Elijah and me on the Azorean coastline.
I take about 100 steps from my front gate and I am here on the rocky southern coast of the island on which we live. Most days of the week, I will go with one or both of my boys (or even the whole family) to "climb on the rocks" and visit the tide pools. This place is truly good for my soul. There is such an amazing diversity of life on this rugged jumble of rocks. Fish of all sizes, shrimp, crabs, starfish, sea snails, seaweeds and other sea plants, tiny things crawling all over the place, seagulls and terns and sparrows high overhead or fluttering close by... this black outcropping, called Ponta Negra (Black Point) by the locals, is so alive.
There is so much life here!
This Sunday, Father's Day in the U.S. and celebrated by us living overseas, I took Elijah with me to the tide pools. I took Isaac out shopping with me later in the day...that is another article coming soon. Walking along the rocks before the tide really started coming in, we saw a number of local Azorean men in wetsuits scooting along the water's edge carrying buckets. This is a pretty common scene. There is a large variety of foods to be gathered here. I have seen shrimp, large crabs, limpets (aquatic snails), and seaweeds already. I am planning to get some local insight on the types and cooking methods of these wild foods just as soon as my Portuguese gets a bit better. I am also barely able to wait for my snorkeling gear to get here as spearfishing is a very popular local activity. I am enamored with harvesting foods from the wild. I love that the locals have been doing this for hundreds of years in such a sustainable way. The sustainability I have already seen on the island is amazing, but this is also an article for another day.
Elijah pointing out is favorite limpet shell.
Here is Elijah in front of the tide pools at the beginning of our "adventure". The tide was just beginning to come in. As the waves were starting to splash a bit higher, we quickly climbed to higher ground. About twenty minutes after this photo of Elijah was taken, we were on the ledge behind Elijah in the far distance. I took the photo below which shows the same spot Elijah was standing now covered in water. How better to explain tides and how they change then to actually show it to your kids? To let them see it and feel it. What fun!