Along the Natchez Trace

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Walk Around the Rock

The header photo shows the rock I'm writing about....  see how the beach heads to a rocky point...  and then there's that big "hill" on the right?  Today we packed our lunch and headed out.  Our destination was to take a walk around that rock.
It's a rocky way to go....  but if you're careful you can find a way.

We walked counter-clockwise...  it looked to me like this would be the rougher way and I'd just as soon have the hard part over with first.  Also, by the time we got to the other side we'd be ready for lunch and it should be a bit shadier there.

Way up on that hill there are lots of small trees and shrubs.  We see several species of birds hanging out there...  cormorants and pelicans among others...
These pelicans look almost prehistoric....

It's easy to tell this is a well used place by birds....
All that white stuff is NOT snow!

Before you turn to walk around the end of this spit of land, look back towards the beach...
Lots of boats still moored in the area.... 
The sand on this beach is grey and there are some outcroppings of rocks, so it isn't a favorite of sun worshipers.  There are a few families enjoying the water and sand, but at least when we've been here it's a quiet place.

I love the tidal pools...
There are hundreds of these little "swimming pools" for critters among these rocks.

At one place the tide was coming in quite strong, hitting the rocks, splashing up high, and displacing hundreds of small crabs.
This guy must have gotten stranded at another time...  only thing left was his shell.
Most were scurrying around on the rocks, finding another place to be until the next wave came in.

 This isn't a beach that has a lot of pretty shells...  you might find some broken bits and some pieces of coral and the like, so when I find some shells I think are pretty, I pocket them to keep as my treasures.
I found this cluster of tiny shells nestled under a crevice of rock...  thought the tide had washed them up and left them.  I reached down to pick it up...  and... it was occupied!
Every one of these was occupied!
These are the homes of tiny snails.  We saw lots of these on our walk today.
Nah.... I didn't take any.  In fact, if I move anything, I put it back just the way I found it...  it could be someone's house!

 In several of the pools we saw slug-like creatures moving along the rocky bottom.  You can see two of them here...  the whitish blobs.  That's a small (very small... about 1.5") fish in the middle. 
With their sucker-like heads I wonder if these are leeches?
I did not take off my shoes and put my feet in to find out....  nope! I don't mind snails...  don't even really mind slugs...  but leeches! 
 No, No, No!

We stopped for lunch and while eating, these Ski-doos came flying past.  I think there were 3 in all, and it does look like fun....  but they are kind of noisy.
(Later:  George Yates helped me out with this... these are actually "Sea-doos"...  same idea only on water, not snow.  What do I know... I can't even swim.  Thanks, George)

Looking up, we saw several frigates....
I'm hoping to get a photo of a male with the red throat....  

As we got back to where that spit of land juts out into the water, I looked up...
It just amazes me to see trees growing right out of the rocks...
How tenacious they are...  how determined they are to live, doing daily battle with the wind and other elements.

As we headed back towards the beach, we looked back at the place the pelicans and cormorants hang out...
A Great Black Hawk was perched on a limb overlooking the water.
I had seen it flying earlier and saw the white rump and white tail band, which you can't see here.  There are several other black hawks in the area but size and some other characteristics help with identifying which is which.

We headed on home...  and started making more plans to walk along the beach.  Even if you walked the same route every day you are almost certain to see something different.

That's All For Today!



  1. I forwarded your blog address to our friend who has stayed in Costa Rica--he was thrilled with your photos and has spent time in Coco Beach.

  2. What a fun walk that was. I love those tidal pools. That red crab was so pretty. I think those slug like critters might be some sort of nudibranch. They come in all sorts of pretty colors and patterns. The shape is the same. Google them.

  3. I love your new header picture...i
    Exploring tidal pools is so much fun. That was a very colorful crab shell.

  4. Another peaceful day exploring the area more interesting pictures. I thought Ski-doos were on snow?

  5. What a great hike around the rocks - sure glad you didn't trip and fall. Some of that terrain looked a bit treacherous.

    Great photos of the birds and sea life too.

  6. That was a fantastic hike around the "rock". Amazing how much life there is on that rock. Fantastic.

  7. Wonderful nature shots. Being from the coastal area of California I learned early on that tide pools hold many wonders of the natural world - something different every time you look.

  8. Beautiful! I'd love it there. I thought a frigate was a ship, so I looked it up and a frigatebird is also a bird (as you know - lol). Interesting what we learn reading blogs! That's a beautiful photo of the frigatebird in flight. My favorite kind of bird photo. I'm loving your vacation so far. :)

  9. That's a difficult walk. I remember walking spits like that in Main, slipping on kelp all the way. But I was half our age! You're a pretty tough old bird!

  10. It looks like you two are in a beautiful spot and enjoying yourself. Jealous!!

  11. Great post - enjoyed going on your walk with you. The rocks were almost too much though and my feet are tired LOL!

  12. Sounds like you are settling in to a routine. I look forward to reading more about the community.