As I said in my last entry, on the day of the earthquake and tsunami, a friend and I went to a beach on Port Royal Sound, which is not far from my house.  Because it’s not directly on the ocean, it’s a bit more sheltered and the water more “quiet”.  The waves are more gentle, though the tides still affect the water.  On this beach there’s lots of “pluff mud” in addition to sand and beds of oyster shells and numerous weathered and unique pieces of driftwood.  To me, this beach is more interesting because of the numerous things to inspect and photograph. 

My friend has dubbed this beach “Boneyard Beach” because of the artifacts she has found there on her many beach combing trips, and I’ve taken to calling this beach this name, too.  She’s come home with teeth and bones from various animals and aquatic wildlife who had once lived there.  I don’t have an eye for finding these, but she seems to spot them in among the shell beds and sand like they are a shiny needle in a haystack!   

On this day, I can’t remember if we found any artifacts.  I arrived at the beach reeling from the news of the earthquake – and lack of sleep from having watched too much of the news about it in the middle of the night just after it happened.  I almost didn’t want to go, but am glad I did.  I said this before, but it’s worth saying again:  I saw the water … and it was sobering to realize that this same calm water could cause such death and destruction – if given the right conditions. 

So – my friend and I went about our usual walking the beach with our cameras – enjoying the gorgeous, clear weather, the calm water, the beach, the driftwood, and shells – and, at least for me – appreciating it more than usual.

IMG_3733   IMG_3721

1.  View of the beach showing pluff mud, beach grass, shells and sand – and on the edge of a little stream of water that flows from inland to the beach. 

2.  pluff mud at the shore line – the tide was high but receding

IMG_3698   IMG_3694

1.  Great egret along the shorline and beach grass

2.  I believe this is a loon in winter plumage.  Loons breed on fresh water northern lakes, but they migrate to the coast – sometimes further south – to sheltered salt water bodies during the winter, and this loon is still in his winter home.  I’m not sure they go until April or even early May.  However, I also believe that it’s injured.  I was astounded at how close he allowed me to get to him.  As I got closer to him, he did move – but kind of limped toward the water.  I do know, however, that loons are very awkward on land.  Except to nest, they spend almost no time on land, so this may be it, too.  He did manage to waddle back to the water after being startled by my friend’s and my presence. 

IMG_3716   IMG_3725

1.  An interesting close up of a piece of driftwood in the sand.  I see a head on this – and an eye, nose and even a mouth, too!

2.  More driftwood – along a stream that runs from inland to the beach whether the tide is in or out. 

IMG_3737   IMG_3745

1.  Looking back to the stream of water that goes into the Sound.  If you look carefully, you can see a Great Blue Heron standing on those rocks.  The picture was taken into the sun, so there was a lack of contrast between the bird and the water.  Click on the picture to see it larger in my flickr account.

2.  The entrance / exit to the beach.  I took this as we were leaving.

From there we went over to Jarvis Park … next entry….!

Advertisements