Sunday, June 3, 2012

Beach Scenes

We spent a relaxing week at our favorite beach the week before Memorial Day. The weather was perfect ... fortunately we left before Tropical Storm Beryl arrived.

There is nothing like completely unwinding at the beach. No work, no pressure, no technology! Just days of doing whatever we fancy and enjoying the outdoors. A morning bike ride. A mid-day nap. A stack of favorite magazines to read on the porch.

My favorite time of day is early morning. By 7:00, I'm out on the beach with our dog, Phoebe, for a morning stroll. The air is cool and breezy. The sun is still coming up. We're almost the only ones on the beach. It's a peaceful time of day.

Sunset is another magical time of day. The sun goes down over the sound and we get a beautiful display of color to enjoy with our evening glass of wine.

Like last year, we had many wonderful wildlife sightings this year. We saw... 
  • a spectacular male Painted Bunting that landed in the pine tree beside the screened porch. We saw one last year at this beach also. Go here to see this beautiful bird.
  • an alligator in one of the island's interior ponds. I'd been waiting a long time to see one of these guys.
  • a red-tailed hawk that caught a rodent and ate it in the tree next to the house
  • plenty of egrets, herons, skimmers and other beautiful shore birds
  • a baby horseshoe crab
  • a few 3- to 4-foot-long sharks; one swam right next to our canoe, another was in very shallow water chasing a fish.
  • and then there were the dolphin -- always the best part of the trip!
Here's Phoebe, ready for adventure. One day, during a canoe trip in the calm waters of the sound, a group of six dolphin treated us to a spectacular show about 20 feet from our boat, between us and the shore. They were thrashing, jumping, rolling and nudging one another -- it was thrilling. People on the beach were pointing and saying, "Look at the dolphin near that canoe!" Their playful activity lasted several minutes. After a while, two dolphin decided to come check us out. They surfaced about 6 to 8 feet from us, and one actually swam under the canoe! Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera to capture any of it!
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Beach trips are always a time of discovery. These skeleton-looking objects, as I learned, are whelk egg cases. There were lots of them on the beach. And inside each capsule ...

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... are these tiny little shells.


According to Wikipedia, each capsule can have up to 99 eggs, and most strings have 40 to 160 capsules. Below is a different variety of shell egg case.





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A beautiful, shady bike path with a canopy of trees decorated in Spanish moss.

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A community of bird houses along the bicycle path




If you're interested, you can see photos of last year's beach trip here and here.

4 comments:

  1. Love your blog.....Your photos are so inspiring...One of my favorite things to do is visit the beach for a long stroll....I live near the coast and just love it!

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  2. Love those tiny shells and the skeleton things!!! And nothings more beautiful than Phoebe!!!
    joan

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  3. We are going for the weekend and these images are getting me sooooo excited!!

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  4. Thanks for sharing and for a moment taking me to the beach with your blog. Love the pictures made me feel like I was there.

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