On the Pier at the Beach

Tidbit Invites You to Florida Of course, my beach dog Tidbit had to have her own postcard to send to friends and family. Tidbit loves visitors who give her lots of attention and take her for walks on the beach, so come on over to our haven by the sea and woof it up with Tidbit!

World Oceans Day

Sunrise View

Sunrise View in Haiku for World Oceans Day As you enjoy our sunrise view in haiku over the pier and sea, we ask you to give thought to what you can do to protect ocean views such as this one. Then, join us in celebration of World Oceans Day—forevermore.

Note: Ocean Sunrise Pier View, without haiku, is available for purchase as a 13″ by 11″ wrapped canvas in my Zazzle store.

Resting at Sea

Among the Old Ones

Tidbit at Rest with the Old Ones It was love and respect at first sight for Tidbit and the “Old Ones” as it was for me, too. Here she rests among them after a long walk on the beach. Tidbit is treated with respect by the Old Ones, as if she were one of the pack.

Yes, to most, these are old pier pilings. Tidbit and I, we know better, as we have heard their voices. They’ve many a story to tell the beachcombers of the sea.

Visits With the Old Ones

Storytellers of the Sea

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Along the Gulf of Mexico live the Old Ones, those who live on to tell the stories of the sea to you and me.

Tidbit sniffs every bit of seaweed washed ashore on her way to visit her old friends.

My dog Tidbit sits among the Old Ones as if she is one of them. Some day she very well may be.

A look back before we leave the beach, always.

Tidbit stands among the storytellers of the Gulf. It appears as though they enjoy her company.

Voices of the Sea

Our Beach In Poetry

Sunset Stroll This particular poem was written after I had a long chat with the Old Ones about my aging dog Tidbit. I know that one day in the near future my girl, the canine mate of my soul, shall no longer stroll the beach with me, in body, but I am assured she will always be with me in the voices of the sea spirits.

As a poet, I am often inspired by the beauty of the beach to write a poem to go along with the photographs I have taken while my dog and I stroll along the seashore. Often I take a walk in Haiku with images of nature, too. I will add to this poetic representation of our dog walks on the beach often, so do return on occasion to see what’s new we may be sharing with you.

Coastal Views in Pics and Poems

Enjoy the views we share with you in pictures and words.

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Mother Nature's artistry seems to whisper words with every step we take along the planks of the pier--gracious ghost, our host of the coast.

This cotton candy colored ocean view of sunset inspired Dog of Sundown Sea Haiku poetry.

I truly believe that out of the darkness the sun shall always rise. I appreciated this dawn surprise of an early morning walk with Tidbit.

Another day rises out of the night, stretching its arms over land and sea in a heavenly embrace.

Kaleidoscope Sky

Chasing Rainbows

Kaleidoscope Sky Haiku It is late Spring (2014) and hurricane season has arrived, as have the storms and ripping tides on the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. Seems appropriate for my dog and I, as aging Tidbit has had seemingly little desire for beachcombing of late. However, she surprised me one late afternoon with an insistent pull toward the Gulf shore.

Although I generally follow Tidbit’s lead on our walks, I was worried she wanted to walk the beach but may not have the energy required. I let her go anyway. She led me straight to a kaleidoscope sky view—a rainbow!

The sky was a dappled blue and gray, the wind bellowed coolness to cloud the humidity, and the rainbow appeared to be chasing sea and shore.

Tidbit rested, not heading to the pier as she normally would. She stared at her old stump of a tree friend nearby. About the time I was wondering whether she would visit with her friend, she moved toward it, as if to listen to the voice of the elder one. After a few moments, she turned herself around and headed home.

Again following her lead, I couldn’t help but turn back for another view of the darkening sky and just as I was about to curse it goodbye with a tear in my eye, it began to rain…just enough to drown me in my tears.

You see, I believe the rainbow to be a gift from the gods. Sure, it’s a promissory note of a bridge between earth and heavens, but I also believe it to be a bridge between life and death, and that is why I curse the rainbow’s symbolism of change on this date. I am not ready for the changes taking place in my and Tidbit’s life, in our time on this earth together. Alas, I have little choice but to embrace the change, as my dog has done.

Tidbit so graciously accepts each day’s gifts! Most importantly, she makes sure to share them with me, leading me to her understanding, as slowly but surely as she is able. And I follow her lead.

