We are ever grateful that this island is home to so much carefully preserved and honored wildlife that we, the domesticated, evolved and reasoning creatures that we are, tend to step back on occasion screeching thusly…. “AAAGH!!! DID YOU SEE THE SIZE OF THAT SNAKE?”, forgetting for a moment that we have intruded upon their (their, being Nature that was here waayyyyyyyyy yonder before us), territory in recent years, which, if you measure in geologic time amounts to about the size of a quarter against the globe of 4.6 billion years, which is how long the earth has been in existence. Apparently, they say we (we, as in humanoids) have been here only a short burp compared to the earth’s raging gastrointestinal offspring of dinasaurs, ice ages, and meteor she-bangs, and I believe them, (“Who?” You might ask is saying we are only a blip on the earth’s radar screen, if eons were measured as blips on radar screens, and I will answer, “people who have made it their business to research and dig in the dirt to prove and make us feel like we are an ego-driven, selfish race of species that will self-sabotage before any asteroid comes close to the widening hole in our ozone layer.”)
I mean really, we’ve got alligators (prehistoric), enormous, birds of prey that spread their wings and you think a seven-forty-seven is taking off from the lagoon at the 16th tee of the Sea Pines Club Course, some days. Turtles get bigger and bigger, and forget sea turtles… have you ever seen a loggerhead up close? You’d think you maybe took a step back to the Pleistocene age sometimes when walking around our pristine and scenic sand dunes.
Which brings me to my point, believe it or not (I know you’re thinking, ‘is she ever going to get to the point, or what?’), which is that seaweed – also a prehistoric life form, but has not evolved much from then to now – a natural and necessary feature of our delicate ecosystem, sometimes crowds the beach after a super moon tidal party that does not involve us, except as spectators. Having applied all my literary skills to describing this beautiful ocean algae that sustains invertebrates such as crabs and insects, as well as providing nesting for shorebirds, I shudder to call something so essential, accenting the beaches like eyebrows, gracing our shorelines, and harmless, as “wrack”, but there you have it. That’s what it’s called. Wrack.
Having said all that above, I and my dog Sam, know the true purpose for wrack; Beach Beagle Back Scratcher!