Padre Island Boardwalk

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April 10th 2012
Published: April 11th 2012
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Before setting out on our drive to the San Antonio Airport, we strolled along the boardwalk for a final goodbye to the beach. When we reached the end of the boardwalk, we chose to go down and comb the water's edge for more critters instead of staying on the boardwalk. The day before, Andrew and Gene had found live sand dollars on the beach, and I wanted to see them for myself. Unfortunately, the only ones we found today were dead. It was still interesting to see the creatures in all of their teal fuzziness instead of just the skeletons.

The Sargassum seaweed still littered the beach. Carol told me that bulldozers come occasionally to push it all back into the dunes. I didn't find the seaweed to be a nuisance. Actually, I liked it because it gave us so much to see! But she explained that areas of the beach that aren't kept up are literally covered with the seaweed. You can't get around in those parts, so the bulldozing makes sense.

We found two washed up Portuguese Man-o-Wars, which Carol told me aren't actual jellyfish. I read about them later and learned that they are technically something
A Sea GullA Sea GullA Sea Gull

The gulls are much more colorful in Texas!
called a siphonophore, and they differ from jellyfish in that they're made up of multiple organisms and aren't just a single, living creature. They still sting, so we kept away. Carol told me she's only been stung once. The sting didn't last all that long, she said, but she told me it hurt a lot. She also said that people don't use vinegar for Portuguese Man-o-War stings. Unlike with actual jellyfish stings, the vinegar makes the sting from a Portugese Man-o-War much worse. So, the locals use unseasoned meat tenderizer to treat the stings.

I spotted a sign that asks people to call if any sea turtles are spotted on the beach. This is the time of year sea turtles nest, but Gene told me people go their whole lives without seeing it. I guess they mostly nest down in Mexico. In Texas, the beaches tend to be too broad, and if a turtle tries to cross the beach to lay eggs, it will often end up dying. This must be why they want sea turtles on the beach reported.

In all, we got to find many shells, see a few seagulls and pelicans, and say fairwell to
Live Sand DollarLive Sand DollarLive Sand Dollar

This is one of the live sand dollars that Andrew spotted yesterday. We found a few recently dead ones today.
the beach. We rinsed our feet off at a station on the boardwalk and said our goodbyes.

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