In the event anyone noticed I was not posting with my regular enthusiasm, I've been on a bit of a vacation - a treat after finishing ballet and scouts and before gardening and canning take over. We went to the beach in Alabama and I am amazed at the recovery of nature. This area has been directly and indirectly affected by many hurricanes and tropical depressions lately - especially Ivan in 2004, Dennis, Rita, and Katrina and a few others in 2005. Some of the storms were just in the Gulf and not a direct hit, but with the constant pounding the beaches and especially the dunes really took a hit. Yet, all the scrap wood is gone. Look closely at the picture. The Gulf has worn the wood into smooth, stone shaped pieces. We still found some unexpected things, like an upper denture plate and a 55 gallon drum, but for the most part the beaches are restoring themselves.
The dunes are rebuilding (thanks to the help of snow fencing and some of the scrap washed ashore). The sand crabs are scurrying as usual and some of the vegetation is trying to make a comeback. The trees next to the lagoon are green, again, rather than salt soaked brown. Even in February, the evergreens were still brown. I didn't see a single sea oat, though, and they are my favorites. Maybe later.
The brown pelicans were fishing so there must be fish. The humans were also fishing, though I didn't see many fish being hauled out. Re-creation of the beach eco-structure will take time, but seems to be moving forward. This beach is a nesting ground for sea turtles and I didn't see any trace of nesting. The save the sea turtle group usually marks every found nest to protect it and they had found none either. With all disruptions (hurricanes) perhaps the turtles will lay later. Maybe they were blown off course. I hope not. My children and I love turtle season.