Beach Therapy

Sometimes life gets a little overwhelming. There’s so much drama, and everyone seems to need something. And between the stress, tension, and the extreme heat as of late, this Mama felt the need to get away for a few hours. Thankfully, Jekyll Island is just a few hours away and a perfect 24-hour getaway destination…perfect for this girl anyway. This beautiful nature-friendly island is home to pelicans, sea-turtles, deer, raccoon, various forms of sea life, and much more. It is the perfect place for someone who loves the ocean, nature, and photography. It is also the perfect place to let the wind and waves cleanse the soul. Beach therapy is a wonderful thing to calm the nerves and help you face the realities of life.

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We headed out on our beach therapy trip Tuesday afternoon and arrived at the island early that evening. At high-tide on Jekyll, the beaches completely disappear, so it’s always a good idea to know your tide schedules before heading out for a walk. We placed our shoes up high on the rocks and headed out for an evening stroll. High-tide was at around 9:30 pm, so we had time for a good walk before the beach disappeared. Now, somehow we managed to be on the island at the high-tide times of the day for this trip. On a previous trip a few years ago, we were there for several days, and at low-tide you can walk out nearly half a mile into the water and only be knee-deep. During those times, you can see all sorts of sea-life just below the surface of the water. You can literally find hundreds of sand dollars sliding about in the clear parts of the water. This trip, however, did not disappoint. We came across sand dollars, crabs, and sea gulls galore.

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There were no clouds this particular evening, so the sunset was not the most eye-catching, but lovely nonetheless.

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The sunrise the next morning, however, was nothing short of spectacular. We headed out just before sunrise to the northernmost point of the island. The driftwood on this end of the island is usually quite beautiful, but this year there didn’t seem to be as much of it as usual.

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We did catch sight of some deer nosing around the driftwood looking for a bite to eat. The photo wasn’t very clear, but you get the idea.

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The sea gulls were out in droves, feasting on crabs and fish, a couple of other photographers were out catching the early shots, and a few early-risers were out walking and looking for signs of wildlife.

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After wandering about for a bit, I caught sight of the first peak of the sun over the horizon. It is amazing to watch the sunrise. Every time I see a sunrise, I am amazed at just how quickly it happens. My tripod was ready, so I got the camera set and began the shoot. Within just a few minutes, the sun emerged from the water at the edge of the horizon. It flowed up like lava from a lava lamp, beautiful oranges melting and emerging from the blue water and forming a big orange ball in the indigo sky. Just as the sun separated from the horizon, a shrimp-boat powered along the edge of the horizon right in front of the sun.

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As I watched the ships on this particular trip, I realized why people long ago thought that one could sail right off the edge of the world. The ships seem to just ride along the edge of a shelf, and one could easily imagine them just tipping right off into oblivion. However, we know that the world curves on, so instead of fearing the unknown, we can instead wonder what it is they see sitting at the edge of where our sight can peer no further. Do they see miles and miles of water? Do they see other ships at the edge of their vision limits? Do they see other islands we cannot see? What is out there where they fish and journey? One day, perhaps I can venture out on a cruise ship and see what they see, but until then, I shall sit and imagine.

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After photographing that beautiful sunrise, we headed into the marsh for a little while hoping to see some wildlife hunting for breakfast. We found a few little critters.

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I found this little wasp in the midst of an early morning grooming session.

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When the sun had fully risen, and the light was growing brighter, we quickly realized we were becoming quite hungry. We headed back to our hotel and had a typical continental breakfast, packed up our belongings, checked out, and headed to the other end of the island for a little while.

The first thing I noticed on this end of the island was a myriad of dead fish on the beaches. I’m not sure if they were left over breakfast or escapees from the nets of the fishing boats. Whatever they were from, they attracted the birds.

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Again, the beach was nearly gone from high-tide, so we wandered about on the dry ground we could find. It wasn’t long before I found the most perfect place. There was a cedar tree with low branches right near the water’s edge. I was able to simply step up into the tree, find a perch, and watch the birds fly about and the crabs scamper about. It was the perfect watching tree, and had I had a book, the perfect reading tree (my books were in the car).  After many bird photos, ship photos, and simply sitting and listening to the waves, it was time to leave that beautiful place.

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That, however, was not the end of the adventure. After leaving Jekyll Island, we headed over to St. Simon’s Island to find the lighthouse. We were successful in finding the lighthouse, and we climbed it, and I got a few photos.

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After the lighthouse, we found a place to eat, and then we headed home. What we learned on this particular afternoon was that the best thing to do between lunch and dinner at this time of the year is head back to the air-condition and sleep…which will be our plan for our trip to the Florida Keys in a couple of weeks. So, stay tuned for the next adventure.

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