Since we are on eastern daylight savings time and everyone else was on central, we woke up first and went down to the beach. There were a few people who had the same idea.
The sea was still pretty rough.
The ghost crabs, Ocypoda arenaria, were also up and running around like they'd had espresso---do they ZOOM! They are hard to catch and harder to keep as they will leap for freedom but appear unphased as they hit the sand running.
We came upon a beached and stranded little fish and returned him to the water--twice. He did not make much effort and appeared to be destined to be Destin bird food.
The sand is sugary and pure; shells here are few so to see this coquina bivalve still attached was unusual. Why did I always assume that the two halves would be identical in pattern? Clearly, that is not the case.
There were several smallish jellyfish about. Notice how similar the color and pattern is in the coquina and the jellyfish. Here is our favorite:
Here is one of the same kind. Notice how transparent it is at the top where the sand is dark.
This is possibly the same kind in a pattern variation or even upside down:
I found on some web sites that the first three anyway are stinging nettles, Chtysaora quinquecirrha. They are found all over the world in warm bays. They grow to be 12 inches across; these were about four inches. Their sting is painful to humans, but not fatal unless there is an allergic reaction. They feed on zooplankton, other jellyfish, small fish and sometimes crustaceans. In turn, loggerhead turtles feast on them.
There was a small little pond that came down to the beach. It was protected on this breezy morning and the reflection of the "sand castles" caught my eye.
Inside the house where we spent the night, was a sailboat model in a high window. Take a look. I am not a sailor, but even I could see the problem. Curious.
I will start back to school next week and so our summer is quickly drawing to a close. What a wonderful way to see it out--by going to the beach for a night and parts of two days.