It was a bit overcast which made for an amazingly temperate day (and amazingly cold water. no thank you.).
But oh, the beach treasures! I found so many cool things I found myself curious to find out more about them.
This, I think, is a tiny piece of bleached Staghorn Coral. I love the look, but bleaching is actually a sign of malnourished reefs off the Florida coast.
Ben's copy of the 1955 Golden Guide "Seashores" tells me this little guys are Royal Terns. You can't imagine how those orange beaks stood out against the grey sand and sky.
This crazy-looking thing is a portion of the egg sac from a Lightening Whelk. Each of those cases can contain 99 tiny eggs! I tore one open after Ben teased me about committing infanticide, but it was empty so I think all the babies are off exploring their new ocean world.
I believe these spiraled shells are actually the former homes of Lightning Whelks - maybe adolescents. I was so thrilled to find unbroken shells like these because I'd always been told that they never make it to the shore without being crushed by the waves. I left behind a few dozen for the other beach-goers, but I snatched these up right quick just in case their presence was some sort of fluke.
But above all, I the most important thing I learned that day is one cannot never get bored at the beach so long as there's room to dig.
|Hannah's beach chair|
Good to know.