Cumberland Island (fifth day)

Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008

We awoke early yesterday morning to watch the sunrise over the beach. On the way to the bath house, we sneaked up on a doe with her fawn*. We stood so quietly that they didn't notice us for a full minute; then a second doe emerged from the wood. Another thirty seconds passed before they walked silently back into the forest. We strolled through Dragonfly Alley** and made it to the beach just in time to watch the blood-orange sun rise through the clouds.

The rest of the morning was spent reading at the camp -- until a pileated woodpecker showed up, pounding on every tree in sight. He was gorgeous, easily the size of a crow, with a huge red crest of tufted feathers. I followed him about until the bugger started pelting me with chunks of bark.

Around 2:00, the rain set in and didn't stop until 10:00 this morning. Brad and I curled up, napping to the sound of rain hitting the tent.*** As soon as a little light broke through the clouds, we made a break for the beach, eager to stretch our legs. The shore was covered in starfish and, as soon we would throw one back in the surf (thinking we were saving its life), it would swim toward shore again.**** Maybe they were mating?

Good thing we went for a walk earlier, because the thunder is rumbling and a tornado watch is in effect until 6 p.m. Hopefully nothing will come of it.
Brad's footnotes
* The deer were all over the place, once we started looking. I'd seen one ducking into the brush on our first day there, and surprised two by the park amphitheater the night before. Still, this was the longest and most spectacular sighting.
** Dragonflies are always drawn to Jenn, for whatever reason. But this valley in the dunes, running parallel to the shoreline, was always full of the winged critters.
*** Sounds romantic, huh? And it was, until we spent the next two days in the tent, dodging the rain.
**** Jenn is trying to forget this, but after I carried a starfish to the water, she picked one up to do the same. She was holding it by its little arm, which broke off. That's what really convinced us to leave them alone...

No comments: