Monday, July 20, 2015

Beautiful Beach Day at Silver Sands State Park in Milford, CT

Nothing in summer is better than a beach day. The cool breeze off the water cools your skin, while your other senses are pleasantly overwhelmed by the crashing surf, ocean smell and hot sand. For me, the beach is a place of relaxation and exploration. The beach is a natural transition zone between the marine ecosystem and the land ecosystem. So naturally, this area is filled with interesting plants, animals and environmental formations. 

Below are photos I took at Silver Sands State Park in Milford, Connecticut. From shells, to interesting rocks and a beautiful sunset, I was able to capture some cool aspects of what makes the beach awesome and interesting. 

The first photograph is a close up image of shells on the beach. 

Shells at Silver Sands State Park

The next photograph is of Charles Island. Its a very small island that is located just off the coast of Milford and is a part of the Silver Sands State Park. What makes this island unique is its tombolo (essentially a sandbar) that forms during low tide, connecting the beach to the island. You can even walk out there but you have to be careful not to get stuck when the tide begins to rise! Also, the island is off limits from May - October to protect endangered birds nesting grounds. 

Charles Island in Milford, CT and the tombolo connecting the island to Silver Sands State Park. 

The next image is of a cool feature I discovered at low tide. It must be something man made that hasn't been moved in a while. Now it' is part of the seascape, creating an artificial tidal pool at low tide. Its pretty neat! 
Man-made tidal pool at low tide in the afternoon sun. 

Here's a close up photograph of the little tidal pool. So cool! 

Tidal pool at Silver Sands State Park in Milford, Connecticut. 
Long Island Sound is one of those places in the world that has a huge difference in tide levels from low tide to high tide. This area of Silver Sands has a very shallow and flat area off shore that allows for a lot of sand to be uncovered during low tide. As the tide goes out, it forms these little ridges in the sand, which just happen to glisten in the afternoon sun too! 

Low Tide at Silver Sands State Park
A piece of concrete is exposed during low tide. It's past use is hard to determine but I'm sure it currently provides a lovely home for fish and hermit crabs! 

Concrete at the beach

Clams, oysters and muscles were once abundant in the waters off Milford, Connecticut. Over time however,  over fishing and pollution diminished their presence. They're not completely gone. Muscles are a lot more abundant and easier to find than oysters or clams. Below is a muscle shell on the beach. 

Muscle shell on the beach
Beautiful piece of red seaweed on the beach during low tide. 

Seaweed at Silver Sands State Park
Birds love the beach for its abundant sources of food. They also enjoy walking in the sand and leaving their footprints behind! 

Bird prints in the sand at Silver Sands State Park
Finally, what would a day at the beach be like without a beautiful sunset to end the day! 

Sunset at Silver Sands State Park