Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy as a clam…

I posted recently that I've found a secluded little beach just minutes from my daughter's home that I've been spending lots of time exploring. This is my new secret spot for shelling and for beaching. I wish I could tell you the name and where it is located, but I just can't do this. Sorry, but I have a very good reason and I'll share that with you in a minute. First, let me share a few pics with you…

I've been there for sunrise…

and I've been there for sunset…

I've seen bluer than blue skies…

I've seen skies that look as though they were quickly painted

just for me.

I've shared a sunset with a lone sailboat on the horizon…

and a morning sun with just nature around me…

This is the time I love the best on my little beach

the early morning hours

while those at home sleep with the rest of the city

and the beach is just mine.

Not entirely mine, for there are those who have allowed me to enter their domain

as long as I tread lightly

and don't tell their secret.

Here I find more live shells than those whose inhabitants have left,

leaving me a treasure to carry home.

It makes me very happy

to find the living creatures who build such magnificent homes.

They are all around me each day I visit

scurrying about…

looking for their morning meal…

heeding the mating call…

or hiding under the sand…

They are the ones who have taught me to stand very still

and to just let go.

I've learned to let their sounds come to me

rather than the other way around

and once I do

the early morning symphony begins

and I feel at one with nature.

I'm so happy they've allowed me into their world.

And then I walk

and look

to see who will make an appearance…

a jellyfish

a spider crab

and a Lightning Whelk as big as my size 9.5 foot…

Then this brave little hermit crab greets me without fear

and lets me get nice and close…

I walk around to get a better look at the 

Fighting Conch shell he now calls home…

He found it first, but I just had to brush off a 

bit of the sand to show you what lovely lodgings he found…

The colors of a sunset —

he did quite well in securing his new digs,

unlike his cousin

who really needs to tidy up a bit…

Can you see him there in the middle?

Just look for his eyes,

the eyes he was keeping watch on my every move with.

This is why I cannot reveal where my secret beach is located.

I've been appointed their protector.

I clean their beach,

watch each step I take

and I promised to keep their secret.

I take this task very seriously

for I know that there are those who will not treat them so kindly

and it would put the hundreds of teeny, tiny babies I see each day at risk.

So, their secret is safe with me

I hope you understand.

I know their friends appreciate my silence

You can click my mosaic for a closer look if you'd like.

I love my secret beach and she has rewarded me well.

My shell bag comes home with lots of goodies

and I see things like this…

the sun glinting off a piece of a palm tree

and a final farewell until the next time I visit.

Now remember, 

if you recognize

my secret beach,


don't tell —

my friends and I will be

very grateful for your silence.

35 Thoughtful Comments:

Jane said...

What a beautiful place...and post! I would love to discover a place like this...I understand why you keep the secret. I have never seen live banded tulips...only dried out shells. The colors are exquisite! Keep on protecting your special place...and maybe one day, take me there (with a blindfold on, of course!).
Jane (Artfully Graced)

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Beautiful. So wonderful to see and feel this beach through your words and photos. Keep it safe!

gpc said...

How beautiful, it is my favorite thing to find the live creatures and learn from them. Definitely, keep them safe. Protect them until the world grows into a place where all of us are protected.

Karen said...

So lucky you are to have this haven close by... and smart to keep it a haven. Love your photos...

Desert Dreaming said...

You know, I have to tell you...your post made me angry today!!! Angry not at you, or your beautiful, gorgeous, sweet pictures, but at myself. I have lived right here for almost 30 years now, and when I was a little girl, this was our vacation spot. I've been a "beach lover" ever since I was 3 years old, but over the last 8 years, I've not enjoyed it as much, I work all the time, and always "too busy". Though I go to a different beach for photography every few weeks,I've not taken the time to enjoy the precious little creatures, and beauty you have put on this post. This post brought tears to my eyes, just so beautiful in every way, and YOU made me appreciate so much more of what beauty is all around me, and it's time to get back out there and enjoy it, so thank you!!!


