8/6/14

Dolphins, Sunset and Miracles...






I had probably the best dolphin viewing of my life yesterday. I've been writing hard and at the day's end I needed to get some fresh air. I took a very willing Buster and Maggie for a walk to our favorite spot-- the bridge at Breach Inlet. Had a feeling I'd see the dolphins. They often feed in that churning water when the sun lowers.

The sky last night was magnificent. As I reached the top of the Hunley bridge a single, large black cloud hovered over the distant water like a great ship. Beneath it, rays of the day's last light poured out on the water. But where the Ravenel Bridge stood strong against the horizon, the sky opened up to golden light. Three dolphins were cavorting in Breach Inlet. After a few minutes, two dolphins swam across the water right under where I stood. Humans can be such vain creatures. I like to think the dolphins came directly to me, but I know that is merely wishful thinking. Buster put his paws high on the railing so he, too, could watch the dolphins below. I was happy, but didn't know what was about to happen...

On the small patch of beach below the bridge a father and son were surf fishing. Farther away, closer to The Boat House, four young children played. The dolphins drew very near them along the shore, to their utter delight. Curious, I walked closer toward them, enjoying the sight.

When, to my wonder and surprise, I saw what appeared to be a big wave hurtling toward the beach right in front of the children. That was no wave! Three dolphins pushed fish onto shore, beaching themselves as they snapped up fish. It all happened so fast! The children were leaping in excitement! Fish were flying! I laughed out loud! I'd never seen a "strand feeding" here at Breach Inlet, and never in front of humans. Such bold dolphins. They repeated the effort twice more to the cheers of diners at the restaurant.

The skyline deepened, turning the water that signature lavender and silver that shines iridescent and elicits sighs from those of us lucky to see it. The dolphins arched and dined a short while longer, then disappeared. People along the bridge put their cameras away and returned to their cars. The children on the beach continued to stare out with the hope of youth.

I tugged the leash for Maggie and Buster to begin our short walk home. As the sun set, I wondered if all those folks realized how lucky they were to have witnessed that amazing spectacle. It's rare. As I walked, I said prayers of thanks all the way home for the gift of the dolphins, the beautiful sunset, and for living in the lowcountry.

11 comments:

  1. Marilyn Croker BarkerAugust 6, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    I'm thankful that God gave you the gift of words. While reading this I actually felt my heart surge....Marilyn Croker Barker

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    1. Marilyn, I had the same feeling as I read. ~M

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  2. Thank you! I will have to visit Breech Inlet at sunset the next time I am on IOP!

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  3. I am so happy for you! Seeing the dolphins strand feed is something that no one ever forgets. I have been fortunate enough to see it a few times myself, and it certainly counts as one of the things in my life that I will always remember!

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  4. Love this! Such a spectacle to see and I, too, would feel so lucky to have been at the right place at the right time.

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  5. OH I would love to have seen that sight. Expect to be reading about it in your next book. :)

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  6. You are very lucky to have had that experience. Something truly to cherish. ~M

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  7. Just reading this I felt like I was there too! The picture is wonderful, and I appreciate you sharing this with is!

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  8. I saw a program about this. I believe it was hosted by The Naturalist at Kiawah Island. He said that strand feeding is unique to Low Country Dolphins. It is a taught behavior. The Mama dolphin teaches her young this behavior

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  9. That's wonderful! Yet another reason to fall madly in love with the Low Country.

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  10. Only you can create this memory in my own mind. I also will never forget....Thank you Mary Alice.

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All the best,
Mary Alice