Elder Whisperings

Of Sky, Sea, and Shore

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Tidbit rests beneath the colors of the rainbow hovering over land and sea.

Tidbit visits with her Elder friend, the old tree by the sea, as if listening to its whisperings.

Seemingly heeding the wisdom of the Elder, Tidbit makes an about turn and heads home.

Rainbow Meanings

Visit Symbolic Meanings by Avia for an enlightening view of rainbows.

Let There Be Light

Black Dog On a Dark Path

Let There Be Light Picture Poem A black dog on a pathway to and from the beach is difficult to see through the eye of my inexpensive cellphone camera. Since I wanted you to see Tidbit strolling along in the tree-lined shadows on her way home, I added a touch of light to the image with my Corel PaintShop Pro photo editing software.

Of course, I also decided to pen a poem for the before and after images. And oh! This poetic creation qualifies for Day 5 NaPoWrimo 2014 Poetry challenge wherein I am committed to writing a poem a day throughout the month of April for National Poetry Writing Month. Enjoy the views and the readings!

One of the Pack


Oh! Come to think of it, she IS one of the pack! You can visit Tidbit right here on PACK, a magical place just for dogs and those who love them.

Dog Donations

Tidbit for FCNMHP My dog Tidbit wants you to know that this web page automatically donates a portion of its earnings to First Coast No More Homeless Pets. FCNMHP is located in Jacksonville, Florida!

It is an honor to be able to contribute to this worthy cause through the Squidoo Charity Partners Program.

Squidoo Rocks! Come write with us!

Purple Star Sea

Look what appeared on the pier!

Tidbit's Purple Star Sea One never knows what one might see
Engulfed in a day of light fog
Found upon Squidoo’s Purple Star sea
An award for Tidbit, my dog.

Received on April Fools’ Day of 2014
Thank you, Squidoo! ‘Tis beachy keen!

And another delightful surprise came Tidbit’s way
On April 2nd, we were honored by Squidoo Lens of the Day!

Florida Butterflies

You can also find Ruthi and Tidbit chasing butterflies on Florida's Forgotten coastline!

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Gazing At The Sun Postcard
Gazing At The Sun Postcard by abitosunshine


Have you walked the beaches of the Florida Panhandle (or any other beach) with (or without) your dog?
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  • interurban Jul 21, 2014 @ 7:45 am
    Canadian beach lovers.

    Pat and I loved reading your adventures with tidbit, we will be staying at Alligator point in September and love the "forgotten coast". Our Lucy loves it too woof ! Yes we walk the beaches!
    Been thought Lanark a few times on our rides!
    Love it.
  • Graceonline Jul 06, 2014 @ 9:50 pm
    I have not had the privilege of visiting Florida beaches, but I have walked many a West Coast beach, sometimes with a the dog of a companion but never my own. My four-legged friends are kitties, and they don't come to the beach with me.