RottenMom said...

Stunning photographs! Great to go on a beach walk with you in your secret place! Thank you!

Loui♥ said...

with gratitude..
with love..
thanks for allowing me into your secret beachy world as we sang in harmony the mermaid's song of the sea..
which you have so lovingly translated into photographic words..
warmest sandy hugs..

Drawn to The Sea said...

To have such a wonderland of riches at your feet is such a blessing. To actually take notice of the wee things, the important things... & to care for them so gently... magnificent! You've made my heart sing :-)

Kaybe said...

Your secret is safe with us. Beautiful post.

Love ya!

Sierra said...

i'm in love with your secret beach - sooooo pretty and loved seeing all of your ocean creatures! :) glad you are happy as a clam, i would be too!
having a giveaway if you want to stop by:

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Your secret is definitely safe with me. Mum's the word!

My computer is going to have to go to the shop for about three weeks, and I am trying to blog before sending it off. Had fits with it earlier today. I will be back down your way soon. Hoping to get together with you.


Sheila :-)

Jen Beaudet Z said...

What great post! That's such a gorgeous place and so worth your protection. I really enjoyed reading this.:)

gpc said...

Maybe this is a good post for MY little soapbox -- I keep wishing that all of the wonderful shell-bloggers would regularly write posts about how to avoid taking live animals. You (collectively) are, in this new bloggy world, seen as the Shell Gurus, deservedly or not. I'd like to see explanations for people that they should NOT take an occupied shell that is, in their opinion (or even really) dead, that those critters are part of the coastal banquet and not ready yet for us. I'd like them taught how to hold shells up to the light, to hold them still for a time to see if anyone peeks out, and how to tell the difference between a really dead sand dollar and a creature that is still trying to survive. Don't even get me started on sea stars! I'd like them taught to give the birds some space, that this is their food-source, not just a walk on the beach. The good thing about the shell blogs is that it gives shellers a place to learn and enjoy one another, but I feel certain that more live shells are taken as a result of all the new interest. I've had people tell me that they found a beach on so-and-so's blog, and I've argued with them about the things they were collecting, but I am not The Expert so they often disregard me. You are one of the more responsible shell bloggers, maybe you can start to spread the word.

The Single Nester said...

Oh my gosh! Can I go for a walk with you? What a beautiful place!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Someday...I would love to live close enough to the beach to walk on it every day! It puts me in AWE and gives me a feeling that I can't describe...but that I know you understand! Love your photos...and that you took the time to identify things for all of us! Hugs to you, my friend! ♥

CHERI said...

How blessed you are to have found such a beautiful, peaceful place. And no one could be more deserving than you...someone who recognizes it for its true beauty, someone who appreciates all that it has to offer. Enjoy, enjoy!

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

What gorgeous photos! I really miss picking up shells along the beach. We just don't get them here by us. I can't complain too much since we have such pretty white sand!

Della said...

What a beautiful post! Diane (Lavender Dreamer) sent me over. She knows what a beach & nature enthusiast I am, and knew I would enjoy your blog. She was right!

rjerdee said...

Your secret's safe with me!! Nothing like discovering the treasures on your own private beach...this is a truly lovely post at just the right time for me this morning! Thanks, Rhonda

jmac said...

OH. MY. GAWD. this may be the most beautiful blog post I've ever read and seen. Magnificent images!! You have outdone yourself with this one, missy!!
Brought serenity to every bone in this ol' body!!!
(and you know I'm emailing you!!)

The Florida Blogger said...

Gosh, I wish I knew where it was because I would so be there. I guess I'm going to have to stick with my Apollo Beach beaches:)

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Rhonda
You are a special special girl!!! Nature girl!!! I concur with Julia's words!!! So lovely to have a secret beach like this.. it's looks similar to my beach I used to go to... then the windsurfers claimed it for their own.. annoying pests that they are!!!

