Red Flags at the Beach

Practice shot of flag

We arrived at St. George Island State Park on a blustery day. The yellow flags flapped and snapped in the wind from each flag pole along the straight, narrow road through the park. The island changed significantly since we started visiting almost ten years ago. Houses sprang up everywhere on the sand dunes along the narrow main road. Most appear to be rental property. Once past the ranger station to the park, the island reverts to its natural state. Dunes and scrub line the road, with occasional well-placed parking lots for beach access.

We walked along the beach mid-afternoon, enjoying the very stiff breeze which dispelled much of the hot and humid of the air. Several people swam in the water, or sat in their beach chairs under canopies and umbrellas. Others showed all the signs of spending the day there in spite of the wind, surrounded by coolers and beach bags crammed with towels and packaged snacks almost spilling out of the top. They staked out their bit of paradise for this Sunday.

The next morning we noticed the red flags, telling us the marine conditions had turned from a warning to dangerous. We once again walked along the boardwalk and on to the sand. No people dotted the beach this morning, a cloudy Monday morning with rain predicted most of the day. No sun showed between the clouds this day, and with the lack of sunshine and people, the beach took on a different tone. One lone shorebird ran along the waterline, hoping to find something in the sand.

We took a short walk. I spent a lot of time looking at, then photographing the red flags straight out in the wind. I took a lot of practice shots, playing with various settings. One I liked, most were deleted before they ever even made it to the computer!

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