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If we were having coffee: Beachcombing edition

Winter swimming can be risky.
Winter swimming can be risky.

Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.

~ Sarah Kay

Over the top.
Over the top.

If we were having coffee, tea, water, or any of a number of other beverages we have available here at the ranch, I would tell you that I am very happy to see you again.  It seems like it’s been ages even though I think it’s only been about a week.  Big hugs if you’re amenable to hugs.  Come on in!  Let’s grab our drinks and something to nosh on (we are well stocked with sweet, salty, and savory foods), and have a seat in the living room near the wood stove.  It is nice and cozy in there.  We’re having one of the coldest days yet of this winter season.  Last I checked, it was about 14°F outside and quite windy.  It didn’t get as cold or as windy as the weather folks predicted, but it surely is cold enough.

Trying to rearrange what Mother Nature moved during the last big storm.
Trying to rearrange what Mother Nature moved during the last big storm.  The nor’easter we had a few weeks ago really reshaped the beaches.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  ♥  How are you?  What have you been doing lately?  Have you traveled anywhere?  Seen any new sights or spent time enjoying familiar sights?  Have you gotten together with friends, old or new, and/or family?  Have you tried or learned something new?  Taken any good walks or hikes?  Eaten any good or great food?  Read any good books or seen any good films?

Lines in blue and gray.
Lines in blue and gray.

If we were having coffee or some other beverage, I would tell you that I haven’t had much time for reading this week.  A long-time friend, T, came for a visit.  The beginning of the week was spent getting the house ready for his visit, and once he arrived, we’ve been having almost non-stop fun.  The only thing interrupting the fun and games was sleep.  Everyone needs to rest occasionally, even when you’re feeling young and energetic at heart.

At rest on the beach.
At rest on the beach.

We did watch a movie last night with T.  I wasn’t too sure about it at first, and I was kind of hoping someone would say, “That’s enough of that,” but as the movie got going, it became quite interesting.  It’s not a new movie.  In fact, it is a French-Algerian film from 1969.  The name of the film is “Z,” and it is described as a political thriller.  According to Wikipedia, it was the first film (and one of the few) to be nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Picture.  It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.  I have no idea how it turned up on my Netflix list.  I know I put it there, of course, but I don’t know why or where I would have heard of it.  Perhaps someone recommended it.  Whatever the case, I’m glad we persevered through the beginning.  The musical score was interesting, too, and often contributed to the suspenseful feel (as music will do if it’s done well).

[Z] is a film of our time. It is about how even moral victories are corrupted. It will make you weep and will make you angry. It will tear your guts out…When the Army junta staged its coup in 1967, the right-wing generals and the police chief were cleared of all charges and ‘rehabilitated.’ Those responsible for unmasking the assassination now became political criminals. These would seem to be completely political events, but the young director Costa-Gavras has told them in a style that is almost unbearably exciting. Z is at the same time a political cry of rage and a brilliant suspense thriller. It even ends in a chase: Not through the streets but through a maze of facts, alibis and official corruption.

~ Roger Ebert, written at the time the film was released

Resting on the sea.
Resting on the sea.

If we were having coffee, tea, or something else, I would tell you that our days were full while our friend T was visiting.  M and T spent the first few days with work stuff (careers they have in common), but we used the evenings well, including trying a restaurant up in Salisbury that M and I hadn’t been to yet.  Thank goodness it turned out well.  Sometimes our jaunts to new restaurants don’t always work out although I think our record is generally a pretty good one in terms of finding great places to eat vs. ending up with poor service and/or bad food.  We shot some pool after dinner, and that was a blast.  I can’t remember the last time I played pool.  Maybe not since we moved from northeast Ohio to the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Horseshoe crab shell.
Horseshoe crab shell.

