A deep rooted love of mine of all time is nature, from flowers in the garden to coastal wildlife found rockpooling when I was young to now, every day there’s something new. Not just something new but something amazing. It stays with me for a while, the vision of what I’ve seen and I wonder at it, it’s almost unfathomable on one hand, unbelievably, unique and stunning.
This Sunday it was overcast, we were tired, my Steve has been working away for 4 weeks solid now with 4am starts most days so he’s pretty shattered and I think the grey ness got me so we decided to take a drive. We headed south for 40 minutes or so to Bribie Island. We didn’t know much about it but we decided to go and take a look. We grabbed a picnic and found a beach and just sat. The sea was green grey with storm clouds around but it was hot, not sun blaring hot, every where hot like a sauna.
As I ate my cheese roll and starred out to sea I saw something black, a shape, I always think I see something though and it turns out to be nothing, but there it was again. It was a dolphin fin, then several more and then another group to the left, they were everywhere. It was great to watch, I have lived near the sea for 10 years now but this was the largest dolphin pod I’ve seen, I haven’t been as lucky as some of my friends to see them frequently off the Welsh coast in the UK.
After lunch we carried on driving. Its not a big Island and we found there isn’t a lot on it, a little centre with all the usual shops, some houses but most of it is National Park so good for a weekend of camping. Just before we decided to head back we stopped again to take in the view of the Glass house mountains which, were rather misty and cloudy.
We walked onto the beach and watched Pelicans and people playing on kayaks in the sea. I did my usual beach inspection and looked down to find some lovely sand patterns. I noted there must be some crabs or worms in the send making small balls of sand, like a dotty pattern on top of the tide ripple patterns.
“MEL QUICK LOOK” my Steve called me over to where he was standing and I saw it, a dark carpet moving on top of the sand. What was it? I thought it might have been crabs but they were so tiny and many it was hard to tell. Where ever we moved, they moved away, they could feel the smallest of our moves, they flocked like an army over the sand and after running together for a while they all buried in the sand in a second, one minute there were hundreds, next minute they had disappeared.
We tried to stand still and watched them after a few minutes all start to re-surface. We were sure they were a kind of crab but they seemed to move forwards and backwards as well as sideways. Some of them were bright blue, with whitish legs and red patches around their leg joints. Steve managed to get some photos so we could identify them later, and as you can see because I’ve posted them here because they are great, I love the colours, the blue is so vivid, amazing.
When we arrived home, I sat down with a cup of tea and my computer tand very quickly found that they were soldier crabs. The blue ones were males and would grow to about an inch across, they come out of the sand in different groups and conditions, sometimes it’s just males, this time it was a mixture of males and babies.
So we had a great day out finding things on our doorstep and some great inspiration for me. I’m working on sketching the pattern I saw in the sand, but it isn’t working in pencil so I’ll have a go with some paint, in a few colour ways and see how it goes. I love seeing all these things, I really need to practise getting it down on paper more.
We also saw fairy rings, that is huge circles made of mushrooms, the mushrooms them selves are an abundance of pattern inspiration, let alone them being in circles. Really so much inspiration.