Friday was really an extraordinary day on the north end of Wrightsville Beach. The tide was extremely low, actually lower than I have ever seen it, which brought all the sea birds out to fish, and created a series of shallow tidal pools all along the beach. A few people were out hunting for shells and found some spectacular treasures. A nice couple who was walking along the shoreline showed me a perfect sand dollar that they had found. (I was happy for them and also secretly jealous!)
My favorite part of visiting the beach when the tide was so low was that the tidal pools were filled with many different kinds of crabs. I spotted blue crabs, hermit crabs, marsh crabs, spider crabs, and mole crabs. My favorite was this hermit crab (below), which was living inside the shell of a moonsnail, and had an anemone attached to one end. Pretty cool, eh?
Of course, along with fascinating sea creatures, there was also trash to be found. It always makes me sad to find trash that has obviously already spent time out as sea, such as this balloon and these two straws, which were entangled with a piece of green sponge seaweed.
As I was walking along the beach and picking up litter, I picked up a torn piece of blue plastic tarp and placed it in my bag. A gentleman who was walking with a surfboard stopped and inquired, "Picking up dinner?" I looked at him with confusion for a moment before I said, "Um, I am picking up garbage." He smiled and said, "Oh! I thought you were gathering seaweed! Well, garbage is good, too!" We both had a laugh over that.
My litter total for the day included:
- 1 ziplock bag
- 3 cigarette butts
- 3 plastic straws
- the bill of a hat
- 2 plastic water bottles
- 1 plastic cup
- 2 balloons
- 1 chunk of plastic tarp
- 1 polystyrene fishing float
- 1 cigarette box
- 1 pair of sunglasses
- various plastic bits and fishing line