Sunday, August 14, 2011

Beach The Sequel: Now with Jellyfish

I spent most of the day happily chasing him
Aunt Fanny took him into the "deep"
 With Abi, Aunt Fanny, and Uncle Nick visiting we took another day trip to the beach.  We stuck with the Atlantic City beach we went to last week since it had gone so smoothly.

The novelty had not worn off for Leo.  He remained in love with the sand, water and waves.  Running back and forth and back and forth, digging holes, and collecting shells.

taking a break in the shade to eat some lunch
When I was finally able to corral him into the tent for a mid-day break during the harshest sun he ate as though he hadn't eaten in days.  A salmon salad sandwich, peach, clementine, and lots of water - not to mention poking at everyone else's lunch. 

Aunt Fanny and Leo sharing secrets in the tent
He refused to nap (he had taken a short nap on the car trip in, so I wasn't too concerned) but he did enjoy some down time lounging with the family, cooling off, refueling and chatting. 

Me, Aunt Fanny, Uncle Nick, Abi and Leo
Notice the net Leo is holding.  It's nearly as large as he is and he toted that thing around all day.  I don't think he had any understanding of what it was or how it was intended to be used, but he loved it.  He was happy.  I was happy.  My favorite way to spend a day is at the beach with people I love.  Especially my true love.

jb and me
The only damper on the day was the massive number of jellyfish in the water and washed up on the shore.  I'm not a fan of jellyfish at all, but Leo seems to love them.  Last week there weren't nearly as many so I had no trouble steering him away from them; but this week the beach was covered and it was virtually impossible to avoid them.

I don't know much about jellyfish - but I associate them with stinging so I stay away.  But I watched dozens of children collecting jellyfish on the beach - with their bare hands and carrying them in buckets or in their arms against their bare chests, so I deduced that these clear ones must be fairly safe.  (Yes, I'm a super sleuth that depends on other people's children as guinea pigs.)  So, I allowed Leo to touch one.

Leo has no regard for my fear of jellyfish
He loved it.  After that he only had eyes for the jellyfish.  He spent over an hour walking up to the tide line where there were hundreds stranded, picking one up, walking it down to the edge of the water, throwing it back in the water and then turning around to walk back for another.  It thoroughly grossed me out - but he was thrilled.

I tried to do some research on jellyfish to understand which ones are safe and which aren't but didn't come up with much.  The best I can gather are that the clear ones are either Moon or Nettle jellyfish - but the red ones do sting and are perhaps Lion Mane?  Does anyone know when there are less of them - or when they come out in the hundreds like this weekend?  Is it a seasonal thing, weather change, or time of day that brings them on?  I was surprised to see so many since we had been there the week before and there were only a few.  I'm glad to know that the clear ones aren't dangerous, but I'd still like to avoid them because I can't shake the "ick". 

We steered clear of the "red" jellyfish

 Note:  I had been thinking that it was the weather that brought all the jellyfish to the shore since as we were leaving the beach a major 36 hour rainstorm hit, but jb suggested that perhaps it was the full moon affecting the tide - which makes a ton of sense. 

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