Friday, July 16, 2010

on the gulf

Today was Robin's last full day. We took off after breakfast on a lark and headed down to the coast at Matagorda. It's been a couple of years since I have been to the beach. We grabbed a tarp, some chairs and a cooler and headed south, about an hour's drive. They still let you drive on the beach at Matagorda and being a weekday, it wasn't crowded. We fashioned a shelter with the tarp off the side of the truck and spent the afternoon. We swam, built sand pyramids, looked for shells. A small blue crab was in the shallows settling itself into the sand and we rousted it out shrieking and dancing and laughing as it scuttled off. The sargasso seaweed was washing ashore. The powers that be used to scrape it off the beaches in the summer because it smelled and people didn't like it. Then the sand dunes became unstable. They've stopped doing that now and the dunes are once again healthy. Going to the coast has great restorative powers for me. It's so calming. I spent many summers and holidays on the beach while I was growing up.

Robin in her new clothes and shoulder bag 
that she made with a little help from me.

The Gulf of Mexico at Matagorda.

Our shelter for the day.

Small bits of shell on their way to becoming sand.

The pelicans patrolled the shore in groups of three to eight, sometimes settling onto the water in their clumsy fashion to fish. The indistinct smudge on the horizon line is an off-shore drilling rig. I counted seven in all, faintly seen.

Robin on the beach.

Sargasso seaweed. This stuff is very cool. It's a little eco-system usually. It's not unusual to see little shells and other small organisms taking shelter on it/in it. The sun was so bright I was having a hard time seeing the image on the viewer so most of the time I wasn't sure it was in focus.

This frumpy little alien followed me around all day.


  1. You make me long for a day on the beach. We lived on Jekyll Island for a few years when the twins were toddlers and spent many a day playing in the sand with our little tanned babies. Looks like you had a great time. Love her sewing project, you are such a good Gramma!!

  2. Hi Ellen

    what a lovely day...I love remote quiet beaches..

    You have made Robin's stay into a memorable holiday for her...

    Happy days

  3. That last one has me laughing!

    Your granddaughter is absolutely adorable and it's clear that she has a great time with her grandmother. Loved the pics of the sea shells and the kelp. What a great day!

    The off shore drilling makes me sad. The Gulf has been through so much.

  4. I love Robins outfit!

    Lovely photos of the beach

  5. Oh! I want to join you on the beach! It has been years and years since I felt the sand and surf. Sigh! Love her new outfit by the is adorable!!
    WTG Grandma!! Looks like everyone had a good time.

  6. What an adorable and talented Granddaughter you have. Love the outfit and purse!

    I could sit at the beach all day long just watching the ocean and be happy, happy, happy.

    Glad you had such a wonderful day.


  7. I don't think anything beats spending a day at the beach. It's so life affirming in some way. Your granddaughter will have great beach memories!

  8. I'd be happy to be your granddaughter (regardless of the flaw of our closeness in age). What a wonderful day. Reading about it made me feel like I got to have a day at the beach too. You know how to live life well.

  9. Beautiful. Happy day and good memories for all.

  10. Your great pics remind me why I love beach trips. We planned a beach trip to NJ last weekend, but there was pouring rain. We went anyway and walked on the boardwalk in the rain. The Gulf coast beaches are my favorite beaches in the world so I hope they recover. I read about your sewing project with your granddaughter--sounds like fun. I will have to remember that one in a few years. She's a cutie.

  11. Love the frumpy alien best! what a cool shot! Your day at the beach is enviable- I remember going with my folks to Padre island, walking on the beach there getting back into the car with about an inch of tar on the bottoms of my feet. Texas Tea!

  12. Absolutely idyllic. your grand is beautiful and a day like that will be a treasure piece for her to put on her necklace of lovely memory days spent with you. Blessings to you both.

  13. Sounds like a perfect day all round. Very envious of you. Hope Robin enjoyed her time with you.

  14. Lovely! Robin's new clothes are really cute - but I think the alien is my favorite part :)

  15. A goo day on the beach with a loved companion, searching for shells, swimming, hanging out, what could be more like summer.

    That's how memories are made.

  16. I need an impromtu beach day, soon! I grew up going to Galveston and still love to go there. Love the pics! Robin did a great job on the outfit and that tarp shelter is so cool!

  17. my family is flying out east to prince edward island in a week. i haven't been to an ocean beach for a very very long time and seeing your stories and pictures just got me wishing and excited and all warm inside for the memories that haven't even been made yet. sweet day and thanks for sharing these ellen. steven

  18. I loved the frumpy alien shot ;0)

  19. Great idea to attach the tarp to your truck. Looks like fun in the sun and sand. You are definitely not a frumpy little alien. Good pictures to share here.

  20. I just love this post, Ellen, and the pictures! Being from Michigan, trips to the beach were a regular part of my childhood. Yes yes, the sand, the shells, the little creatures, the seaweed, all of it. You know, it's funny, on sunny days, there's a frumpy alien who follows ME around, too!

    I was here yesterday to read this post, and I had just started to read when inspiration hit me over the head with a rubber mallet, and I started writing "Creatures Of The Sea" for my blog. At some point, I must have absently X'd out your post, and so I am back today to read it. Glad I did!

  21. What a great beach, and you seem to have had it to yourselves, along with the birds. That seaweed is very cool looking.

    As for your comment about Paris, I couldn't agree more, before I went. I was surprised my sister who said "we are going in 3 weeks, plan our itinerary, and then I fell in love . . . " I'll write a slightly longer version of this in response to your comment at sync.

  22. Wonderful text & lovely pictures & the word....


    Agneta, Sweden

    makes me think of the word


  23. Your alien comment totally cracked me up. I have one of those too... only fatter! Great photos all around.


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