Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Black Eel

Today's beachwalk revealed a black eel curled on top of a rock outcropping, while warm waves crashed and splashed against yet another eroding shoreline cliff, very similar to the scenario at Blowing Rocks Preserve. The setting was Santa Lucea Beach on Hutchinson Island.

Because a family member sports an inked (but not needled) tattoo of a remora on her upper back, bestowed during a week-to-week party in San Francisco, California, the similarity was noted and categorized as 'suspicious' in maternal brain-memory.

However, the proximity of the historical House of Refuge is a hint that other creatures might also periodically be flung onto the beach from the water, nearby -- hence the shoreside building. It is rumored quite officially, in the local newspaper, that an historic Spanish ship lies sunken underwater nearby as well, although only the hints of amateur boat-launchings can be seen wedged between two sizeable rocks (some kind of wooden crosspiece bearing nearly-new nails and screws).

One eel is not a lot, yet every bird within eyesight flapped and soared and dipped as his/her chance to grab the stiffened and very visible fish became instead the increased probability of airborne collision. Not far away the age-55+ condominium retirement community residents riveted their eyes on the lone seaboard tidbit (almost a two-footer) just as they had been taught to do whenever some odd creature gasps its last breath within the range of a household stove, the slope of the terrain and population mass become a palpable strain on the atmosphere.

The local newspaper also tells us that a great white shark that chomped the leg of a guy named Martin in Solano, CA, is long gone from those environs. As nightime darkens the skies and people turn their eyes and thoughts elsewhere, does Santa Lucia Beach become a tableau where a naughty shark finds repast?

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