October 6, 2015 – Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Santa Rosa Island, Florida

It was a slow day at the beach.  I slept late and then dawdled over coffee outside. We did not get to the beach until after lunch.  Today we opted to ride the tram rather than walk to the beach.  Andy reasoned that would give us more time ON the beach.  I was feeling lazy and the tram sounded nice.

The scrub forest here is mostly long-needle pine trees.  This is overhead outside the motorhome.

b Long Pine Needles

The clouds broke up today!  It has been days since we have had significant sunshine. We walked about and hour to the east and then turned around and walked back to the beach entrance. These yellow flowers are beside he boardwalk over the dunes.

b Yellow Flowers on Dune

I took a few pictures of things that caught my attention. Such as bird tracks.  I’m pretty sure these were made by a Great Blue Heron.

b Bird Tracks on Sand

Maybe it was because we were on a relatively undisturbed part of the beach and well above the tide and wave line, that I saw some amazing new sights. There were many, many crab holes in the sand. A number of them had little piles of sand balls the crabs had pushed out making their homes.  This one was on a bit of a slope and the little wet balls of sand rolled in different directions.  It looks like art.

b Sand Tracks from Crab Hole

The other amazing crab thing, that I could not get a picture of, was crab tracks.  These crabs are doing a lot of visiting, or raiding with each other.  There were little roads made by crab tracks going from hole to hole.  A few holes had paths of tracks going out in all directions. Some only had one path to one other hole.  One hole had solid tracks going outward all around it. I’ll try again tomorrow for a photo.

These crabs are tiny, maybe an inch or so across.

b Tiney Crab

b Tiny White Crab

We saw one turtle nest with a fence around it and a Do Not Disturb sign.  There was no indication of when the baby turtles are going to emerge, but I bet the park rangers know. It made me sad to think that there is only one nest on this beach.

b Turtle Nest Fence

This is a mildly interesting spot where the water had broken through the dunes some time in the past, maybe during Katrina.

b Wash Through Dunes

This exceptionally  small cloud blocked out the sun for a few moments.

b Sun Behind Small Cloud

This head said hello to us when we walked by.

b Young Man Being Buried in Sand

 

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