Cape Henlopen

151127_DE Cape Henlopen State Park_6988acsBlack Friday dawns at Cape Henlopen State Park. Nearby, shoppers are crowding the Delaware outlet stores, looking for bargains. Away from the maddening crowd, there is only the cry of gulls and the crash of the waves for company. Ah, sweet sandy serenity!

151127_DE Cape Henlopen State Park_6994acs 151127_DE Cape Henlopen State Park_7009acs 151127_DE Cape Henlopen State Park_7101acsThis is what a healthy dune ecosystem looks like. Trees, shrubs, plants and grasses. Not row after paved row of houses, shops and hotels.

151127_DE Cape Henlopen State Park_7134acsCape Henlopen panorama. At the far left is the Breakwater Lighthouse, which sits on the inner breakwater. The cylindrical building at the center is a WWII fire control tower. The spit of sand behind the tower is Cape Henlopen Point. Beyond that is the Harbor of Refuge Breakwater, with the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse at its right end. Photographed from the Cape Henlopen Fire Control Tower.

151127_DE Cape Henlopen State Park_7176acsCape Henlopen Point, the Delaware Bay to the left.

151127_DE Cape Henlopen State Park_7267acsTwo ferries for the price of one!

151127_DE Cape Henlopen State Park_7187acsBarnacles.

151127_DE Cape Henlopen State Park_7237acsWhat is the well-dressed mermaid is wearing this season? A mermaid’s necklace, of course! A mermaid’s necklace is chain of egg cases laid by a whelk, a predatory sea snail. Each egg case can contain up to 99 eggs, and there can be more than 150 cases in a chain. That’s a lot of baby whelks.

151128_DE Indian River Lifesaving Station_7627acsEven a mermaid needs a handbag – it’s not like she’s got pockets! So she carries a mermaid’s purse. This is an egg case of a skate. Similar in appearance to rays, skates are cartilaginous fish whose skeletons are made of cartilage rather than bone. Egg cases of most skate species contain a single embryo.

151128_DE Delaware Seashore State Park_7515acs 151128_DE Delaware Seashore State Park_7525acs 151128_DE Dewey Beach Sunset_7692acsThe sun sets over Rehoboth Bay, singing a lullaby of tranquility.

151128_DE Dewey Beach Sunset_7745acs