This is “Part 2” of our day in the fun and sun and sand and water, and frolicking with fiddler crabs. Part 1 was spent at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, which was supposed to be a quick trip to check out some time lapse filming opportunities for my husband. A ranger at the Refuge recommended that we go to Mashes Sands Beach if we also wanted to see horseshoe crabs. The beach is a fairly recent acquisition to the park service. We had been there years ago when we took a coastal ecosystems class with Anne Rudloe (RIP) so we were game to visit the area again.
Look! A sign!
And look! Fiddler crabs! I’ve been playing around with the time lapse function on my iPhone. I had to film for a number of minutes just to get this 8-second video. I have much to learn …
Time Lapse–Fiddler Crabs at Mashes Sands from Marie Bailey on Vimeo.
Look, a boardwalk!
I love boardwalks, especially in nature areas. They are a wonderful way to avoid upsetting the natural environment while still allowing the visitor to feel part of that environment.
And boardwalks are also good for fishing …
A view of the boardwalk which gives me a sense of liminality.
What is liminality, you ask? Well, my friend Luanne Castle at Writer Site can explain it better (and more poetically too): “The place of change where you are different at one end than you were at the other.” Perhaps that’s another reason I like boardwalks. You enter at one end and exit at the other, or, in the case of this particular boardwalk, you just turn around and leave the way you came. And thanks to the view, the opportunity to gaze into the depths of the bay without getting in it, I did feel a little different exiting the boardwalk than when I entered it.
Lots of shallow water. Perhaps some liminality here too with the contrast between the burnished shallow water and the deep blue of the deeps.
Squint and you might see a white egret.
After the boardwalk, we decided to explore the beach, travel its edges on a long way back to our car. We removed our sneakers and socks and rolled up our pants so we could wade through the warm bay waters and find creatures like this little guy.
A baby horseshoe crab …
And with my husband’s foot for perspective …
Looking back, we can see a storm is brewing inland.
I’ve lived in this part of Florida for over 25 years now and I’ve often seen pine trees near salt water. This dead tree in the next photo is different. It’s not near salt water. It’s in it. Over the years the bay waters have steadily encroached on the land where the tree once thrived (aka “nuisance flooding“).
Dead tree ahead … Wait, a tree at a beach?
I dedicate this dead tree to Florida’s Governor Rick Scott who has unofficially banned the phrases “climate change”, “global warming,” and “sustainability” from state agency documents.
This here was once a great tree, no doubt.
Now it provides shelter for crabs! Nothing goes to waste in Nature.
Another day well spent!
Call it what you want, sea level rising is a real deal in Florida, but I’m trying to look on the bright side. If we stay here, maybe we’ll eventually have that beachfront property we always wanted … without having to move.