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Tag Archives: beach
Every morning when I walk on the beach, I pick up trash. The amount varies. Sometimes it’s only one thing. Of course the beach is much cleaner in the fall and winter, when there’s almost no one on it. But Memorial Day is over, the summer beach season is starting, and this morning I picked up about 12 items that needed to be tossed. Everything from a beer can to a sharp fragment of a beer can to a kid’s sand shovel.
I just came back from Italy, and the streets in Rome were not very clean. (That’s my only complaint, though; more on the trip later.) In the Romans’ defense, I think one reason is that it was very difficult to find a trash can on the street. I know a lot of cities removed trash cans due to terrorist bombing concerns. So when it’s difficult to find a receptacle, it’s easier to drop a piece of trash than keep carrying it for several blocks.
It’s not hard to find a trash can on Daytona Beach. We have them scattered about every 50 yards, hung conveniently on poles, as pictured. And yet people don’t seem to be able to walk over to one and put their crap into it. (And yes, some trash does wash up, but what I picked up this morning was all above the high tide line.)
So here is my plea, to anyone who is taking a beach vacation this year. Especially if you’re coming to Florida, and most especially if you’re coming to Daytona. Please throw your trash in the bins provided. You’re only on our beach for a week, but we live here full time, and we have to deal with your leftovers.
Maybe this will help. Every time you drop something on the sand, hold a picture in your head of a dolphin, choking to death on whatever it was you just dropped.
The tides haven’t been favorable for early-morning walks on the beach this week, until this morning. My intention was to go before sunrise, walk to the north to catch the sunrise, then turn back south in time to see the space shuttle launch. Fortunately, I checked the news quickly before I headed out, only to find that the shuttle launch had been scrubbed because of a fuel leak. It’s yet to be rescheduled. So, I headed down to the beach, thinking that all I’d see was the sunrise.
But I was wrong.
I hadn’t gone too far, when I saw telltale marks in the sand, heading from the water to the dunes (or at least where the dunes would be if a condotel wasn’t there). It looked like someone had dragged a body up the beach, but there were crescent-shaped marks dug into the sand on either side of the dragging. Those crescent-shaped marks are made by the fins of a sea turtle, coming on shore to lay her eggs. And there was an area of disturbed sand at the end of her tracks, so it looked like she was successful.
On my way back, the turtle patrol had arrived, and was taking their measurements and getting ready to stake out the nest. It’s highly illegal to disturb a sea turtle nest, even if it is in the middle of a beach volleyball court (as this one is). Turtle nesting season roughly corresponds to hurricane season, and sometimes the nests get flooded or washed away if we have a storm come through. But if they make it, the little turtles will hatch out and head back to the ocean. I’ve seen their tracks too, and even saw a few of the turtles themselves very early one morning – the stragglers from a nest that had hatched overnight.
So I got my double feature after all. 🙂
I walked on the beach this morning, for the first time in a long time. The tide was low enough at sunrise that I could see the sun come up while I was walking. It’s different every time. One of the things I would like to do at some point is to take a picture of our sunrise on the beach, every day for a year.
Daytona Beach claims the title of “World’s Most Famous Beach.” I don’t know about that; I think Waikiki might give us a run for the money. But our beach is much better than Waikiki’s, imho (yes, I’ve been to Waikiki Beach). The beach at Waikiki is very narrow and very steeply sloped, with very soft sand. It’s really nice for laying in the sun, but not so great for walking. Our beach is very wide, very flat, and has plenty of firm sand. There are a few spots that are soft. Sometimes we get a large influx of coquina sand. The grains are reddish and flat and stick to you if you have sunscreen on or if you’ve already been in the water. The coquina sand is also very soft to walk in, and impossible to drive in.
But right now, the beach is perfect for walking. Flat, firm sand at low tide by the water’s edge.
There weren’t many shells, and I didn’t see much wildlife. We never have great shelling like the Gulf coast does, but I have gotten some nice big shells and two intact sand dollars out there. This morning there was nothing. There were a few pelicans and one seagull. I love to watch pelicans fly. They fly single file, so close to the waves that sometimes a wing dips in. There weren’t any other birds at all, which is unusual. No dolphins either, which is not so unusual. I saw a couple of boats way out on the horizon. One was really moving, and the other was a sailboat that seemed to be making good time, but not as fast as the other. There’s always something to see, but the sunrise alone is worth the effort.
I’ll be back out there tomorrow.
Lynn at Wise Bread has put out a request for bloggers to share a list of frugal things to do in their area. So, without further ado, here are 10 frugal and very enjoyable activities for folks living or visiting in Daytona Beach, FL!
- Go to the beach! Cars are allowed to drive on large sections of our beach (an environmental disaster!!), and are charged $5.00/day to do so. But, if you get on A1A and go north of State Route 40 (Granada Blvd.), the beach in that area is traffic free. Look for shells, watch birds, and soak up the sun! Parking is free up there, too.
- Take in a free concert at the Bandshell on the beach, every Friday and Saturday night from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Enjoy jazz, big band, country, Caribbean, and lots more – and on Saturdays at 9:45 pm, there are fireworks! Bring your lawn chair.
- Grab your fishing pole and go fishing! The area that I’m most familiar with is the Granada Pier, but there are many more where you can fish from piers. I’m not a fisherperson, so I don’t know what you’ll catch, but there are fish in there!
- Visit the Ponce de Leon Light Station and climb the tallest lighthouse in Florida. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $1.50 for kids, but if you go to their website you can print out a 10% off coupon and get in for $4.50 for adults, $1.35 for kids. The lighthouse and surrounding buildings are beautifully restored, and there is a lot of historical information there. I’ve climbed the lighthouse twice, and it’s a great view! “They” say on a clear day you can see the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center to the south, but I’m not sure about that…. 🙂
- Visit one of our local state parks, admission $4.00/car load. Tomoka State Park offers a nature trail with 160 species of birds. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park has unique coquina rock formations along their beach, and beautiful gardens. Bulow Plantation Ruins State Park has a scenic walk to the sugar mill ruins, which are on the National Register of Historic Places. Bulow Creek State Park has no entrance fee, and has the 400-year-old Fairchild Oak, one of the largest live oak trees in the South. It also has a 7-mile hiking trail to the Bulow Plantation Ruins.
- Visit the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens in Ormond Beach, with a $2.00 admission (kids and seniors over 60 free). They display works of local artists, and the gardens are beautiful – a lot of people get married there. The gardens are free to visit, sunrise through sunset.
- Visit the Southeast Museum of Photography on the campus of Daytona State College – admission is free. They have rotating displays of well-known photographers, and the museum itself is new and beautiful. Daytona State has one of the best photography programs in the country.
- For $1.00 (free for students), visit the African-American Museum of Arts in Deland, about 20 miles west of Daytona. It’s the only museum in the area devoted primarily to African-American and Caribbean culture and art.
- Bike the Loop! The Loop is a 30-mile, very scenic road course that passes two of the state parks mentioned above, and passes along both the Intracoastal and the ocean on A1A.
- Visit The Casements, the winter home of John D. Rockefeller Sr. It’s also on the National Register of Historic Places; tours are $1.00/person.
There you go – Enjoy!!