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.
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
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“).
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.
Marie A Bailey
Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.