The beetle scurried for cover, rushing in anything but a straight line over the hot sand. The sun was beating down on the dunes now. The breezes had stilled. Most of the creatures had already headed for cover to avoid the noonday sun.
Early morning was the busy time at the Maryland seashore. Sandpipers and plovers skipped over the sand in search of a morning meal. Then they hurried back to their nests hidden away in the tall grasses. Occasionally, the sand would shift as a pony passed by. It ate tufts of grass or scratched its back. It rubbed against an odd shaped tree. Years of strong winds blowing off the water
The beetle stayed hidden away during this dangerous time, but it needed to get out and eat before to day became too hot. The shiny black shell on its back would soak up the sun’s heat quickly. It ran from one hiding place to another. It had to move quickly, there were always birds around looking for a tasty treat. Grains of sand fell away from under foot, slowing the progress. It finally reached to top of the dune. From here there was a ledge, worn away by years of pounding waves. A wall of sand two feet tall faced the sea.
Years of life at the edge could be seen in this sandy wall. The lowest layers were darker from years of decay and decomposition. The widest layer, in the middle, was dotted with broken white shells. Buried under the sand long ago, they were now exposed again as the waves beat against this sandy bank. At the very top, where the beetle was scampering, was soft, light sand. Bits of grass poked out here and there. These tufts kept this sandy haven from being washed into the sea completely.
The beetle zipped along the edge and disappeared into a hole. Safe at last.