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Living in the Moment: Mashes Sands and … more fiddler crabs #nature #fiddler crabs

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 ...

A baby horseshoe crab …

And with my husband's foot for perspective :-)

And with my husband’s foot for perspective …


An inland storm.

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?

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 phrase "climate change" from state agency documents. You know, pine trees and salt water don't really go together.

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.


Was once a great tree, no doubt.

This here was once a great tree, no doubt.

Raccoon crabs!

Now it provides shelter for crabs!  Nothing goes to waste in Nature.

Another day well spent!

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.

Categories: Nature

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

20 replies

  1. I loved this post, Marie! Your photographs and time lapse films are so cool. I’ve always loved watching the fiddler crabs. This is such a beautiful area, and it looks like you had it all to yourself…nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kevin! Sticky heat is definitely easier to tolerate when you can be near water. And the foot … Lol … Maybe next time we should use my foot. I don’t have toe fungus 😉


  2. Fiddler crabs tickle me walking sideways. Love the “roots”. I have a drift wood table on my lanai I wouldn’t trade for the world. Thank you for sharing your glorious experience. My fortune cookie tonight said I was about to visit the seashore. I think it’s time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My favorite parts are the way the water and sky looks, the fiddler crabs and the dying tree dedicated to a governor who denies the selection of terminology; including global warming. This is widely proclaimed and accepted by intelligent scientists and many who trust their intellectual powers. 🙂
    The storm photograph is fantastic, Marie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love your photos and time-lapsed video, Marie!
    Is it me or does the arrangement in the second to last photo look like a person lying sideways but reaching up?
    Your dedication of that tree is hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I’m so glad you liked the photo dedication ;). Couldn’t resist … lol. And interesting perspective on the other photo. I’ll have to have another look, but things like that are like clouds, aren’t they? Your imagination is the limit 🙂


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