Friday, February 10, 2012

Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry



Stargazing
(Credit:  www.flickr.com/photos/asimgoheer/468025798)

I love the sounds of the night. My best thinking, mulling over, & creative processing is done at night.  Over the years I have tried & tried to adjust my body clock to being a morning person.  Truthfully, there just isn't enough coffee on the planet to make it happen.  My most recent job required me to be at work at 6am which meant I had to get up at 4am to ensure I was showered & ready for work.  It was a painful experience.  (the job & the getting up early)  I'm just one of those people that comes alive after dark.


 I discovered night time shelling out of necessity.  I worked all day & by the time I finished my domestic duties at home - well it was dark.  One night there was an especially low tide at 10pm.  I hadn't been shelling in forever because my daylight hours were being dedicated to earning a living & wifely chores. The hubby had already watched CSI & was sleeping in his chair.  Dude,  I'm out of here. As I pulled up to an empty parking lot on the beach, two night time shelling benefits became immediately apparent - a parking spot right up front & no parking fees after sunset...woo hoo!  As I walked onto the pitch dark beach I stopped a moment to let my eyes get adjusted to the dark.  The stars seemed to pop out of the sky. The sound of the waves breaking was louder at night.  Even an occasional bird cry punctuated the night time quiet on the beach.  My flashlight got a bead on the shell line & I realized another benefit of night time shelling.  I had the entire shell line to myself...another woo hoo!


So I've been hooked ever since.  I know it sounds crazy to folks that are used to doing everything on the beach in the daytime.  (Yet another benefit of night time shelling -  you don't have to wear sunblock at night) Shelling at night or in the early morning challenges all your senses. Things look different in the dark or by flashlight.  Everything gets very surreal.  My buddy Momma Gee & I were on Gasparilla Island last night laying on the sand stargazing while her boys Brother Dubya & Brother Gee  were exploring the low tide line.  At one point it felt like we were up-side-down hanging from the earth & we were falling into a sea of stars.  We could hear the boys further down the beach calling us to look at some dead fish they had found (reality check).  Walking down the dark beach towards the sound of their voices our path was suddenly lit up by a huge full moon rising from the east.  My heart spoke quietly "I will always do this". Yup, I will.


(Credit:  Momma Gee)
Having a good flashlight is a must.  We follow each other by our beams as we slowly explore our way up the beach.



(Credit:  Momma Gee)
Bro. Gee loves his net.  He scoops up fish, shells, & marine oddities to take a closer look.


(Credit:  Momma Gee)
The tide was especially low & the visibility was pretty clear .


(Credit:  Momma Gee)
I am the official treasure inspector.  Cries of "Ms. Karen, Come look" are music to my ears.


(Credit:  Momma Gee)
Bro. Dubya found a dried-up red fish left behind by a recent algae bloom of red tide.


(Credit:  Momma Gee)
The red fish have a set of teeth set back in their mouth for grabbing small bait fish.


(Credit:  Momma Gee)
Red fish teeth  are a cool  find.


(Credit:  Momma Gee)
We found lots of sharks teeth in the shell crush too.


(Credit:  Bro. Dubya)
Stargazing on the beach.


(Credit:  Bro. Dubya)
We are laughing because the sudden burst of light from the  flash almost blinded us. 

(Credit:  Momma Gee)
Lots of interesting things to look at around the rocks.


(Credit:  Momma Gee)
Momma Gee's hobby is photography.
You can see more of her fotos at her blog 
Life As I See It.


(Credit:  Momma Gee)
The moon is peeking out from behind the sand dunes.


(Credit:  Momma Gee)
Night beach combing is all about reflections.  The moon across the old Boca Grande railroad trestle.