Got a little windy again last night but I didn't feel the need to move near the dunes. Woke at around 8:00 and had coffee. Started the generator up and turned on the furnace as the temp inside the coach was around 45 degrees. Had breakfast and then walked the dog. Bundled up real good and put Xi Shi into her blue sweater and we did a little beach combing.
After she did her business I put her back in the camper and continued walking the shoreline for anything of interest that the Gulf might have washed up on shore.
I gasped when I saw this.
I've never been able to find a sand dollar in perfect condition. This one was so tiny (smaller than a quarter) and perfect and had only recently been deposited by the waves and had not been walked on or driven on. It looked so fragile I was afraid to pick it up. I put it into a tissue I had in my pocket and hoped it wouldn't break. Later when I returned to the camper and opened the tissue it was broken. How in the world did it survive that wave action and then break in a soft tissue in my coat pocket? Bummer.
I continued my walk further up the beach towards the bay area and off to my right the waves were coming closer to my feet so I quickly moved over and that's when I saw it.
WOW! What a find. A Starfish. I quickly took photos of it and picked it up and placed it inside a scott towel I happened to have in my pocket. It was too big to put in my pocket so I carried it in my left hand as I continued to walk further up the beach.
While walking and looking down and finding a few really colorful shells I felt something strange on my fingers in the hand that was holding the Starfish. I looked but saw nothing but the paper towel blowing in the wind. A little while later I felt it again. This time I knew it wasn't the paper towel making the sensation on my fingers but the Starfish. A little later I felt it again only stronger. I knew then that the little sea creature had not yet completely lost all life. I turned around to return to the camper and wondered if I should place it back in the water. It had washed up and was going to die, I knew that. But if I put it back in the water would it bring it back to life. I felt pretty bad for the little thing. It had already started to stiffen. By the time I got back to my camper there had been no further vibrations on my fingers. I believe it died in my hand.
My find for the day included 2 Pen Shells, 5 colorful shells, one Sand Dollar, and a Starfish. I also picked up a little toy T-Rex.
You can see how the Sand Dollar has broken up.
About 1,800 living species of starfish occur in all the world's oceans, including the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic and Southern Ocean regions. Starfish occur across a broad depth range from the intertidal to abyssal depths of greater than 6,000 m (20,000 ft).
It's still pretty cold here at the beach. I had to turn the generator on this afternoon to use the furnace and warm up the camper. It's 50 degrees outside right now and tomorrow should be about 10 degrees warmer and sunny. Sounds great.