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Posts Tagged ‘Sea Oats’

When the going gets tough, the tough head to the beach. As much as humanly possible.

Such is the story of my summer thus far. If I’m not working and it’s not raining, I’m there. Um, here.

And you’re here with me….

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Take special note of the nice, blue skies – starting out.

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More saltwater canoeing, just past the farthest sand bar.
That is NOT an oil rig – oil rigs are not allowed that close to shore in the Gulf. It is a natural gas rig. I always enjoy hearing the loud motor of the delivery ship in the distance and watching it dock under the rig. My mind drifts into wondering what sorts of goodies it brings the men offshore, and how much they look forward to its arrival.

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Clouds are building…
(half-hearted apologies to photography perfectionists in the slightly askew horizon – get over it and focus on thing above)

 

 

 

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The water is so clear today, you can make out the little fishies!
(These are skittish and are not the kind that give free pedicures)

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SPLASH!
My cup holder – nothing fancy.
UB40 made a song celebrating what’s in the cup.

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Geezamighty, better move my chair back a bit!
Catch of the day, no bait required.

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It’s a Balao halfbeak.

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Okay, so now things are building up.This isn’t looking so good…
(and speaking of not looking good and just for the record, BP still left us with lots of tarballs littering the sand, both in and out of the water – the oil spill hasn’t gone away)

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It doesn’t take long to go from blue to black at the sea.

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Rageful skies. Time to take the umbrella down – and RUN.

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A dune with sea oats bending in the now-stiff breeze, sand pelting my face like a desert storm – sting, stang, stung.

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Okay, so at least there is a great place to take cover during the storm – namely our local Krispy Kreme, with the “HOT NOW” blinking sign luring in the shelter-seekers.
They really shouldn’t pass out free, hot, fresh donuts coming off the conveyor belt like that. There should be a law…

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Here, no need for a shirt over the swimsuit. That’s just how we roll.
Until next time, friend!

Hey, God – thanks for keeping us safe from this storm, for keeping us safe through the other storms You’ve brought us through, and for the uncertainty of storms to come – in You we can rest assured, no matter what.

~~ssm

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Okay, so I tried to take my camera into the canoe for this one, but the current was swift and I was warned there’d be no way I could get a shot without getting a shot of water all over the camera. It looks deceivingly calm out there, like a piece of chess pie. But my biceps got the workout of their lives in this wide river pass that empties directly into the Gulf of Mexico. The sand on the left is the westernmost part of a key, so there is water all around, giving the water an unseen edge over the canoe.

Just to test it out, I let go of the paddle long enough to simulate what it would take to get a photo, and within seconds I was paddling in a panic to avoid getting sucked out to sea. It was an awesome day, filled with plenty of adrenaline, physical challenge and emotional displacement from the workaday world, like every weekend should be.

Notice, however, there are no other canoes in sight – either we’re crazy or the rest of the world is missing something. Perhaps a bit of both….

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Navigating the water was only part of the challenge. Trying to catch supper was the other part. And when you’re in salt water, there are bigger fish to fry, so casting a net or pole and hauling in your catch while keeping the canoe in balance is a delicate exercise in patience and agility. And there are a lot of true stories about the big one that got away.

(Really, it did!)

Saltwater canoeing is like forcing two related but mismatched comfort foods together, such as dipping a warm wedge of buttermilk cornbread into your cheese grits. You just know you’re going to have a gosh-awful disaster on your plate, but sho’ tastes good!

Graceful sea oats against the sky blue:

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The view behind the umbrella: The utility wagon, which did very well in the dunes, carrying our fishing poles, coolers, towels and all the crap our teenage son and his buddies needed US to haul down to the water (because we made son & buddies haul the canoe, life vests and heavier equipment). The stick on the left is a shovel in the sand. Can’t go to the beach without a shovel, y’know. And the black thing to the right of the wagon is a seining net. Here, we go seining – two people walk in the water holding either end of the long net, and score a mess-o-fish.

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Buckets and life vests and poles, oh my!

This canoe is a classic – we drove into the bowels of the state of Mississippi to find this deal, years ago, from an outfitter. They don’t make ‘em like Osagians anymore. Hose and sponge down those gunwales afterwards to avoid corrosion, for those of you inclined to give it a whirl…

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That is not a drink in the sand next to the canoe, contrary to common sense. It is a piece of live bait that washed up under my beach chair with a big wave that got my butt all wet after a giant, overcrowded dolphin sightseeing yacht went a little too fast up the pass. Here’s the specimen I caught, which, after I picked it up, my hand was teeming with tiny baby sand crabs that the mama just gave birth to:

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Microcosms of little universes at my feet. Each shell is a miniature version of a bigger one. There were the tiniest of sand dollars mixed in, when I dug in and looked close. Utterly miniscule!

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My landlubber’s view from under the umbrella…

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Didn’t notice the red flag until after our day was over. No wonder my arms are sore. I forgot to pick up a wedding permit, too. Whoopsie.

Wedding Permit Required

Ahhh, another October day at the beach. Thank you, Lord…

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Blanket of clouds…every day around 4pm, subtropical downpour brewing:

30 mph on the interstate – woo hoo! Wipers on fast & still can’t see…but, free car wash:

Cotton eye candy…All clear!

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