Saturday, August 6, 2016

Strolling on Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Cape Hatteras National seashore is a portion of outer banks of North Carolina. Lily and I went on a vacation there all by ourselves on the way to pickup Nicholas and friends from TIP summer camp at Duke University last Saturday.

This is a place to engage our senses - the sound of oceans, the calm marsh, the darkest sky east of Mississippi, blue water, green landscape ....

The beaches at Cape Hatteras can be wide and shallow with fine sand, or narrow and steep with coarse sand. A common feature of the beach front is the transition from water to sandy beach to sand dune to marsh, and to land.  Strolling along beaches in the morning, around noon time and in the evening allowed us to enjoy the many facets of the beautiful seashore.

We walked long distance along the beach in the second morning - enjoying the cool sea breeze and quiet beach,  talking to people fishing along the beach, amazed at sea birds diving into the breaking wave to make catches. Observing more carefully at the small streams formed by the receding waves on the beach, we saw small near-transparent fishes in the water!

It was a delight to see beautiful images in the giant mirror formed on sand from receding waves.

It was very hot when we stopped at a section of beach around noon time.  The sand some distance from the water was burning, but it was still enjoyable by the water. We saw many small holes with small sand piles around them on the beach and were curious. Watching around a few more minutes, we saw tiny crabs digging sand out of the holes ! The crabs were very well camouflaged - it was hard to see them if one does not pay attention.  It seems that the larger the crab is, the further away the hole is from the wet beach. I also observed that some of the crabs were trying to do something toward the edge of the waves - laying eggs?  they ran to the edge of water to dig sand as wave recedes and ran away from the wave as it crashes in.

Can you see the tiny crab?
Of course the hot noon time was also a good time to get wet!

There were a lot more people later in the afternoon. Locals came to the beach by off-road vehicles, parking the vehicles by the water, erecting beach umbrellas, spreading beach chairs, body surfing, swimming, or fishing along the edge of water.

Without all the equipment, we still had a good time on the beach, walking on the wet beach hand-in-hand, allowing the waves crashing on us periodically, taking selfies, watching people, and immersed in the view and sound of the mesmerizing ocean.

Note: one big attraction of Cape Hatteras to me was the sea turtle hatching on the beach. Unfortunate the sea turtles come and go in the middle of nights and we were too tired by then to walk on the beaches.

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