Friday, July 20, 2012

An interesting surprise on Friday in Zone 3

This morning, I walked out onto Wrightsville Beach at beach access #32 right at 6:00 am. It was still dim outside. The sun was just starting to rise, and lacing the sky with bright pink clouds. As I looked down the beach, I saw what I thought was someone fishing; it looked like he was surf casting at the edge of the water. Then as I began to walk, I heard mysterious music coming from somewhere. It was very eery, because it sounded like the music was floating towards me over the waves. I looked around to see if it was coming from a boat. That was when I realized the man was not fishing-- he was playing the bagpipes.

Well, that is certainly the only time I have ever seen someone play bagpipes in the ocean, so I stopped and listened for a while. The bagpiper was very friendly and let me take his picture. He asked if I was picking up litter, and when I told him I was, he very nicely listened as I told him about Wrightsville Beach-- Keep It Clean, and the Wrightsville Beach Sea Turtle Project (I had my WBSTP tee shirt on). He said that he lives in a part of Louisiana that is also a loggerhead nesting grounds, and his dad lives on Topsail, so it was cool that he totally understood the connection between picking up litter and helping to preserve and protect the sea turtles' home for them. It was nice to talk to him, and although I wonder if some of the nearby residents were not as thrilled about their 6 am bagpipe alarm clock, I enjoyed listening to his music.

Today I also talked to another gentleman who asked about my shirt and was very happy to hear that we currently have 3 sea turtle nests at Wrightsville Beach. The tee shirt is such a nice conversation starter with people on the beach, I wonder if we could get Keep It Clean tee shirts someday as well?

Overall, I am happy to say that today was not a particularly trashy day in zone 3. There were fairly normal amounts of cigarette butts and assorted plastic litter, such as Ziplock bags and candy wrappers, but there was less large litter, such as towels, clothing items, flip flops, and sand toys. I filled half of my reusable bag, which is equal to two plastic grocery bags. My husband saw on the news yesterday that some Verizon employees participated in a beach clean up yesterday that began at the Oceanic Pier, so I wonder if they spread out, or made it down as far as Johnie Mercer's?

Items that I picked up today included:
-1 diaper
-4 plastic sand toys
-4 plastic soda/water bottles
-2 soda/beer cans
-1 balloon
-1 unused tampon (still in wrapping)
-1 tube of chapstick
-1 nail clipper
-1 cigarette box
-4 plastic cups
-1 styrofoam cup
-16 plastic bottle caps
-1 contact lens case
-11 plastic straws
-6 Capri Sun drink packets

I also picked up a cup full of cigarette butts, but forgot to count them before I threw them away.


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