Jun 15, 2006

Perdido Key: I've Lost Track Of The Days

To include Dr. Seuss's arrival on the beach, the wisdom of not turning your back on the Gulf of Mexico, and even more jellied evil.

Fishing has been extraordinary! The catch counts have gone beyond my ability to remember, but the FIL has landed TWO stingrays now, and between the three of us we've caught Pompino of wonderous size, tons of Ladyfish, a Redfish, a Bluefish that has more sharp teeth than most adults, and a flounder, plus a jellyfish if you count my one accidental capture while fishing for shells on the shoreline. So thus far, we've got:

Wait for it...

One fish, two fish, redfish, bluefish.

Hey, sometimes you just have to say what's inside you.

I've become addicted, by the way. To, of all things, fanciful calcium exoskeletons. I can happily stand in pounding surf all day just for one nice whelk. I've even almost stopped looking at pretty girls for fear of missing That Perfect Shell. Almost. It's actually easy because there are frighteningly few pretty girls on this beach for some reason. *shrug* My shell addiction has gotten pretty advanced, however. I'm up at 6 am to walk the sand to see what got washed ashore the last evening, and then I spend about an hour wading through the increasingly strong rising tide to see what's being exposed. Then it's a late evening scour of several hours as the tide goes out and reveals it's hidden wonders.

Alberto finally made landfall and the water has returned to it's normal, placid self. When the cycle of waves is at it's low point you can stare through the water four or five feet, and it's as though you are looking through an old farmhouse window, where everything is pale green and wavery, but still strangely clear and pure. It's so lovely it should be shared with everyone. Which I'm trying desperately to do here.

The water is funny, too. I started comparing it to a miser, or an old dragon, sitting on a huge hoarde of treasure. And like a dragon or a miser the hoarde contains everything from the most chipped, blackest penny to the most perfect dubloon. And with each wave the water reveals it's treasure, laying it out to be counted, to be desired, and then with each returning sweep it draws it all back to itself, afraid that some rogue soul armed with a small net and a lot of desperation might snatch one perfect coin away. Which I've managed to do, in a few cases--last night brought one nearly perfect tiger-striped whelk shell, and a perfect sand dollar the size of a fifty-cent piece that I caught purely by serendipity, and a whole selection of scallops in shades from purest white to purest black, red and white calico patterned ones, smoke greys, and even Kitten's Paws from the tinest peas to huge tomcat feet.

The important lesson to be taken from the Gulf is twofold: if you see something you want, or think you want, or think might be of some intrisic value to you, you'd better go for it instantly, because no sooner than you've spotted it there's a wave behind or before you that is ready to bury it under a mountain of shards and pieces, and you'll neve see it again. Secondly, never turn your back on the water, because as sure as you just missed that perfect shell there is a wave three times as big as the previous ones that is lining up to beat you onto your hands and knees in all those sharp shells, as payment for taking it's treasure. Words of wisdom--do with them as you will.

The jellyfish are exerting their evil influence, too. BIL got a very bad sting on his upper arm and then on his leg when he brushed the perishing beast away, and I got an anklet of pain for daring to remove my fourth Wal-Mart bag of shells. "Hello, my name is Irrelephant, and I'm an addict."

I hear breakfast being prepared, so I'm off--time for the first pina colada of the day. *lol*


Vulgar Wizard said...

You'd better bring some of those shells to work next week. I think you should bring Right Hand Woman one for her computer monitor. That way, when the Troll comes back, she'll be jealous.

Irrelephant said...

Can do! I'm also bringing you, dear VW, a pair of Quahog (sp?) shells. The real deal, each one marked with the official trademark. *Grin*