Walking the beach and combing the surf for treasures is one of the most enjoyable times I can have. I loved it already as a child running along the cool waters at the Baltic Sea.
The beaches here at Hilton Head Island are wonderful: The water is warm and clean, the beach, depending on the tide, enormously wide. But there are very few shells, something I missed in the beginning.
But after weeks of walking along the shore I have learned to fine-tune my search. Now I spot small things where I have seen only sand before.
There are Sand Dollars buried under a thin layer of slick and water, they look different then what you might know from the species in collector's boxes! They are dark gray, with a hairy bottom side, rough to the touch. Tiny shells, clams and starfish can be found, the latter slowly moving towards the water. I found a large piece of a conch shell, small broken off coral pieces, tiny horseshoe crab bodies and the shells of small crabs, usually cleaned up fast by the birds.
|Did you know they grow missing limbs?|
I found a small baby turtle, unfortunately not alive anymore.
We also had a few nasty ones with jellyfish, their stings are painful and their appearance unpredictable. We have been braving the waters and all got hurt in the process.
But sitting at the edge of the surf, my feet in the water and my head in a book I am at the most content.
|Reading R.Wells' The Crowning Glory of Calla|
Looking up I watched the sea birds majestically gliding over the water, diving for fish and crabs, sea gulls filling the air with hungry cries and sandpipers running in the shallow waters, digging for whatever they enjoy eating.
The pelicans are such a ragged bunch, cruising low or high and ever once in a while I see an egret in the marshlands between the islands.
To catch dragon flies with my camera has almost been impossible, they are so fast! But at last I caught one...
There is such an abundance of wildlife! I am humming the island melody of birds and listen to the sounds of unseen creatures in the trees!
We have had some immense tropical thunderstorms, where huge amounts of water came crushing down, drowning the streets within minutes, all accompanied by scariest lightnings and thunders so loud, you might wanted to hide in a closet....
Where the coast at midnight would be lit like under an ghostly day light, multiple flashes of lightning at once illuminating the wild sky!
|Onset of a storm|
This Saturday it's time to drive home! We are filled to the brim with relaxed memories of one of the most beautiful times we have had at the South Carolina coast!
And soon we will be ready to face a new school year, work and chores but in our hearts we will be carrying a little summer island spirit until next time...
Miss you all!
All pictures by V.Zlotkowski