As you know I've been missing.. and just catching up with your posts.. reading backwards through them.. at first the piano thing seemed funny and in one shot looked quite beautiful [i know I am strange] .. and then as I kept reading i could understand your frustration.... the turtles caught in the chairs was heartbreaking!!! my goodness.. those shots alone should be enough to make ppl wake up..

I know one of our wildlife and garden bigwigs here.... 'Burt's Backyard' [he was the pioneer of the trendy and watchable garden shows here.. but no longer on]... He .. and I think Dick Smith... lobbied for years to stop the milk companies using blue caps on the plastic bottles.. the ring of plastic it creates when removed is a hazard to birds and sea creatures.. they like the blue [maybe that's the birds] and would get their heads stuck in the ring and subsequently die... Apparently it was all about the blue!! so how hard would it have been for milk companies to just change the bloody colour!!! Funny thinking about this now.. it is mostly the big wigs milk companies.. Dairy Farmers.. that use blue... I think the no names use white or black.. some red..

Ok.. strange comment from me.. but you are used to that right? hahahahaha... It's 42C here today [ie 107.6F].. I'm telling anyone that will listen.. hehehehe... too hot to do what I should be doing so sitting under the aircon and trying to catch up with blog visits.. Got to stop opening and closing the backdoor.. with each event the aircon struggles that bit more...

OK.. have a lovely weekend.. take care and will catch up via email soon... ciao xxxx Julie

The Muse said...

as i lingered about your post trying to get warm :) i had a sense of peace about me...knowing that life is a treasure...
and you, having found a little piece of gold, in your own life, have been ever so kind to share ! :)
what a marvelous world of wonder :)

Magdalena said...

Hi Shellbelle
your secret beach is also very intersting!!!
my secret beach is delray beach uh oo i just said what my secret beach was!

My 1st favorite color is turquoise!

i'm useing my mom's google account

Lindsay-ann said...

Hi Rhonda
These are the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. My daughter and I just really enjoyed looking at them all. The mosaic was really interesting too. Thanks so much for sharing your secret part of the world with us :)

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

OH Rhonda,
That is so awesome! The pics are amazing, you did a fabulous job taking those lovlies!
And what fun that must be!
I would get up early and go scurrying about with you. I need a trip to Florida again, I miss it!
I am always going to Phoenix to see my son, but it's desert and I like water!
Hugs friend and thanks for sharing this secret place!
Go Pack!

Simple Daisy said...

What a very beautiful place!! I would love to live near a secret little island like that:)

Leo said...

Oh my - what a beautiful post. I wish I had a place like that near by me...I would visit it all the time. Thanks for sharing it.

Completely Coastal said...

Sad but true..., all these creature's biggest enemy is mankind! What a wonderful place!!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

r, dropping by to let you know i'll phone you soon. love you. this computer thing is driving me bonkers. xoxoxoxoxoxoxo, s.

The Decorative Dreamer said...

Oh yes! I recognize this place. It is the place that is in my dreams. Where everything else just sinks away and the beauty of nature takes over! Who wouldn't want to keep this paradise for themselves? I don't blame you a bit! These photos are so gorgeous! I will enjoy visting this post often. How perfect is that photo of the sailboat in the sun and I really love the photo with the refection off the water,photo no 7! Photos 4 and 5 are gorgeous too! Of course you know if I ever make it down your way, I will be bugging you. LOL! I really loved this! Thank you!

Val said...


Lillian Robinson said...

Wow! Lots of amazing activity there. I prefer solid ground that doesn't ooze with crawling things.

I hope that your private paradise stays secret for centuries to come...

michelle said...

What a beautiful place! A special spot to live and see life lived in all of its wonder. Oh how I envy that peaceful morning stroll, how calming and exciting at the same time. They couldn't have chosen a more wonderful person to come and visit and protect their homes. Just beautiful!!

CrazyCris said...


and what a beautiful way to share it with us, thank you!

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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