Marine Beauty

While on Topsail we had the opportunity to observe God’s beautiful, and sometimes peculiar, Creation.

The vacation home had its own pre-stocked Nature Table. Breanna loved it!

Twenty years ago you could find these huge (8″-12″) shells lying all over Topsail Beach.

It took us all week to catch a single minnow. We didn’t catch it in the surf, as we usually do. This time Brad dug down in the sand until he hit water and foiund the little guy in this bucket.

Right below our house was a sea turtle nest. We waited for two hours one night in the dark, hoping they’d hatch. Maybe next year.

The first time I saw one of these, I thought it was some kind of candy. It felt gelatinous and the blue edges rubbed right off. I can’t find it in any guide. If you know what it is, please let me know. It’s about 1.5″ in diameter.

We found many animal tracks. We’ll be studying tracking this fall.

A few years ago we actually dissected a beached jellyfish. Guess what was inside it? More jelly! We didn’t bother cutting this one open with a steak knife.

One night we headed out with our flashlights to find ghost crabs. We finally caught one in a spaghetti jar and observed him in a Tupperware container–after he snapped Chuck’s finger.

I relished watching this blackbird (the first I’d ever seen on a beach) catch and eat htis sand crab.

We don’t have palm trees at home–except in malls. This one was beautiful against the dark night sky.

The neighbors obviously had green thumbs–the ground behind their dune was covered in cacti and other sand-fauna.

This is our old friend, the One-Legged-Sand-Piper. He’s been around our stretch of beach forever.

We passed this burned out forest on our way to Wilmington. It’s strange to see the dead forest surrounded by the lush greenage.

A man found a 2×4 about 6 feet long covered in these barnacles. We looked them up in Petersons, but I can’t remember what they’re called. Let’s just say I call them the “creepy black worm barnacles.”

And no visit to Pelican Palace would be complete without pelicans

These aren’t all our finds, but I haven’t even gotten through all our photographs. Still, they are stunning.

6 responses to “Marine Beauty

  1. i love the beach, and there is nothing more exciting than finding these kinds of treasures all over it. wow!

  2. Great Pics! Oh, and just a guess on the blue thing…… are you sure it isn’t one of those toilet bowl cleaners? 😛

  3. Its amazing how different beaches are around the country. Those huge shells would never be found here not even twenty years ago. Maybe a hundred but not 20. Our beaches are so cold that we dont really find all the neat stuff that people in warmer climes enjoy.

  4. Hi Deb, Love your pictures! That is a blue button jellyfish (or a Porpita porpita–why do they use the same name twice?). We saw them at Sunset, too.

    We got to see a turtle boil (when they hatch) last year, and this year, we saw small hammerhead sharks! We wouldn’t have known about the sharks, except there was a marine biologist on the beach near us.

    Oh, I miss the beach. And we missed the Children’s Museum this year, too. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Deb, I was fascinated by that blue glob that you found on the beach. I’ve never seen one before and when Karen identified it, I went looking for it on the internet. What a beautiful creature! I’ve always loved blue things in nature (flowers, birds) and now I’ve found another favorite blue thing! Thanks for sharing!

  6. I’m glad Karen was able to tell you what that fascinating creature was… I’m going to look it up too, I’ve never heard of it, or seen one. Those pictures were amazing… you always have the most fun, the most interesting experiences. I think your kids are amongst the most blessed on this planet. I love reading your blog!!!

    I live near the coast, but it doesn’t have anywhere near as much neat stuff as your beaches do, so I am living vicariously through you!

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