Our week at Sunset Beach was filled with relaxation, exploration, family closeness, perfect weather, and beautiful surroundings. After our first walk on the beach the evening we arrived, M took possession of a small white table on the screened porch and named it the science table. She spread out the shells and seaweed she’d collected and each day we added our favorite pieces to the table. Here’s what it looked like on our final evening:
M’s favorite finds were the mermaid’s purse (skate egg case) in the upper left corner and the seaweed in the lower right corner. We’d never found a mermaid’s purse on the beach before, but she discovered it and her favorite variety of seaweed while being a trooper on a very long (for a 5yo anyway) walk to the uninhabited side of the island.
The girls spent hours filling buckets with sand and splashing in the tide pools where we saw oodles of hermit crabs, plenty of fiddler crabs, zillions of fish and a plethora of snails. A family playing next to us found a live starfish, another first for me and the girls since we’d only seen starfish in aquariums until then.
M took an afternoon walk with her dad and they found a path down to the salt marsh. All four of us returned another day so we could explore this unique environment.
We examined the periwinkles clinging to the grasses.
And watched a crab scuttle back into his hole. We also took a sample of the thick grass you see on the right side so we could identify it. It’s called salicornia. It’s edible and can be used to make biodiesel.
I was amazed by how much we learned in one week just playing and exploring and taking time to look closely at our environment. And we’ve still got shells and shark’s teeth (from an activity at the Museum of Coastal Carolina) to identify.
The Beach, Part 2 is here.
The Beach, Part 3 is here.