Friday, April 14, 2017

Beach Encounters, 4/09/2017

Carrabelle Beach was calling on this lovely day, so we headed on over to the beach for an afternoon walk. There is a string of sturdy picnic shelters and a bathhouse with restrooms and an outdoor shower next to the parking lot at the beach. Of course, we can just walk over from the RV. 

The beach warning flag was red (high hazard, high surf and/or strong currents), so there were not many people in the water. 

We met this lovely extended family that was enjoying the sun and sand. Our sweet doggie, Sadie, always helps us meet new people. Sadie loved the attention (although the little ones were a little afraid of her) from these folks. First we talked to the first three, and eventually we were chatting with the whole crowd. It is always fun to meet people in the many different places we visit. 

After saying our farewells, we continued our walk along the beach toward the point. 

This very strange looking fish was washed up on shore. After doing some research online, I learned that it is a Gulf Toadfish. They are carnivores that eat small fish, shrimp, crabs, and mollusks. Considered to be "trash fish," the slimy coating on their scales causes irritation on skin (glad that John or Sadie didn't touch it!) 

horseshoe crab was laying on his back on the sand. It was moving but could not flip over. John gave him a hand and gently turned him over. And off he swam back into the water. 

At low tide, we started seeing sea snails (Gastropoda) moving around on the sandy bottom. 

The closer we looked the more we saw in the water. 

We also saw dozens of small crabs on the shore. They would run back into the water and bury themselves in the sand under the water in a flash. But we did see this one big guy...

This poor starfish had washed ashore. But we put this shell back in the water after realizing it had a mollusk in it. 

There are very few shells on this beach, because they wash up on the barrier islands located about 4 miles from the mainland. Almost every shell we saw had a gastropod inside. And we found them to be so interesting...a real educational experience. We turned a few over, and then gently returned them to the water. 

These critters look like tiny aliens and it is difficult to discern what you are seeing!

Did I say I love this type of day? Interesting people, educational experiences, and a beautiful setting all wrapped up into a lovely afternoon spent with my wonderful husband, John, and Sadie

Retirement is fantastic!

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