A New Christmas Tradition

A New Christmas Tradition

December 25, 2016 – Topsail Island, NC

When thinking about “Holiday Traditions” one might conjure up visions of brightly decorated trees, a flickering Menorah, or tables laden with holiday fare.  You may have your own family traditions; which have been passed down through decades or generations.  Perhaps something as simple as a special dish for the table, or as complicated as organizing a family reunion with cousins spread across the world.

In a time when things move as fast as they do now, it really doesn’t take much to create a “new” tradition.  And it really doesn’t have to be complicated.  All it takes is finding something you love to do, repeat a few times, then share your love of that endeavor!  And that is how we have literally “stumbled” upon our newest tradition… a Christmas Day hike on the beach at Topsail Island!

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This is the fourth Christmas since we moved to Frog Pond Farm in 2013.  The past couple of years, either one or both of us have been “on call” with our day job for the holiday week; and we were unable to travel for participation in some of the more established family traditions.  So after distributing gifts and lunch last Christmas Day, we put on our Santa hats and took Daisy Dawg over to Topsail Island for an afternoon hike on the beach.  Last year was windy, foggy, and not conducive to photography at all.  But today – we went donned our Santa caps and drove over again in much nicer weather.  When it’s done twice – with a commitment to do it again – that makes it a tradition, right?

Today we had temperatures hovering around 60F; with only the normal “sea breeze to deal with.  We hit the beach just south of Surf City NC about an hour after low-tide; so even after the loss to Hurricane Matthew earlier this year, we had plenty of sand to wander.  Our plan was simply to put in a few miles, perhaps some beach-combing for shells and sharks teeth, and just enjoy each others company on the near empty beach for a while.

But even though we shared miles of beach with very few people, we were not alone!  There were plenty of sea-birds to keep us company, and to keep Daisy Dawg on her toes!  Several species of gulls, Sandpipers, Brown Pelicans and others were soaring, swooping, wading, swimming, and fishing all around us.

At one point, poor Daisy Dawg went into sensory overload!  “There are birds in front of me – there are birds behind me – and there are BIG birds swooping overhead!  What do I DO?!?”  She almost twisted her head off, trying to take it all in.

But she made it out safely…and we promise, we did not allow her to harass her new avian frenemies.  Although she so desperately wanted to…..

But with her fascination with the birds, poor Daisy missed out on the best part of today’s hike.  There have been a number of whale sightings off this beach recently, but we didn’t get that lucky.  We did see a huge pod of dolphins who were swimming right off-shore!  We counted at least a dozen individuals, and there were quite possibly 15 or more.  That’s easily the largest pod we’ve seen in this area. While their short surfacing made it difficult to catch them on camera, we watched in amazement while they cruised just past and into the surf line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And these amazing marine mammals were not just swimming and hunting fish today – they were in a seriously playful mood!  We watched them dance!  We watched them jump and soar!  We watched them body-surfing!  It’s almost as if they were celebrating the holidays as with as much joy as we were.

 

 

Even though we didn’t find any sharks teeth today; we did come home with a few nice shells, an intact sand-dollar, and something we believe “may” be a chunk of ambergris.  We also made a lot of beautiful Christmas memories of our newest tradition….. A Christmas hike on Topsail Island.   We hope you can come down and enjoy it with us sometime.  But SSSHHHHH!   Don’t tell too many people.  We sort of enjoy having the beach to ourselves on Christmas Day!

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Links

Topsail Island and Surf City NC isn’t too from Frog Pond Farm; so we spend time there whenever we can.  Here are some of our favorite places in the area.  If you find yourself in the neighborhood, please check them out!  Many are seasonal and are closed during the winter; so if you are coming by between Thanksgiving and Easter, check their website for open hours.   Who knows?  You just may run across us here!

Surf City Ocean Pier

Jolly Roger Inn and Pier

Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille

Crabby Mike’s Bar and Grill

Bay Breeze Restaurant and Grill

Missiles and More Museum

Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue

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