People enjoying the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
Ronan and Nieve love spending time at the seashore. The sand, rocks, water, plants, animals and cliffs make for an explorer's paradise. So when our friends asked if we'd like to meet them at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve it was an easy sell to Ronan and Nieve.
Ronan is unafraid of touching creatures at the tidepools - in this case it's a sea star
Ronan has a history of enjoying the rocky shore so it was no surprise when he set off into boundary rocks with great enthusiasm.
Off he goes... the low time made for easy exploring
Mom tried her best to follow Ronan (and to keep him moving a more careful pace) but predictably he ended up falling into the ocean and getting a thorough soaking. But the discomfort of wet clothes did deter Ronan; he continued his wandering adventures, eventually leading our group to a wide, sandy beach.
Sun hat - check. Warm jacket - check. Rubber boots - check. Nieve is ready to explore the tidepools.
Nieve throwing some sea snails back into the water
Previously Nieve was more tentative exploring slippery places, but she seems to be rapidly growing into a little explorer herself. She was getting her hands and feet wet, looking in cracks and crevices, pretending she was an, "animal rescuer."
Nieve and an urchin skeleton
Nieve showing off her fairly well developed balancing skills
Most of her rescuing was for little sea snail and hermit crabs and she seemed to enjoy finding shells and sea urchin skeletons. She also liked to test the water depth with her rubber boots and even run on the sea-grass covered rocks.
Ronan enjoyed the gentle shore of a protected cove
Eventually we made our way to a delightful white sand beach of a protected cove. I was surprised that neither Ronan or Nieve ran into the (admittedly cold) water; rather they slowly waded up to mid-shin depths and found that to be sufficient.
Gentle, sandy beaches gives Nieve wings
After a snack (many thanks to our friends for bringing nourishment!) the kids were fueled up enough to make the long hike back to the car. We all agreed that exploring the seashore was a great way to spend a morning, and that we should take advantage of the coast more often. I, for one, am looking forward to it.
Mom and Ronan returning from exploring the far end of the beach