    Your tribute to Tidbit is absolutely beautiful and brings tears to my eyes. Many blessings to you and to her, wherever she may be now.
  • FlowerChick Jul 05, 2014 @ 8:15 pm
    Beautiful lens! Tidbit is one cool dog. Our dog Daisy loved to walk the sand dunes in SW Michigan.
  • mel-kav Jun 30, 2014 @ 8:34 pm
    Just stopping by again to visit. Sending you love and hugs.
  • Brite-Ideas Jun 30, 2014 @ 6:33 pm
    very beautiful Ruth - as always, your pages about Tidbit are filled with love
  • rms Jun 29, 2014 @ 1:56 pm
    Beautiful!
  • healinghands123 Jun 26, 2014 @ 2:57 pm
    I've walked many marvelous beaches with the only animal I have... my hubby! But, like your Tidbit, he's beginning to show his age and at times I wonder if he'll make it back! (Just kidding!) We LOVE beach-walking.
  • kasman Jun 22, 2014 @ 6:14 pm
    Lovely beaches - I sure would like to visit. I think the curved horizon effect on the pier photo is an artifact of the camera
  • Nonersays Jun 22, 2014 @ 12:11 pm
    Sadly I don't think any of the beaches in our area are dog friendly. Then again I have the only Labrador in the world who is afraid of water so he's not missing much.
  • Mia-Mia Jun 09, 2014 @ 8:26 pm
    I have walked those beaches many times, but did not know about your dog-friendly beach. Thank you for a beautiful lens. I really enjoyed reading it.
  • marsha32 Jun 05, 2014 @ 2:06 pm
    wow...that pier looks like the water goes right to the top of it or over it.
  • Jun 02, 2014 @ 6:35 pm
    Always nice to step out with you and Tidbit on the Forgotten Coast!
  • topclimb May 31, 2014 @ 12:00 pm
    Wonderful words and images. Love your lines of pros. Thank you for the lens experience....
  • Arachnea May 20, 2014 @ 9:16 am
    I used to walk my dog on a "dog friendly" beach in San Diego years ago. Unfortunately, he was terrified of the water. I'm glad you and your pal have so much fun on your beach.
  • OhMe May 18, 2014 @ 8:20 am
    Loved all your photos especially the pier one. Great!
  • flinnie May 17, 2014 @ 10:25 am
    What a pretty place to walk your dog. I love the beach and my dog. Congrats on the rewards this page have won.
  • survivoryea Apr 15, 2014 @ 12:30 pm
    The beach and a dog---it doesn't get any better!
  • 00peck Apr 15, 2014 @ 9:14 am
    That's perhaps one of the most amazing & creative lenses I've ever seen! WOW...
  • teriann Apr 14, 2014 @ 10:24 pm
    we also have a favorite beach on the FL Panhandle and were blessed to have just visited. We love playing in the white sand, teal blue hues of the water and stretching out on miles of beach with few people. Thank you for sharing your story and I can understand why there is a purple star on your dock. BTW, the pics are great! Almost thought I was there.
  • LindaWhite Apr 14, 2014 @ 3:10 pm
    I don't have a dog, but I do live in Florida and love walking the beaches. I loved your dog's story. Really sweet lens. You wrote from the heart
  • Lionrhod Apr 14, 2014 @ 2:56 pm
    Oh wow, what a beautiful lens. Because my dogs are pit bulls (and one of them is other-aggressive) I'm afraid to take them to the local parks. I don't want to take them to where they might get exposed to trouble whether they are at fault or not. Nor are we close to a beach. Back home in CO, we had a stream that our dogs adored playing in. I'm also dealing with an elder animal (one of my cats) and I so feel for the challenge of knowing they won't be here in physical form for all of our days. Thank you.
  • AtlantaGeorgia Apr 10, 2014 @ 10:25 am
    I love the picture of Tidbit on the beach and the poem inscribed on it. It's beautiful!
  • Papier Apr 07, 2014 @ 10:48 pm
    Not me, but we took our labs to the beach back during childhood.
  • jhofman Apr 07, 2014 @ 7:23 pm
    We would love to visit the Florida Panhandle sometime soon. Your photos are beautiful and so peaceful. Tidbit sure is photogenic! Our dog enjoyed walking on the beaches and dunes in southwestern Michigan.
  • artbyrodriguez Apr 06, 2014 @ 2:09 pm
    Wonderful photos...so inviting. I'm going to have to visit Carrabelle. I'm on the Gulf Coast 'till the end of April.
  • DebMartin Apr 06, 2014 @ 10:18 am
    I love a good dog and a good dog beach. Inspiring lens.
  • forthesakeofanimal Apr 04, 2014 @ 9:55 pm
    I really love to see people taking time to enjoy their animals.
    Tidbit is special and you're both lucky to have one another.
  • QuiltFinger Apr 04, 2014 @ 12:16 pm
    Beautiful lens! I'm coming to Florida soon for a vacation. I can't wait to see the pelicans, the piers and the old ones. I wish my dogs could come too.
  • tjhousel Apr 03, 2014 @ 10:00 pm
    I live in NE Ohio and often visit the Gulf of Mexico when I visit my grandparents. They live in Tarpon Springs, which is now one of my favorite places to visit in the world.
