The beach was so broad the other afternoon when I took my daily walk. It was low tide and the hard packed sand was 100 - 150' wide in places. I walked for several miles without seeing a soul. The surf was quiet....just long, slow, low rollers nudging the beach. Beyond, there was an expanse of calm and quiet. Only a few birds bobbed on the waves. Not even a dolphin was to be seen.
Once, though, I noticed a hefty herring gull. It had plucked a clam from the sound and carried it over to the hard packed beach. She flew high up into the sky and dropped her clam from quite a distance. She accomplished her goal. The clam shell lay broken on the beach and she was busily pecking at it for the succulent, tasty meat.
All too often the gulls drop their clams on the highway since it's generally harder than the beach. It makes driving somewhat of a challenge because the broken shells are sharp and often cut through rubber tires. So be careful driving Highway 12 this time of year, especially near the bridges.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter chronicles the story of commercial fishing on Ocracoke, and tells of the efforts of the Ocracoke Working Watermen's Association to save the island's last remaining fish house. Click here to read the entire newsletter....and learn how to make a donation.