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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

The Ghosts of Jekyll Island

Posted by Jody on October 28, 2017

As soon as Mary and I entered the clearing at the end of the access path to Driftwood Beach, we had an overwhelming feeling of otherworldliness. It was an eerie sensation -which took a little while to shake off- as we gazed on the haunting skeletons and sun-bleached bones and of oak and pine trees past. We had entered a forest graveyard.

DriftwoodBeach9

Driftwood Beach

Life (and more recently hurricanes) had gotten in the way of our usual pre-trip homework. We had expected actual driftwood -bits and pieces of wood that had washed ashore- scattered about a stretch of shoreline named Driftwood Beach, but that is certainly not what we found!

As Anthony (Tony) J. Martin, author of Life Traces of the Georgia Coast (Indiana University Press), succinctly explains in his blog post Doing Field Work on a Developed Barrier Island:

“At the north end of Jekyll, shoreline erosion has caused the beach and maritime forest to meet, and the forest is losing to the beach. This has caused the forest to become what is often nicknamed a “tree boneyard,” in which trees die and either stay upright or fall in the same spot where they once practiced their photosynthetic ways.”

 

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This scenic “cemetery” is a must-see any day of the year!  Climbing seems to be the favorite pass-time for kids, while adults sling hammocks on the gnarled branches. Stargazing is the ultimate choice for a romantic evening beneath the heavens. Driftwood Beach is likely the most explored and photographed stretch of beach on the Jekyll Island.

Off the beach, human ghost stories abound on this Golden Isle. Sightings are apparently common enough in the historic district, including the Jekyll Island Club Resort, which boasts a rich history of supernatural appearances – from a uniformed bellman performing his duties to a long gone railroad magnate who still evidently cannot begin his day without a cup of coffee and the morning newspaper. In the evening, after you’ve enjoyed a day of  beach explorations, you can join the “world famous” Jekyll Island Trolley Ghost Tour for legends and tales from beyond the grave. If you do, let us know how it goes!

JekyllIslandClubResort

Jekyll Island Club Resort

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Anthony Martin: Life Traces of the Georgia Coast

Related Halloween Links:

A Halloween Tale: Beware the Excirolana kincaidi!

The Graveyard of the Pacific: The Bones of the Peter Iredale

 

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Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Holiday, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

A Halloween Tale: Beware the Excirolana kincaidi!

Posted by Jody on October 31, 2012

 The Creepy Crawlies of Whaleshead Beach, Oregon

Whaleshead Beach. Oregon

You may have noticed that when our family travels, we frequently photograph beach signs. We actually read them, too!  Other beach goers will often pass us by as we stand there at the sandy entrance, perusing the notice packed signboards. Our guess is that a rather large percentage of people don’t pay much attention to these particular seaside information centers.

This way to Whaleshead Beach!

When Greg and I headed down the path to Whaleshead Beach, we couldn’t wait to see the view unfold. There it was: a magnificent rock jutting from the sun-drenched sea, looking just like a colossal breaching whale. It was a gorgeous sight!

Beautiful Whaleshead Beach, Oregon

Then we saw it: An 8 ½ x 11” piece of paper encased in plastic, attached to the official wooden signboard, that sent chills up our spines.  Excirolana kincaidi ?!

The Creepy Crawlies of Whaleshead Beach, Oregon: Sand beach isopod (Excirolana Kincaidi)

“These isopods alternately bury themselves in the sand and actively forage for dead animal matter.  They seem to be especially active in the shallow swash of retreating waves on sandy beaches.  Large numbers may quickly congregate around an animal carcass that washes in on a sandy beach while it is still in the water, and quickly strip the carcass of flesh.  This is the most common Excirolana species along the Washington coast.  Predators include sanderlings.”

