The photo above does not do justice to how completely filthy our pants got today. How did we get so dirty? We climbed over this fence.
I should, of course, add that we were invited and, in fact, assisted in climbing over this fence by an uniformed environmental scientist who was surveying the area for snowy plover nests. The girl and I walked up to the fence to read the sign surrounding a portion of the dunes and struck up a conversation with the young woman with the awesome pants job. The girl and I then went on our way to hunt beach glass, but upon our return, the environmental scientist called to us and told us she'd found a nest with an egg in it, and did we want to see it?
Of course we did. As we marveled upon it, I asked why the egg was left untended. "The bird will return to lay a couple more eggs," the scientist said, "but won't start incubating them until all the eggs are in the nest. That way they all will hatch at the same time." She also told us that once the plover chicks do hatch, they set right to work hunting for sand fleas. They do not need to be fed by their parents. "They look like little cotton balls on legs," she said. "The first time I saw one I was hooked!"
As the girl and I walked back to the car, we saw a pair of snowy plovers dashing across the sand. We speculated that maybe they were the parents of the egg. And we talked about what an awesome pants job it would be to walk around in the sand dunes looking for the eggs of an endangered species.