Beach Walk After Hurricane Irene, Part 1 - Sunday - August 28, 2011

Sorry this is a week late ;o((

Actually, it is already Sept 6th and this is the third try at posting this blog…hope it works!!

Click on any photo to enlarge it

Nancy here:  Bill and I decided to skip our usual Sunday morning bike ride today.  Instead, we wanted to walk the beach at Huntington Beach State Park and see what Hurricane Irene had done there.

We arrived at the State Park about 7am and drove to the
 north beach access.04 - Upper Path to Beach Huntington BeachBoardwalk to the beach…

04b - Approaching the Beach - Pelicans - Huntington BeachWe were almost to the beach when we saw these Pelicans
 skimming along the surf…

05 - Beach Walk - Morning Sun and CloudsThe sun was already up, but the light clouds made it a perfect time for beach combing and taking photos…

05a - Beach Walk - Shell CollectionThis group of shells was the first thing we saw…

It looked like Hurricane Irene had dumped a bag of shells for us to find!!

Thanks, Irene :o))

However, this was just the beginning of many treasures
she had left for us!! 

05b - Beach Walk - Sea UrchinNext came a Sea Urchin which still had its spikes!!

05c - Beach Walk - Colorful SeaweedHow about this colorful seaweed ?!?!

Irene’s rough surf had left the beach covered with
many different egg casings.

05d - Beach Walk - Skate Egg Case - Mermaids PurseThe photo above is the egg casing of a Skate.  Some people call it a “Mermaid’s Purse.”

What a GREAT name!!

The photo below is from the internet.  We did not see this on the beach.  However, this is a Skate which could have come out of the
Mermaid’s Purse ;o))05d2 - Beach Walk - Skate

Next we found a Horse Conch egg casing.  The Horse Conch is the State Shell of Florida, but has a range as far north as North Carolina.05e - Beach Walk - Horse Conch Egg CasingEach egg casing holds hundreds of Horse Conchs, so you would think we could find one… Nope, not a one!!

But here is an internet photo of a Horse Conch Shell.05e1 - Beach Walk - Horse Conch

Everywhere you walked you could find these strings of disks. 
They almost looked like necklaces. 05e2 - Beach Walk - Welk Egg Casing These are Welk egg casings.

05e3 - Beach Walk - Welk ShellYou guessed it, these photos of Welk Shells are from the internet as well ;o))   It is hard to imagine that these big shells start out in those tiny little disks.  Actually, there are several shells in each disk!!

The next 2 photos are UEC – Unidentified Egg Casings.05f - Beach Walk - Egg Casing05f2 - Beach Walk - Egg CasingPlease leave a comment if you know what they are!!

We found thousands of empty clam shells all over the beach.  I believe the birds have had a feast !05g1 - Beach Walk - clam shells

However, when the surf came in, we would see this little fountains of water.05g - Beach Walk - mini geyserObviously, the birds did not get all the clams :o))

The sunlight on this Rough Pen Shell made it look like it had been dipped in GOLD!!05h - Beach Walk - Rough Pen Shell in Sunlight

While we were lucky that Hurricane Irene was a minimal hurricane, she was strong enough to change the landscape of Huntington Beach….05i - Beach Walk - Breached Sand Dunes05i2 - Beach Walk - Breached Sand DunesMuch of the Sand Dunes were breached and destroyed…

In the photo below, you can see how the sand was washed over the Salt Marsh…05i3 - Beach Walk - Breached Sand Dunes

Below, I am standing on the sandy salt marsh looking out toward the jetty…the sand dune is missing :o((05i4 - Beach Walk - Breached Sand Dunes

In this next photo, Bill is standing where the sand dune should be…05i5 - Beach Walk - Breached Sand Dunes

As we continued our walk down the beach, we saw these tracks everywhere.05j - Beach Walk - Sand Crab TracksCan you guess what they are ?!?!?

Let’s pan out a little… Does this help??05j2 - Beach Walk - Sand Crab Tracks and Mounds

OK, right in the middle of the picture… See it ??05j3 - Beach Walk - Sand Crab from a distance

SEE  IT  NOW ???05j4 - Beach Walk - Sand Crab a little closerYes, these little Sand Crabs were everywhere rebuilding their burrows and tunnels.  However, it was so difficult to get a photo of one as they would dive in their burrows if you got anywhere close!!

However, this guy was one tough Sand Crab!!05j5 - Beach Walk - Sand Crab closeupHe just held his ground no matter how close I got ;o))

In many place, while the sand dunes were still there, they were extremely unstable.05l - Beach Walk - Sand Dunes Collasping

The last treasure we found before we reach the jetty was a huge horseshoe crab shell.05m - Beach Walk - Horseshoe Crab

Well, we have finally reach the jetty.05k - Beach Walk - Approaching the Jetty05k2 - Beach Walk - Approaching the Jetty

We will continue our beach walk in Part 2 !!!

Hope you will come along :o))


  1. Really nice pictures. Makes us long for those sand beaches.

  2. Third time's a charm :)

    Thanks for the walk on the beach! It's one of my most favorite things.

  3. Really glad you went to all the troublwe to redo this post. These pictures are just fantastic. I thought perhaps I would pick my favorite. Or two, or...... FORGET IT!! Can't do it.

    This just makes me long all the more for my favorite ocean, one of my favorite parks and two of my favorite people!!

    On to Cheraw!! You sure make armchair traveling fine!

  4. Really nice pictures!

    The crab in your pictures is called a ghost crab and your picture below the urchin is a sea sponge. I think the egg casing you refer to as horse conch egg casings may actually be tulip snail egg casings. And your unidentified egg casing belongs to horse conchs (I think). I just found an egg casing on Morris Island that I have been trying to identify and I think it's a horse conch case. It looks similar to your unidentified egg casing.

    Anyway, this post is from a few years back but I wanted to thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures!