An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

July 10, 2009

A Morning at the Beach

I was able to get over to the Eastern Shore last week, and on Friday my father took us to the beach. We had to leave around 6:00 a.m. because of the tides. The Army Corp of Engineers will no longer dredge the mouth of Parker's Creek where Dad keeps his boat. The creek itself is deep enough, but if you go out or come in on the wrong tide you run a real risk of getting stuck. This is only one of the indignities Parker's Creek has suffered. A Perdue chicken processing plant is at its headwaters, and for years the poultry effluvia found its way into the waters, and it had to be closed to shellfish harvesting. In the past few years, the plant has been cleaning up its act (voluntary or otherwise) to the point where the water quality is the best it has been in years.

The early morning light on the creek was great for photography, and the cool-for-July weather lacked humidity and was uncharacteristically free of biting insects. It made for a perfect morning to take the boat to Metompkin Island.
One of us chose to a different way to get to the beach.
As always, the island was covered with treasures.

The beach is also where the Atlantic gives up her dead.

Although they were having a better day then the Turtle and Terrapin, these Blue Crabs seemed to have been lured into some kind of trap back at the dock.
By lunch, their day did not appear to be improving, but mine could not have been any better.


  1. I just randomly found your blog and I like it a lot! Awesome pictures.

  2. Ha! You stole the crabs?!

    I am not a fan of trap-crabbing. I prefer the chicken-necks-tied-on-a-rope method. It's fun netting and chucking crabs into your boat, having the odd one escape the bucket and scuttle around on deck until you have time to tong it.

    I miss the Chesapeake--it's hard to get out there without a vehicle, and harder to enjoy without a boat.

    Wonderful pictures, by the way. Living in DC, it's hard to remember that such, well, oceanic things are so close by!

  3. Great pictures....first jellyfish I have seen this year. MMMmm...crabs--yum!

  4. This is great storytelling. With every photo I was muttering under my breath, "Wish I had gotten that shot."

    It really made me nostalgic for the years I was doing research on the shore. I still manage to get over there a few times each year, but its not the same as being there long term and getting used to its rhythms.

    And the crabs look delicious.

  5. Abigail Frank,
    I like your name. You are welcome to visit anytime.

    I prefer the chicken neck or fish head tied on a rope as well. They are a lot of fun to catch that way. Yes it is easy to forget that DC is a coastal city and tides do lap at the mounuments.

    I do not know what species that is, but it is ugly and not the one that has ruined many of my beach trips. I usually do not see those until August.

    I am trying to get over there as much as possible before the polar ice sheets melt.


  6. What a lot of great sea shells! Lovely photos.

  7. Les,

    All of the pictures are great but that first shot is just amazing.

  8. The first shot is just perfect. I love the image of the conch shell under water too -- it looks like it's caught in a liquid net of gold.

  9. Hi Les.
    And yum, that crab picture is making me feel hungry, I love fresh crab. I also love beachcombing for unusual objects. It looks like you found a bounty on your trip. Ahh how I miss the ocean. That is a beautiful area you live.

  10. beautiful photos! I so miss the beach.

  11. oh man, you are making me hungry! The images are totally beautiful.....nice job

  12. Hi Les, this was just so enjoyable to read. The beach is full of treasures, thanks for showing us, and looks like the crabs gave it up for some hungry tidewater boaters too. Yummy! We are going to the beach this week so your photos really whetted the appetite here.


  13. Did you bring any of those awesome treasures home other than the edible kind? ;)

  14. It sounds like a perfect morning...and a beautiful one. (Lunch didn't look bad either!).

  15. Joan,
    I was restrained in how many I took home.

    Thanks, I like that photo too. There were several I took like that, but they had family in them and I did not necessarily want to publish them.

    Sweet Bay,
    I had to play with the camera to get that shot and actually like the light in the water more than the shell.

    I appreciate you stopping by. I think where we live is special too and hope it will stay this way. One benefit of The Great Recession is the near stopping of new developments and building along the Chesapeake. It is good sometimes to stop and catch your breath.

    Are there any Gulf beaches in Lousiana, or do you have to head to TX or Miss?

    Thanks for the compliment. I hope the hunger did not get to you too bad.

    I'm glad I could provide you with a vacation appetizer.

    I took home only a few shells (we have a lot already), a blue bottle and lots of bones, mostly bottlenose dolphin I think.

    It was indeed, on both counts.


  16. What treasures!

    I'm cleaning up my feeds list, deleting those who are non-active and some that fail criteria known only to me.

    Yours is a keeper, despite the black background which crosses the eyes of an astigmatic old lady, solely because you have a post about Baccharis. I look forward to more like that.

  17. NellJean,
    Sorry about the black background, but I ain't changing it. I like how it looks next to my pictures. Thank you so much for not deleting me, it's the best thing that has happened to me all day.


  18. I enjoyed seeing your day at the beach. Great photos, and you certainly found a better selection of shells than we did in Galveston.

  19. Looks like all you brought home was the legs ;)

    Love all the pictures and so different from my backyard. You didn't mention the scents but they are different than here too.

    We take vinegar with us to the beach cause it stops the stinging of the jellyfish. They don't care what variety.

  20. Nothing like crabmeat to lighten up the mood! And those photos are amazing. Excellent header, too. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  21. Pam,
    I would be interested in seeing how the beaches look in Galveston after last year's storm.

    My dad cleans them before he cooks them, and it only looks like it was just legs. There were definately other delicious parts in the pot. We are fortunate to not have too many jellyfish yet.

    Thanks for stopping by. You are welcome to visit anytime. Virginians are usually born anglophiles, so I love London!