We went to Roadie Joe’s Bar and Grill where they were serving Cajun/Creole food in honor of Mardi Gras.  I had a really good Red Beans & Rice.  M had the Seafood Gumbo.  And T decided to give their cheesesteak a try since he lives in the Mid-West where a good cheesesteak is difficult to find.  He said it was one of the best he’s ever eaten so I’m going to give it a try the next time we eat there.  My only complaint, and this is true of all the food we’ve eaten out lately, is the heavy use of salt.  Roadie Joe’s wasn’t too bad in that regard, however they could lighten the salt load a little.  I do wish that chefs everywhere would spend a month without salt to reset their palates and learn how to season with little or no salt.  I don’t need a lot of salt on my food (none of us do), and do most of my cooking without it.  I know food tastes bland at first when you cut back or eliminate salt in your diet, but it’s amazing how the palate adjusts and you start to enjoy the natural flavors of the food and other herbs and spices.  Salt should be used to enhance, not overpower, the natural flavors of food.  After several days of eating salty foods in restaurants, my home cooked food tastes a little bland and I will have to do some readjusting.

Whelk egg case (also known as a "Mermaid's necklace").
Whelk egg case (also known as a “Mermaid’s necklace”).

For weekend fun and pleasure, we took T to Assateague Island to visit the beach, do a little hiking on some of the trails, and to see the wild horses.  The weather has not exactly been beach weather, but our first outing to the Maryland side of Assateague Island wasn’t too bad.  The temperature was in the upper 20’s and the wind was relatively calm.  The recent storms, including the nor’easter named Winter Storm Jonas, really changed the contours of the beaches.  Some of the roads and trails were closed either due to problems caused by the storms or because they are doing winter maintenance.

Broken and discarded.
Broken and discarded.

There were quite a few shells and other things washed up on the beach.  I was hoping to find some sea glass, but didn’t have any luck.  I did bring home a shell or two.  I do most of my collecting via the camera these days.  Otherwise, my house would be filled with shells (and rocks and feathers and bones and other things I like to tuck into my pocket when I come across them in places where collecting is allowed).

A jumble of pieces and shells.
A jumble of pieces and shells.

We hiked the Life of the Forest Trail and the Life of the Marsh Trail while visiting Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland.  We found and admired a number of horses.  Their winter coats, thick and soft and shaggy looking, are beautiful.  I got some great pictures, but you’ll have to wait for most of them.  Here’s a little sneak peek:

A young one.
A young one.

I took a lot of photographs on our walks and hikes.  It will take me a little while to sort through them.  From my vantage point at the moment, this should be a quiet week which will give me time to do the sorting and write up a post or two.

February 2016C 021a
A touch of purple.

We also went to Ocean City where we played some indoor miniature golf (M and T tied, I think, and I came in third), checked out one of the many microbreweries, and had dinner at a restaurant that is obviously popular with the locals, and for good reason.  The food and service were great.  The Full Moon Saloon doesn’t have any water views, but it was nighttime and frankly, we didn’t need it.  Some of the restaurants with great views have mediocre food and/or mediocre service although some manage to pull off both great views and great food.

Nestled in the sand.
Nestled in the sand.

If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would imagine I’ve taken up enough of your time for now.  I have a lot more to tell you about including a visit to Chincoteague and the Virginia side of Assateague Island.  Hopefully I’ll get to all of it this week.

Sunset colors on the ice formations at the Point yesterday evening.
Sunset colors on the ice formations at the Point yesterday evening.

Thank you so much for visiting.  I always enjoy our coffee chats.  If you’d like to stay for sunset, I’m thinking about going down to the Point.  It will be brutally cold and windy, but if you are willing to brave the wind and the cold, you might be rewarded for your efforts.  M, T, and I went yesterday and I saw a bald eagle as well as some interesting ice formations on the beach grasses.  This evening’s sunset takes place at 5:40 PM.  I’ll go a little early, as usual, so I have time to look around before the light fades.

Sunset colors reflected on a Bald Eagle (from the Point yesterday).
Sunset colors reflected on a Bald Eagle (from the Point yesterday).

