Walking along the shores of Anna Maria Island, I am nearly hypnotized by the continuous lapping of the waves upon the sandy shore. Many poets have written about how the moonlight glimmers on the seemingly never-ending horizon of an ocean. But, I wonder, has there ever been a word created that can truly describe all that God has created in this world, or for that matter, the universe? As my feet leave behind footprints in the sand that eventually will disappear, is that really any different than when we pass on and in a generation or so, the knowledge of our existence will also, most likely vanish? Ghost crabs scamper across the sand during the night, in search of whatever they consider food, occasionally being interrupted by the curious tourist attempting to capture them by tossing a hat or beach blanket on top of it. During the daytime, and without knowledge of many of the beach goers, these mysterious creatures are carrying on with their daily lives just inches below the surface of the sand, awaiting the sun to dip below the far-off horizon. Unknowingly, the out-of-state traveler picks up what appears to be some sort of tangled, brown seaweed and after feeling its slimy surface, heaves it back upon the hot summer sand. Unwittingly, the sun worshiper has just been handling an unusual creature called a Basket Star Fish. Despite its shape not resembling anything near what we would normally picture in our mind, it however is of the same family.
Coquina Beach, appropriately named after a tiny mollusk that calls this beach home, is a beautiful rainbow colored beach. The beauty of this beach is created in part by the many colors of Coquinas that make up the beach. Bending down and scooping a handful of sand and shells will quickly give the unsuspecting beachcomber a unique experience. Just after picking up a handful of beach sand, those tiny, triangle shaped shellfish will soon begin to burrow into the sand in an attempt to escape. Though we are blessed with a colorful view of these tiny creatures, if you decide to collect a few of these to take back to Indiana, they will soon lose their brilliant hues, leaving you nothing more than just a handful of dull-looking seashells.