Greg found the original of this posting at a Wallawalla.edu. There you’ll see much more information and additional technical specifics about these little flesh eaters of the Pacific Northwest sands, including pictures far more frightening than this one. The section that is highlighted in yellow on the sign is prominent in the university’s write up:

“Note:  Very few crustaceans will actually bite you but this nasty little creature is definitely one of them.  Barefoot waders in an area with Excirolana will find that the animals quickly swim toward and swarm over bare feet, biting them so hard that blood will be flowing within moments.  Since the animals are so small the bites are tiny but painful like a pin prick, and the animals are often present in swarms of thousands.  Rapidly shuffling the feet reduces but does not eliminate the number of bites.”

Although they seem a useful creature in keeping the beaches clean and sanitary (nature provides for all things), there seems to also be an undesirable side effect to having them around.  This note certainly killed any idea we had of heading to the water’s edge, even on the most beautiful, toasty October day!

Wouldn’t these little beasts be perfect for an Alfred Hitchcock movie? Move over, birds!

*A tag-team post by Greg and Jody*

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Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Safety Tips, Pacific Coast Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

The Ghost of Kate Morgan

Posted by Jody on October 26, 2012

The Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado, California

Reports of paranormal activity related to the 1892 death of the beautiful, young Kate Morgan at the beach-side Hotel Del Coronado are well known to the locals and the visitors of this sprawling, Victorian seaside resort. According to “The Del’s” public relations department:

“Hotel guests, employees, and even paranormal researchers have attested to some supernatural occurrences at The Del.  Witnesses report flickering lights, televisions that turn on and off by themselves, dramatic shifts in room temperatures, odd scents, unexplained voices, the sound of strange footsteps, mysterious breezes which cause curtains to billow when windows are closed, and objects which move of their own accord; still others claim to have seen the ghost of Kate Morgan herself.”

Years ago, our family spent Christmas week at The Del. Not one of us encountered Kate Morgan’s spirit or experienced any spooky happenings.  In fact, all five of us even scuttled past Kate’s room (#3327) on several occasions! No luck. Maybe we were just looking too hard.

Wide, sandy beach at The Hotel Del Coronado

The wide beach on which The Hotel Del sits is super clean. It stretches along 1 ½ miles of stunning San Diego County coastline. With its glistening sand, gentle waves and the backdrop of the iconic Hotel del Coronado, it’s the ideal Southern California destination. It is no wonder that, in 2012, the well-respected “Dr. Beach” crowned Coronado Beach “America’s Best Beach” with the release of his 22nd annual Top 10 Beach List.

The Sand Castle Man at work on the beach at the Hotel Del Coronado.

If you’re heading to Coronado, be sure to look for The Sand Castle Man (aka: Billy Pav) who likes to work (play?) on the beach near The Hotel Del.  He’s a friendly, award winning sand sculptor who loves to chat with passers-by about his rather unique craft. I forgot to ask him if he’s met Kate Morgan!

More related links:

Ghostly Goings-On at the Hotel Del Coronado (San Diego.org)

Guest Post: Let’s start the summer at Coronado Beach!

Cruisin’ Coronado (Travel Monkey)

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Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Friday Finds, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Friday Fun: Chica vs. Shark

Posted by alainaflute on October 19, 2012

At first, you might not think that Halloween and the beach go hand in hand. But pirates, haunted lighthouses, and ghosts who walk the craggy shore; that’s what Halloween is all about! In my case, rather than the spooky delights of the holiday, I favor the fun and laughter (okay, and the candy). I’ve had a great time dressing up my dogs over the years, and this was the first year I saw the opportunity to go with a beach theme!

Aaaah!

When I saw this costume online, I booked it to the store to pick it up. Lucky for me, there was still a size small! Not only is this costume good for a laugh, it’s a reminder that one can never be too careful when if comes to shark safety! Actually, I would never bring this little dog to a beach. She’s definitely a shark hors d’oeuvre (and she doesn’t really enjoy water).

Doooooo do….Doooooo do…

Posted in Friday Finds | Tagged: , | 12 Comments »

 
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