Last night was the first time we've been to the beach for a bonfire this year. We brought a little firewood with us (along with peanut butter and jam sandwiches), but the children ended up scavenging quite a lot of wood that other beach-goers left and dried beach grass for kindling. It was chilly and we went a lot later than usual, but we were able to spot dolphins frolicking near the shore, sea gulls grabbing a dinner of wriggling crabs, and sandpipers darting over the wet sand. Wild ponies and red-winged blackbirds rounded out our nature sightings. We left the beach after sunset, which gave us lots of time to really enjoy our fire. It was so wonderful to breathe in that smoky, salty air again.