  • oscar1208 Apr 03, 2014 @ 6:19 pm
    Congratulations on your leans of the day! I too live in Florida, further South -in Miami- and never get tired of the magnificent ocean and water views. Yours are great!
  • MSchindel Apr 03, 2014 @ 2:27 pm
    Ruthi dear, congratulations on the well deserved LotD recognition for this wonderful lens! I have no idea how you get such fabulous photos with your cell phone camera. You have an amazing eye for finding the beauty in things many people might miss or ignore (like your connection to the Old Ones) and it is a gift to see your beloved beach through your eyes. I'm so glad to see that Tidbit is accompanying you on your daily beach walks again. By the way, my maternal grandparents lived in Jacksonville when I was growing up, and I spent many a happy summer visiting them (and being fascinated by the chameleons).
  • bercton Apr 03, 2014 @ 10:05 am
    Fascinating pier photo and well presented lens!
  • LynnKK Apr 02, 2014 @ 11:22 pm
    Congratulations on lens of the day! I haven't had a dog for awhile (allergies--my kids, not me) but I have fond memories of walking the beach (lake not ocean) with my childhood dogs. Here's my wish for many more days at the beach with your beloved dog.
  • smine27 Apr 02, 2014 @ 10:22 pm
    I've walked along the beach with my dog once. Unfortunately he hated it and haven't been back after. This was such a beautiful lens. I really enjoyed it and congratulations on your lens of the day!
  • bobnolley Apr 02, 2014 @ 10:12 pm
    Congrats on your well-deserved LOTD!So well crafted...really resonated with me.
    I love my dog, and I love the beach.
  • AlleyCatLane Apr 02, 2014 @ 8:44 pm
    Of course! But I haven't been in years. Congrats on your purple star. I am glad you are enjoying your new home.
  • MissMerFaery Apr 02, 2014 @ 7:31 pm
    Congratulations on LOTD! My two retrievers are over the rainbow bridge now but we used to love walking together along the English beaches here in the UK :) Lovely lens!
  • mbgphoto Apr 02, 2014 @ 5:58 pm
    Thanks for sharing your walk. It must be wonderful to have this beautiful beach always available to you and Tidbit.
  • nancycarol Apr 02, 2014 @ 5:07 pm
    Congratulations on LOTD. So glad you and Tidbit are doing well together. It's wonderful to have a sweet companion with you on your rambles. :-D
  • happynutritionist Apr 02, 2014 @ 4:25 pm
    So nice to see this page receive LOTD, it's a lovely lens:-)
  • im2keys Apr 02, 2014 @ 4:17 pm
    I love your pictures, and we are very much beach combers here in Southwest Florida! What a wonderful lens you have here. Tidbit is a fortunate dog to have such a great place to call home :o)
  • Tracy1973 Apr 02, 2014 @ 3:26 pm
    Wonderful article! Thanks for sharing and congrats on LoTD!!!
  • hjohn1024 Apr 02, 2014 @ 3:05 pm
    Great lens! These walks must be very calming and energizing. I hope Tidbit will be with you for a long time.
  • DANCINGCOWGIRLDESIGN Apr 02, 2014 @ 2:26 pm
    I went to Panama City beach a few years ago. It sure was pretty. Congrats on LOTD. Guess your doggie should get an extra treat today for being part of this wonderful lens. Best Wishes to you.
  • Colonel2013 Apr 02, 2014 @ 2:06 pm
    I spent my childhood and some of my adult life vacationing every year to the "redneck riviera". Since then I have been to the beaches of Puerto Rico, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and Miami and none of them were as beautiful as the Gulf Coast beaches. Nothing can compare to that sugar white sand and peaceful, calm blue water. I do miss it. Great lens and thanks for sharing your poetry with us! Congratulations on LoTD it was well deserved. Tidbit is adorable btw!!!
  • DeniseMcGill Apr 02, 2014 @ 1:23 pm
    Awesome lens. It is like traveling there myself. Thanks for the spotlight into a place I may never see in person. And congrats on LOTD.
  • Cari_Kay Apr 02, 2014 @ 12:15 pm
    I have a friend who likes to go up there and I'm pretty sure this is the same beach. The dog beaches in our area aren't great. We usually just find a spot off the highway and let the dogs play in the water. Enjoyed your photos!
  • ideadesigns Apr 02, 2014 @ 11:59 am
    Thank you for the tour on this lovely beach. :)
  • gottaloveit Apr 02, 2014 @ 11:54 am
    Congratulations, Ruthi, on LoTD. This article is so beautifully written that I could feel the love you have for Tidbit (obviously) and the sea too. Really well done.
  • esmonaco Apr 02, 2014 @ 11:51 am
    Very nice lens, I'm glad that you enjoy your walks on the the beach, your pictures are fantastic! Thanks :)

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