It was seriously a Chamber of Commerce day in Neptune Beach today. And though there were more people than usual on the beach today, just because it’s the week between Christmas and New Years … it was literally a picture-perfect day to be down by the ocean.
It was about 75 degrees, the sky was clear, the ocean is cold, but not unbearable. Jenni said “not too bad after your feet get numb”. It wasn’t even that bad, really. Cool, but not unpleasant. There were plenty of surfers and kayakers in the water, a few hardy swimmers, mostly under 10 years old an obviously from out of town, women in bikinis who have no business wearing them lying on the sand (also obviously from out of town) and lots and lots of shorebirds.
I shot the birds. No reason to take pictures of women who probably don’t want them taken … and it’s probably poor form for a middle-aged man to take photographs of other peoples’ kids at the beach.
I saw a mixed flock of a half dozen different kinds of birds lounging just above the waterline. Everything from tiny sand pipers to full sized gulls all enjoying the afternoon sun. They let us get fairly close, and I managed to get some interesting perspective shots into the crowd. But the best part came when one decided to bug out, and the rest of the bunch followed suit. I managed to capture a nice image of the mass departure. They didn’t go far … they never do. Just far enough to feel safe from the people around them, and then settling back into the shallow water of the outgoing tide.
Of course, we had a reason to go to the beach today. Not that we needed a reason to go. But Jenni seems to have contracted a nasty case of athletes’ foot from a pair of shoes she brought down here. Her story is that she got the fungus from a pair of socks she borrowed, and wore in the shoes she brought. She’d fought down the infection earlier, but when she wore the shoes with no socks earlier this week, the fungus hit her again.
Regardless, salt water is just about the best thing for what ever ails you. It heals cuts and scrapes, clears sinuses, and I figured that a walk in the water would be good for her feet. It wasn’t as therapeutic as I’d hoped, but a half hour in the sunshine and ozone from the breaking waves was worth the short drive to the beach. That, and spending time with my daughter. That’s always worth the effort.
As usual, all today’s photos are up on Flickr.
Speaking of making an effort, I got back on the bike this morning for a nice 18.5 mile ride. My legs and butt were both complaining pretty loudly, but I managed to finish it. The weathers’ supposed to turn cold again the next couple of days, with a chilly wind out of the northeast, so I’m glad I got a ride in this morning. We’re going to have to work hard to get some weight off this year, and the bike and the elliptical machine will be a big part of that. It’s time to really get serious about those tight 40″ waist pants. That’s just not acceptable.
Wish me luck.