Joy and I had such a wonderful time camping at Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina. We had beautiful weather the entire trip. The days were sunny, but breezy. The nights were cool enough to be comfortable without being cold. The full moon pulled the tides higher and lower than we are accustomed so it was a treat to watch the ebb and flow from one to the next.
The best treat of our holiday was finding more treasures in nature to uncover. We learned new facts from reading the books we picked up along the way. I always find at least one book while we’re off on excursions. This trip we found one about seashells and shore creatures. We learned several new facts. Did you know that a Sea Anemone is not a plant, but an animal? I guess I had never given it much thought. I knew it was carnivorous, but so are Venus Fly Traps. And a Limpet has a snail inside it’s shell. I always thought it more like a Barnacle that could not move, but that isn’t the case.
Have you ever seen a crab so tiny? Joy has quite the eye … always looking, searching, finding. How she even SAW this crab, I don’t know. She said there were many. She was searching amongst the marsh grass for Fiddler Crabs as we adventured to an island via a boardwalk.
Look at this beautiful crab, thinking he’s hiding amongst the grass in the mud. He was stunning in color, as he lie there still thinking himself camouflage.
Seldom fearful, Joy was apprehensive about trying to catch one of these Fiddlers. The females have two smaller pinchers, but the males have a small pincher and one that is tremendous. Careful handling insures that you stay uninjured, but it does take just a bit of practice. Here she holds a male so we can view his beautiful markings.
Pelicans flew over in a “v” formation – back and forth above us. I’ve always noticed the pelicans at the beach, but they always seem solitary and scarce. This weekend, there were dozens of them, flying in groups — low to the water and high overhead. They were beautiful.
As we drove down, Joy and I spotted a field of dead sunflowers. The field was fairly sparse, but I stopped to take a few photos. It was really neat to see each Sunflower had up to a half dozen Green Stink Bugs clinging to it’s huge, brown blossom. I was amazed to see such beautiful tentacles with stripes of crimson blazing in the morning light. A fisherman caught this little charmer while we played around on the shore. We noticed how tiny his little teeth are (above) and wondered just how big the shark must have been that once used this tooth (below) to tear into his dinner.While shopping in the camp store, I noticed this sweet butterfly patiently, longingly sitting on the window sill – wondering how to make it around the glass to freedom. We scooped her up and set her free, but admired her beauty before we let her go. This beige Ghost Crab surprised me by letting me snap shot after shot until I was less than six inches from him. Finally, in a split second, he decided I had ventured much too far into his personal space and he took off across the sand. Joy and a small hoard of children that she rallied together dug a large crater that they filled with small minnows. I enjoyed watching this clever little Dowitcher. He took his time to pluck the small prizes from their corral before the tide came in and erased it’s walls. That was certainly an easy lunch for him.And so, our weekend was filled with creatures of all sorts …
beauty all around.
And I wondered again
how anyone can live in this fascinating world,
watching each intricate individual
and how it is so closely interwoven with
the lives of others around it
and come to the conclusion
that there is no God.
And be led out with peace:
The mountains and hills
shall break forth into singing before you.
The trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12