Astral Nomads

One man, one woman, one rabbit......traveling with the stars.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Smyrna Beach

We did some cycling on the beach here which was a first for us. The sand here is hard enough that there are traffic lanes for cars which, thankfully, start a bit north of where we're staying. The sand is so hard and smooth near the tide line that it feels like you're riding on a gymnasium floor. Our front shocks got no workout today. Way cool.

Since it's off-season, the beach is pretty deserted. It's not as
devoid of other people as this picture suggests, but it's still pretty

Among the regular gulls, we noticed these cool
birds with the black tufts. Depending on how they
move the crown, it looks either like the boss from
Dilbert or a rockabilly pompadour ala Robert Gordon.
Since I got the bird guide handy, I might as well note
that these are Sandwich Terns (Sterna sandvicensis) in
their winter plumage. In the summer, the black cap covers 
their whole head, making Elvis peanut butter and banana
jokes inevitable.

This is a shot of the Flagler Avenue ramp where
you can drive your car onto the beach.

The highest and most beautiful things in life 
are not to be heard about, nor read about, 
nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived.
Soren Kierkegaard 

Nothing says beach like a cluster of barnacles.

Wendy finds art in everything. I was ready
to accuse her of arranging this little still life. I call
it "Sea Beans with Leaves".

Wendy wanted to get a shot of the spots on this bird's tail
and the bird turned around and posed. I think this is
a Ring-Billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) but I am not
exactly sure since they're supposed to have all white
heads. This was the closest in the guide and it's
definitely indigenous so I'm calling it Ring-Billed.

We did see a lot more dead fish and fish skeletons than we expected. Not sure if it's related to the bird and fish die-offs that have been in the news lately or it's just because we're not accustomed to the winter beach reality. Anyway, here's a nice fish skeleton.

What kind of a mother leaves her baby out in a bucket?

A mother was washing her baby one night;
The youngest of ten and a delicate mite.
The mother was poor and the baby was thin;
'Twas naught but a skeleton covered with skin.

The mother turned 'round for a soap off the rack.
She was only a moment but when she turned back
Her baby had gone, and in anguish she cried,
"Oh, where has my baby gone?" The angels replied:

Oh, your baby has gone down the plug hole.
Oh, your baby has gone down the plug.
The poor little thing was so skinny and thin,
He should have been washed in a jug, in a jug.

Your baby is perfectly happy;
He won't need a bath anymore.
He's a-muckin' about with the angels above,
Not lost but gone before.*

This is one groovy Sandwich Tern.

Wendy found a small tidal pool and it was
shoes off for play time.

*'Mother's Lament' - Cream, Disraeli Gears


  1. That is a horrible poem!

    Pics are gorgeous as usual!

  2. @erica: just an old British ditty. not all art is pretty. ha!

  3. Thank you Erica... I agree, I hate that ditty, but it does go along with an abandoned baby doll on a beach with a photo of a woman on the cover of a magazine as its guardian... somehow.

  4. I agree too. That is a terrible mother. That baby could have been stolen or something ;)

  5. @Dylan: I know. What was she thinking?