Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Edisto Beach

The long, beautiful Low Country road to Edisto Beach is a National Scenic Byway. It is a relief and a reward after a hundred miles of I-95. There are timberlands and marshes, canopied roads and crossroads stores, flocks of birds and a decorated tree --WHAT?

Somehow, I had imagined the State Park at the beach would be isolated, but we found a well developed beach community with grocery, an assortment of eateries and the requisite beach amenities -- ice creamery, bike rental and BarBQue. (This is South Carolina!) 

The campground is snug in a copse of Palms just over the dunes from the surf.  We needed that wind break last night as the offshore storm hit us with 25-30 mph winds. The Airstreams were rocking; not an awning deployed anywhere.




The Lettered Olive

 When my family visited Florida sixty plus years ago, the beaches near St Petersburg were literally crawling with live shells.  Left Handed Whelks crossed the flats at low tide in platoons;  It took no real skill to find, bucket, boil and bag far more live organisms than anyone had any right to.  We were rapacious city-bred hunter-gathers without a hint of conscience,  long before Rachael Carson was in paperback.

I remember one young boy who had "the gift".  He could locate, and dig out the beautiful Lettered Olive shells at a whim. He would proudly display them, then toss them back into the surf.  He would not disclose his techniques to me or the pretty young things assembled nearby.  I doubt this was from any well developed conservation ethic;  I will always remember him as the archetypal Mean Kid.

This story is a`propos of nothing.  My lovely beachcombing buddy this morning harms nothing and, though severely provoked, hasn't done anything mean in her life. 

 We collected a few Lettered Olives from among the windrows of mostly oyster shells along the Edisto beach.  They are "weathered" like us, but still have their style and grace, like she does.  She will abandon them near the pathways to the beach, easy pickins for the little ones entering from the campground.  Tomorrow we will visit a more private place which promises good shelling and prohibits collecting anything but photos.  

That is a lot of progress in sixty plus years.  Thank you, Ms Carson...

So....Tonight...28mph... going to 34 degrees  ...that's a wind chill of twenty!!!  Welcome to SPRING BREAK AT THE BEACH...

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