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Yesterday's sunset.
Yesterday’s sunset.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Thank you to Diana for hosting it.  Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

weekendcoffeeshare

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

31 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: Beachcombing edition

  1. Such lovely photos—I especially love that one of the horse. One of these days I’m going to make it to Assateague Island and see those beautiful creatures. 🙂

    Sounds as though you’ve had a pleasant week, too. It’s always fun to have visitors and show them our usual haunts as we catch up, but I also know what you mean about the energy it can require. All things in moderation, even moderation, I suppose. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s probably true, Diana, even when it comes to moderation. lol! If you do make it out this way, get in touch. We usually know where to find the horses although in summertime it’s not all that difficult if you’re at the state park (instead of the national park). People tend to bring food and/or feed the horses, and that brings them to the beach. Winter is not the best time for the beach, but it is, in my opinion, the best time to see the horses in the wild (rather than in the parking lots).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your photos are great, as they always are. The beach photos, despite gray skies, are soothing to the soul. As to salt, for years I have cut back on salt to the point I used almost none – if you don’t count the occasional potato chip binges – then, at my last visit to the doctor, my sodium levels were low and he said to eat more salt! Irony.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carol. 🙂 Irony indeed. I was looking into low sodium levels recently (because of a family member) and drinking too much water will lead to that as well. Given how much water I consume during the day, it’s a wonder my sodium levels haven’t been low.

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  3. Happy Valentine’s day to you! I enjoyed walking with you today. I love the pictures of shells, horseshoe crab and pony. I love Assateague. I love Maryland. I grew up there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary. 🙂 I’m glad you could come along. I’m fairly new to this area (almost 3 years since we moved here), but I can see why you love it. Assateague is one of my favorite places in what I’ve seen of the world. I love the dunes, the twisted trees, and pretty much everything about it. The summer crowds are not a favorite, but it is good to see people enjoying nature and our national parks so I try not to complain too much about that.

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  4. Beautiful pictures as always. Especially love the horse portrait. I’ve decided Mother Nature must be quite drunk these days. Two weeks ago today I was out on a lovely walk with temperatures close to 60 degrees and basking in the sunshine. Brutal cold and wind chills arrived here this weekend. I got up this morning my themometer said -10!! We have a “high” of 9 today!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like a wonderful visit with your friend. I love to play pool also but it’s been a long time. The way I play is usually worth a few laughs! The horses at Assateague are beautiful! I had friend that went down there recently and took a tour of the islands. They said it was great. We are very close so it would certainly be a good day trip for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been here almost three years and still haven’t toured a lot of the islands, Nancy. I’m hoping to remedy that this year. The horses are incredibly beautiful, especially when they are wearing their winter coats. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful photos, as usual. The egg case is cool.
    I’ve actually seen the movie, “Z,” but it was many years ago, and I don’t remember it. It seems to me that I saw it in a theater–perhaps it was rereleased at some point.
    It sounds like you had a wonderful visit with your friend–good dinners and great outings!

    We had houseguests, too, for the weekend. My older daughter and her wife were here for my husband’s surprise birthday party. He didn’t know they were coming, so that was a surprise, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 I think I read somewhere that “Z” had been rereleased but I’m not sure when. Isn’t it wonderful when a surprise works out as planned? Sounds like it was a great party.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Robin, beautifully poignant photos as usual. We have had quite a few storms at our beach too and have lost what must be hundreds of trees in the last year due to heavy erosion, It’s always sad to go down there to find another row of trees gone. They’ve had to sandbag the beach to save the road. The road was closed for about 3 months last year. We’ve lived here for 15 years and it’s never been like this before.
    I’m overdue for a walk along the beach with the dogs.
    Hope you have a great week.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rowena. 🙂 Wishing you a great week too.
      They have been having trouble with the trees on Assateague Island on the Virginia side. Pine beetles are killing them. I think they’ve lost about 200 acres of trees so far. However, they’re seeing it as a good thing for now because it will allow some of the hardwoods to grow. The pines tend to dominate and take over.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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