A Muddy River Walk To Identify a Clump

my feet sunk into the mud

Last September I had a good day out on the boat. Low tide offered some interesting sea life finds. I was so excited by getting a really good hermit crab video, that I neglected to write about another aspect of the trip. I took a long walk across the muddy flats to inspect a large object in the distance.

Our day out on the water proved to be one of discovery.

First, at the boat ramp, while my son parked the truck and trailer, I found a bubble shell. It’s the only shell of it’s kind I’ve ever seen.

We stopped at an unnamed island along the Indian River where I’d previously seen some very large Tulip shells. This is where I took the hermit crab video and began to wonder if hermit crabs could oust a mollusk from it’s shell.

Three Sisters islands

After we enjoyed that little island, we went just north a bit to Three Sisters. This is one of my favorite places to beach-comb and take photos when the tide is low. It’s also a good place to get into the water to cool off on a hot day.

Must Identify That Clump

The tide was very low and we could walk a long way. Lots of muddy ground was exposed which meant there would be lots of marine life to see.

Off in the distance, in an area where I’d never walked, there was something large sitting on the mud. Any time something stands out like that it’s worth a look. I figured it might be a big horse conch and hoped it was not a dead animal.

It turned out to be a clump of something I can’t identify. It was hard and jagged, like a piece of coral maybe. I took these photos and then walked back toward the boat.

Truthfully, the walk across the mud to identify the clump was a bit nerve-racking. The mud can be very soft. As you can see in the photo below, it’s easy to simply sink and get sucked in. It’s why I am careful about where I jump out of the boat.

Not only did I have the mud to worry about, but there were bumps just sticking out of the water. Anyone who knows what an alligator in water looks like would agree with me that these bumps look similar. Supposedly there are no gators in this area of the river, but they do live in the river just south of here near Cape Canaveral. I once discovered an alligator skull down there. I’m always on the look out, because you never know in Florida.

Seashells and Oysters

I sometimes find interesting seashells among the oyster beds but the mud is especially soft and the oysters are sharp. The hermit crabs like to carry their shells into these beds. The oysters are constantly snapping and gurgling while they feed and filter the water.

This area is loaded with oysters which mostly grown in clumps around the base of the mangroves. Oyster shells are sharp and can damage boat bottoms, not to mention feet! This is not an island paradise.

Mangrove island surrounded by oysters

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