We packed off to a beach house on Holden Beach, North Carolina, about ten days ago, with the threat of a week of rain. I was suffering from a back injury when I fell attempting to play pickleball and found it hard to even walk down to the beach, let alone get in the water.
But I soldiered on, getting to sit in the sand and watch my kids swim and even did some short walks looking for shells. The weather people were wrong – we had a lovely day of mild temps and sun! My son– in–law even caught fish.
We found lovely olive shells, some scallops shells and moon snail shells, along with something called Hardouinia mortonis (I looked it up!) This is a fossilized sea biscuit from the Cretaceous era, and there were many along the shore, dredged up when the sand off the beach was dredged for beach renewal. So we now have something 80-100,000 years old. They are echinoderms, related to modern starfish and sea biscuits.
One morning I looked out the window and saw a few of people gathered around a spot on the beach and wondered what the tide had brought in. A little later the group got bigger with the addition of people in red jackets. Soon I saw some digging and then some raking. The red jackets were the turtle patrol. Each spring, turtles, mainly loggerheads but also Green, Kemps Ridley, Leatherback and Hawksbill, nest on NC shores. The Turtle Patrol had uncovered the eggs, determined the type, counted them, and then covered them again. Shortly thereafter a cordon was places around the site. The eggs will hatching in 77+ days and they need protection.
I came home relaxed, my back a bit better, but bringing with me a chest cold that is just now starting to let up, which is why this post got delayed! We’ve reserved the house for next year and I hope to be able to enjoy the beach and water and do more shell hunting, I’ve done some research and found a place close to Holden Beach that might be the right spot. And we can return to a restaurant called the Purple Onion, where we had Belle Burgers – a hamburger with homemade pimento cheese and a purple onion jam, tangy and sweet!