Saturday, October 8, 2011

Treasures of Assateague

Today the girls and I enjoyed a long overdue day of rest here on Assateague Island. There are trails to hike and ponies to hunt, but we all agreed that just playing on the sand would do the trick. We turned off the alarm clock, slept in until the heat of the morning sun drove us out of bed, and enjoyed a casual breakfast of pancakes.

Then we hit the sand, which wasn't difficult since it's 5 feet from our door. We walked the beach and found a pile of treasures, not the least of which were the shells from horseshoe crabs, fantastically creepy, prehistoric creatures that call this warm water and coastline home.

While V, in typical V fashion, went straight for the water, E and I held back afraid of getting too cold. But I finally bucked up and dipped in a toe, then a foot, then walked straight in. The surf report claimed the water temperature was 68 degrees, but it felt much closer to competition pool temperature. It was nice to be in the water, but a little creepy to be in dark water where prehistoric creatures and who-knows-what-else was swimming around. After receiving a sharp pinch on the heel from a Lady Crab, I ran out of the water for awhile. I was reluctant to return, but my bravery paid off with the discovery of a giant Knobbed Whelk shell, already evacuated by its previous tenant.

For awhile, V took over the camera. She loves the camera, taking photos, exploring with it, and E puts her best face forward for her sister. It's beautiful to see the images that come out of that photog/model combo. Today, it was largely silliness that clearly reflected the mood of the day.

We also gathered the shells (carcasses) of several of the horseshoe crabs that washed to shore and the numerous horseshoe crab tails that littered the shoreline. The display, which also contained rocks and shells and other treasures we found today, was popular with visitors long after we vacated the beach. When I ran down to check on the display as tide came in, I saw another couple taking photos of it and leaving the display to its own resources.

Back at camp, we met our neighbors, friendly folks as we've found throughout our trips. Somehow, during our barbecuing of dinner and discussion of travel which inevitable leads to discussion of food found along the way, mention of Old Bay Seasoning came up. I was entirely blank; had no idea what they were talking about. They were baffled by my ignorance, and sent me home with a can of the stuff. It's the Suzy Q Seasoning of the East Coast, apparently. I food momento of our time on the island.

Beautiful restful day. Just what we needed, and the perfect place for it.

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