Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Day In Nature - The Beach

Labor Day weekend we packed the kids up and headed to my parents' house near the Potomac River in Westmoreland County.  I admittedly have a very love/hate relationship with the beach because of living there for nearly 12 years myself....but now that the children are getting older the beach can be a lot of fun.

Dani is really starting to notice nature more and more.  Finding acorns and leaves in our yard, feathers in parking lots, shells at the beach.  The best thing the world for her right now is an empty pail she can collect bits of nature in!

Sandcastles are finally something she can enjoy making as well!  She had a wonderful time slowly filling up a large bucket with damp sand and getting her father to help flip them over.  Grandpa also got in on the action while the rest of us sat close by in the edge of the river chatting and playing with the babies.  Dani is also extremely social these days and instantly made friends on the water's edge and recruited other young kids to build with her.

After a few hours of playing in the sand we went out on the boat and headed for what the locals call "Sharks' Tooth Island".  You actually can find sharks teeth there, though they aren't the fresh white teeth most people are used to.  They are ancient black teeth from ages ago that get washed ashore.  My sister-in-law, Jessica, is particularly adept at spotting them...meanwhile I have little luck with it myself.  Aaron did, however, find two teeth after she told him what to look for (he assumed they were white at first).

Oscar, thankfully, doesn't mind his life jacket (which ALL of the children wear at all times when on a boat that is underway).  He napped most of the trip til we got to the island where he enjoyed some jacket-free time while he nursed and then sat on Grandpa while the rest of us combed the beach.  He is very fond of my father, it seems.  My father is pretty funny looking it's no surprise.  lol
There were lots of gulls on the island.

Dani enjoyed looking at the bird tracks in the sand as well as making tracks of her own.  She looked for rocks and shells, mostly and it was a special treat when we found what we have always referred to as "Phospors".

They're actually a creature called Ctenophora or "Comb Jellies".  They're little balls of jelly similar to a Stinging Nettle or Jelly Fish, but without the venom or tentacles.  They also light up at night when you touch them.  We've been finding them in the river my entire life, but until now I never knew what they were actually called.  Gotta love Google!

An oyster shell.
 The trip, all in all, was very enjoyable for everyone.  

Onward to adventure!


  1. Cool pictures, just love the one of Grandfather, cheers Marie

  2. Sounds like a lovely vacation, Kim!

  3. So beautiful and what an awesome unschooling opportunity! I can't wait until Maddy's old enough for stuff like that. <3

  4. Marie - Children LOVE him! He's a good grandpa type. Loves to take the kids fishing and such.

    Jess - That wasn't our vacation, just a day visiting my parents. I will post about vacation tonight.

    Steph - Next summer y'all should go to the river with us!