Located on the barrier island of Sand Key is Sand Key Park, which I visited in January. There is a playground, some trees, grassy areas, and a trail, but my visit started out as a bit boring. Finally, I took my chair out on the beach and just sat in the sun and wind. It wasn’t very crowded. I tried to read, but the book I had brought was also boring. I’m horrible at planning. That was when I started to walk around and noticed all the shells. There were a lot of shells both pretty and strange. Some were quite large. There were also numerous sponges and large bits of coral washed up all around me.
Inspiration struck and I started building sand castles. I made one with inner passages hidden by doors made from large shells. The other two castles somehow became sand volcanoes. I used sponges for the central fountains of lava in the craters, and red seaweed for the lava flowing down the sides. Broken red stalks of sea whips became the arcs of hot rocks thrown from the top. I lost all track of time.
While scrounging for more red seaweed to finish my lava flows, I came across the strange crab shown below. The head is at the pointed end. All the spines point this way. There was much animal life about. Sandpipers ran along the water’s edge, running back and forth to keep out of reach of the waves. Gulls flew by carrying tiny fish in their mouths, screeching the whole way.
When I finally left just before sunset, I walked along the beach to see what structures others had built. There were castles and even entire citadels. Somebody had even made a giant turtle covered in shells. All Florida beaches are treasures. How can one be bored at a beach?
1060 Gulf Boulevard, Clearwater, Florida
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.