Mashes Sands... I first heard this mysterious-sounding name many years ago - said to be a local beach at the mouth of Ochlockonee Bay. It took a few more years before I visited. Bob Thompson (above) invited me to meet him there for a sunrise low tide (..."and bring your wading boots.") We hadn't walked far before I was taken in by the magic in the sand and how it was shaped by the tides and currents and wind. We walked - and waded across Sand Creek - going a mile or so, around the point into Dickerson Bay. And then back again.
Less than a half hour from my home, Mashes Sands has become one of my favorite places on Florida's Gulf Coast. Let me show you why.
Gulf Cloud Arc
I love the ever-changing patterns in the sand, the big sky, and the little surprises found on each and every visit.
Ghost Crab Reflection
Crab Trap Abstract
Dawn Sky Mashes Sands
Vulnerable acreage adjoining this county-owned beach was high on the list for acquisition by the Florida Forever Program. In 2011, I submitted the next three photos for consideration in the Florida Forever Calendar, an effort to raise awareness and to get the FL Legislature to re-fund the neglected Program.
Mashes Sands Hammock
Florida Forever Cover
The third one was selected and ultimately made the cover. It was one of those serendipitous moments. I'd just set up to make a photo of this rather plain scene when suddenly a flock of Black Skimmers approached from beyond those trees, circled and landed right in front of me. Surprise!
There are freshwater and saltwater marshes between the beach and mainland - full of life and diversity...
Prints in the Sand
Blanket Flowers and Wood Storks
Gulf Dawn Panorama
Nature the Artist creates (and destroys) amazing new sculptures at Mashes Sands each day...
Sand Creek Delta
And the Seep Trees always draw me in...
This is a popular place for folks to walk and dogs to romp... [but don't let 'em chase the shorebirds]
Scruffy... Full Tilt Boogie
Black Skimmers [NOT roused by Scruffy]
Mashes Sands commands a wondrous view of the Universe...
Still Standing 1
Still Standing 4
And magnificent vistas of fierce Gulf storms rolling in...
Ebbing Tide & Storm
Mashes Sands Sunrise Storm
Mashes Sands and the surrounding area was hit hard by Hurricane Michael a few months ago. (What's Left was made shortly after the hurricane.) "Still Standing" is no longer. In fact, the topography is largely altered, but this natural shoreline is remarkably resilient. We're still wandering there, in awe of the surprises and life along the Gulf.
Now you know. If you are near Wakulla County, this unique wild Florida coastline is a place not-to-be-missed. Thanks for your visit. Please share this link widely. And please leave a comment here at the blog. I'd love to hear from you.