Heading for the beach, in the dark, on Halloween Day, was a bit eerie, I admit! I time it so that I arrive about 20 min. before sunrise, so I can watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean. It's about a 25 min. drive to my beach, so it's still dark when I leave the house . . .
There was a Halloween-colored sunrise . . .
A pretty decent lightning whelk . . .
A few clusters of Titan acorn barnacles . . .
A few shark eyes, as usual . . .
An unusually patterned calico scallop . . .
A few lettered olives, as usual . . .
A Salle's auger . . .
On the way back to my car, I took a moment to . . . Just. Breathe.
And driving back home, I finally made good on my long-standing threat to stop and take a photo of my favorite Floridian mailbox, which gets dressed up for holidays. :)
We were fortunate to be outside the path of Hurricane Michael; we only received some rain and wind, on and off for a couple days, nothing threatening. I hadn't been to "my" beach for several weeks, so it was wonderful to get some beach therapy Friday. And it was pretty exciting to find two firsts as well!
Right off, after hitting the beach, I found these two sand dollars . . .
Sunrise was really awesome!
This lightning whelk is a bit rough but I'm hoping it will clean up nicely.
Green is a common seaglass color, (wine bottles, etc.) but the size and shape of this piece is a real nice find.
An almost whole whelk, and one of 5-6 calico scallops I found . . .
First find #1 ~ An aqua bottle stopper! I doubt it's an antique, but thrilling all the same!
Now this was a shocker! Not only is it real rare to find a tulip shell, banded or true, on my beach, but a yellow one at that?! Very rare! This is a true tulip, more rare than the banded tulip. And the yellow is even more rare!
Two lettered olives . . . one golden. I found a few more olives, all small.
A couple more scallops . . .
A buttercup lucine . . .
A beach stone and a small shark eye (R) . . .
A nice, white common jingle
Another piece of sea glass ~ aqua is also common, as in Coke bottles, but this is a nice size like the dark green piece.
Finally, after three weeks I made it to the beach Wed., for some sand, sea, sun, and shells . . .
Same time as usual (arrived 20 min. before sunrise) . . .
A couple small lettered olives in the same spot . . .
A lightning venus (top) and an Atlantic rangia . . .
A very pretty, very unusually colored blood ark . . .
An understated sunrise . . .
More olives . . .
A southern surfclam . . .
False angelwing (there are four species of angelwings here in FL) . . .
A calico scallop . . .
View of Matanzas Inlet . . . this is a "vein" of the Matanzas River, which is part of the Intracoastal Waterway.
Another lightning venus . . . two in the same visit is quite rare!
Hard to ID this ark, does not look like any of the 10 species we have in FL . . . most close is the Incongruous ark but they're pretty common at this beach and do not typically look quite like this (shape).
A very pretty shark eye moonsnail, thanks to discoloration that is caused by a shell being buried in sediment for awhile (due to a lack of oxygen).
I passed this great blue heron on my way back north, and it started to follow me! I'm guessing it thought I might be dropping bait fish like an off-coast fisherman, but I was only dropping discarded shells.
A jingle (oyster half) on L, crossed barred venus below.
A cream-colored scallop . . .
A more typical calico scallop . . .
Shore birds . . . there were royal terns, sandwich terns, laughing gulls . . . but what caught my attention was a small flock of very small, very dark terns! They were very skittish; all but one flew off when I took this photo (they circled back). The third, small bird from the left is what I believe is a black tern! No other bird matches the description; note the very short legs.
Bad photo . . . there were several of the darker birds, very pretty in person, which turn out to be juvenile laughing gulls. The top left bird is an adult gull. The five white birds are royal terns.
Another two weeks passed between beach visits . . . this past Wed. I expected it to be slim pickings again like my previous visit, as beach-combing in the summer months tends to be like that. So, it was a nice surprise to find some interesting treasures . . . quality, not quantity!
As always, the sunrise was different than the previously observed one . . .
I found an unusually large calico scallop . . .
And two very small, baby sand dollars . . . one did not survive the ride home intact . . .
It had been awhile since I'd last seen a royal sea star ~ this one was curled up on the beach when I found it, but it uncurled right away when I picked it up. I walked out in the waves and put it down on the sand . . .
A ball of seaweed?! Now that was unexpected! There is a green algae called Cladophora hair algae that is found in cottony balls . . . but I saw this in strands also and think it's sea lettuce.
A nearly whole sand dollar . . . due to the crack and chip in it, I decided to leave it be.
This adorable little speckled crab was alive, just chilling in a tiny puddle . . . maybe waiting for the tide, which was starting to come in . . .
The beach flowers are in bloom . . . including the two morning-glories . . . Beach morning-glory is white, railroad vine is pink . . .
Indian Blanket Flower is blooming up and down the coast, always a pretty sight!