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Life's a Beach

At least, it was this morning for about two hours. I decided I needed to take some restorative time out for me. I've worked hard all summer with training, work, and school, and I always lament the fact that I live so close to the beach and rarely visit it. What I actually wanted to do was get up before dawn and arrive at the beach in time for the sun to rise. My Saturday morning pre-dawn run inspired the idea. I had reached my halfway point--right about when the sun was peaking above the horizon--and headed back toward home. Now that I have my Garmin watch, I don't carry my phone with me, so if I see something particularly photo-worthy, I can't take a picture. I was bothered by this on my run as I saw a vibrant rainbow shooting out from behind some condos and disappearing into the clouds. I thought, one morning I should just wake up early and come out to Bayshore with my camera. And then I took it further and decided the beach would be even more picturesque. And then, my friends, I remembered that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and our nearest beaches are on the west coast. I often get confused about this because Bayshore Boulevard is situated along the Hillsborough Bay, which is separated from Tampa Bay by a little finger of land that points south, and I run along the east side of that "finger," so I see the sun rise. This may be highly evident to many Tampa Bay area residents, but it actually took me a long time to figure out--before I looked at a map, that is.

So when I didn't get up in time for sunrise this morning, I knew I was not missing too, too much. By the time I had eaten my two bowls of cereal (a weekend indulgence) and watched some coverage of the 9/11 memorial coverage, I headed out to Pass-a-Grille beach, a fairly quiet and not-too-far beach to visit. By the time I got there, the sun was about here:

I pulled out Flat Stanley--my cousin's fourth-grade class assignment--from my bag and took some pictures of him on the beach:

I tried to lie still for a while, but I'm not great at being idle at the beach. So I decided to go for a walk and take some pictures. The sand at Pass-a-Grille is quite shelly and a bit uncomfortable to walk on, even where the water meets the shore. But I figured it would somehow be good, perhaps strengthening, for my feet (no pain, no gain?), so I went without shoes.

The first things that captured my eye were the birds all around, mostly seagulls, a few pelicans diving in with their basket-beaks to swoop their prey from the shallow water.

I eventually made it down to the jetty, a build-up of large rocks with a concrete pier laid atop for fishers and tourists and the occasional local to walk out on.

I then looked back on the place from where I came:

After climbing up the rocks and onto the pier, I found a few white birds (bird names are not my forte) that were particularly photographic:

And after collecting a single seashell to send back with Flat Stanley, I began to feel the sun's persistent rays and called it a day.

I felt somewhat revived from the fresh smells, the beautiful images, and the freeing feeling of sand, wind, and water. It was a fine morning at the beach.


Annabella said…
Sounds great! I'm jealous - I should try to do that some time...

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