These colorful boats dot the beach and are popular rentals for tourists. They also make nice photo ops. ;)
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
One place I would like to visit again is the marina. I stopped by on a very muggy, overcast day as a few raindrops began to fall. I first noticed the marina from our van as we traveled over the causeway. I snapped this shot through the window as we drove by.
Walking on the docks is permitted before 6pm, but the marina can be viewed from the surrounding piers anytime. I hear the view is gorgeous at sunset from the Coastal Kitchen restaurant, which overlooks the marina. I hope to take in a sunset from one of the piers across from the marina if I am lucky enough to return to the island again.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Not as fiery as some of the other shots, but I love the soft pastel colors.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
We didn't make a huge effort to go shell collecting, but we did manage to find some beautiful souvenirs while playing on the beach courtesy of Mother Nature. We found most of the shells at low tide when they were left on the shore by the receding water. After boiling, bleaching and some elbow grease to remove a few stubborn barnacles, our treasures shined up nicely with a little mineral oil rub.
The Knobbed Whelk is Georgia's official state seashell. These shells can grow to a length of 12 inches, but most found are from 3-5 inches long. Minerals in Georgia's coastal waters cause striations on the sand-colored surface of these whorled shells.
The kids found many sand dollars. Most were returned back to the water, but we did find a few to bring home. Because they are so fragile, my husband carefully wrapped each one in a paper towel and then newspaper before leaving the island. We were happy to see they all arrived home in one piece.
"The tide recedes, but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand. The sun goes down, but gentle warmth still lingers on the land. The music stops, yet echoes on in sweet, soulful refrains. For every joy that passes, something beautiful remains."
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
|Marsh view from the John Gilbert Nature Trail|
As you cross the causeway heading onto St. Simons, you are surrounded by beautiful marshes stretching out to the horizon on either side. The marshes are a fragile ecosystem, but some of the most extensive and productive marshlands in the world. Marsh grass and microscopic plants that support the food chains of shrimp, fish, oysters and crabs capture the sun's energy and nutrients from nearby rivers. Many land animals also breed and feed in the marshes. I saw a few marsh rabbits and white egrets.
In the 1870's, Georgia poet Sidney Lanier was inspired by the marshlands to write The Marshes of Glynn.
I regret not exploring the marshes more and taking in a sunrise there, something I will plan on for my next visit. We did get some stunning views as we were driving. The bridge in the distance is named after poet Sydney Lanier.
As the marsh-hen secretly builds on the watery sod, Behold I will build me a nest on the greatness of God: I will fly in the greatness of God as the marsh-hen flies In the freedom that fills all the space ’twixt the marsh and the skies: By so many roots as the marsh-grass sends in the sod I will heartily lay me a-hold on the greatness of God: Oh, like to the greatness of God is the greatness within The range of the marshes, the liberal marshes of Glynn
|View from the Sidney Lanier Bridge as we crossed to Jekyll Island.|
|Marsh view from Morningstar Marina|
Thursday, August 18, 2011
We took a trip over to Jekyll Island to visit The Georgia Sea Turtle Center. I snapped this pic. of the island's entrance through the car window as we were driving.
The center is devoted to the rehabilitation of sea turtles as well as education and research programs. It provides state-of-the art emergency care for sick and injured sea turtles. We enjoyed the hands-on exhibits and learning about the sea turtle's journey from egg to adulthood.
Once we were finished inside, we headed out to the Rehabilitation Pavilion to view the sea turtles currently being treated at the center. The kids loved watching them swim around and reading about their history, injuries and care. This was a great educational experience for the whole family and worth the visit to see these threatened creatures in person.
This little guy's name is Captain.
Photog. tip: Flash photography is not allowed at the center and photos are a challenge. If you visit, take along a circular polarizer. It will help eliminate the glare on the water.
Monday, August 15, 2011
The St. Simons Island Lighthouse is one of the the island's most historic and beloved landmarks. It is located near the village and pier at Neptune Park and is one of five surviving light towers in Georgia. It is the oldest brick structure in the area, dating back to 1872. The original structure was built in 1861, but was destroyed by Confederate troops to prevent its use by Union ships. The lighthouse stands 104 feet tall and has 129 interior steps. Its light casts as far as 23 miles out to sea, and guides traffic entering St. Simons Sound. My sons and husband took a Ghost Encounter and were able to tour the lighthouse at night. They were told it is the third most famous haunted lighthouse in the nation!
If you love lighthouses, I stumbled across a neat blog. Lighthouse Explorations chronicles the Stewart Family's adventures visiting lighthouses around the country. They get stamps along the way for their Lighthouse Passport. I had never heard of the passport, but what a cool way to create some amazing family memories!
Friday, August 12, 2011
Christ Church, Frederica is one of the most serene places we visited. The grounds are gorgeous with more moss-draped live oaks, holly and cedar trees. The congregation at Christ Church traces back to 1776. Brothers John and Charles Wesley, considered the fathers of Methodism in America, once preached under the giant oaks. The first church was partially destroyed by Union Troops during the Civil War. The current structure was built in 1884 and is home to an active Episcopal congregation. The site is also home to a cemetery with graves of early settlers dating back to as early as 1803.
If you visit Christ Church, just across the street you will find the entrance to Wesley Garden, dedicated to John and Charles Wesley. I wish I could return in spring as this garden is home to 4000 azaleas. I bet they put on quite a show!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
“Some beach somewhere, there’s a big umbrella casting shade over an empty chair. Palm trees are growing, warm breezes blowing. I picture myself right there, on some beach, somewhere.”
Summer Driggs of Summertime Designs is offering a cute new digi kit perfect for all those vacation and summer photo projects. The kit is called "FlipFlop-sicles" and contains papers, ribbons, beach elements and other embellishments. These can be used for digital scrapbooking, frames, collage embellishments, etc. Summer does amazing work and offers her kits for free for personal use. Enjoy!
Download the FlipFlop-sicles kit
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Hands down my favorite sign on the island! Had to take a break from "island time" for some "Hammertime." lol
One of the first things I noticed on the island was the natural canopy made by the live oaks draped in Spanish moss lining the entrance. As the story is told, St. Simons was once home to a thriving lumber industry. Oak timbers from Cannon's Point were used in 1794 to help build the U.S.S Constitution. Island timbers were also cut in 1874 for the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. On average of about 300 years, these trees provide shade and beauty to the island.
The "Avenue of Oaks" makes a grand entrance to the Sea Island Golf Club
Found this little park by accident
Across the street from the John Gilbert Nature Trail
Next time I hope to visit these when the lighting isn't so flat. I bet the morning glow is amazing at the Avenue of Oaks.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I had seen Gould's Inlet mentioned in the pocket guide. While out driving around, we decided to stop by and check it out. Good thing we did. The view was breathtaking! It seemed so vast with the sand and shoals stretching on for what seemed like forever and meeting the bright blue sky at the horizon. We even saw a great white heron stopping to hang out in one of the pools of water left behind by the falling tide. It was really amazing going back the next morning for the sunrise. It was high tide and I couldn't believe the dramatic transformation.
The Georgia coast is part of the Georgia bight, which is sort of like a giant funnel. Georgia is at the center of the funnel and at high tide, water is pushed by the shape of the coastline and a 6-8 ft. tidal change occurs. At low tide, the sandbars (shoals) appear and the waves virtually disappear. As the tide rolls in, the sandbars are covered and the waves get bigger and bigger. Water eventually covers most of the beach, all of the beach in some places. It is fascinating to watch. Visitors quickly learn to check the tide charts daily.