The trip to Florida was a much needed respite. We had plenty of sunshine and warm temps. I had high hopes of going out and looking for scrub jays and other fun things, but I mostly ended up just reading and sitting around the beach.
Not that I was sunbathing, mind you. When you have fair skin and your father is a red-head, you tend to slather on the sunscreen (I think I had SPF 270….).
But seriously, the picture below shows the view from one of the beach cafes we sat at….how could you not just linger (and yes, there was a wee bit of drinking, too).
The one thing I did NOT expect was the amount of plastic washed up on the beach. When we last went down to visit my father, about two years ago, there was quite a lot of plastic on the beach.
But that was nothing compared to what it is now. You couldn’t walk along the wrack line looking for shells unless you were wearing shoes or you would cut your feet open on the jagged plastic waste. All I could think of was that not only was it going to keep getting worse but that these things would be around for thousands of years to come.
Here’s an interesting site that encourages you to collect the plastic, make an art sculpture out of it and then recycle it. There are some intriguing creations there and you should look at this picture, too. (BTW, if you put in “plastic” and “beach” together in a Yahoo search, I find it amusing that cosmetic surgeons are what pops up).
Despite all of the waste, I did manage to find a few sea beans! The three I found seem to be the more common Hamburger Bean (Mucuna sloanei), which look like….well, duh! These are apparently bat pollinated flowers, according to this article. Sea beans can travel amazing distances on the ocean and look beautiful when they are polished.
While searching through the wrack line, I also found this pretty seaweed (at least, I think it’s seaweed..)