Starfish in a Tree, Myrtle Beach

A starfish hangs in Spanish Moss in an oak tree branch. In the photograph below, the starfish is near the upper right corner.

Starfish in a Tree, Myrtle Beach

Find a Fallen Star

By Henry H. Mitchell, February 2011.

During the extremely cold weather of December 2010, water temperatures along the Grand Strand of South Carolina dropped so low, well below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, that there was a significant die-off of Starfish. (See news article from the Sun-News.) Their carcasses lay along the high-tide line in significant numbers on several days.

We retrieved a few of the lifeless Sea Stars, and spread them outside on the concrete pad of our doorstep, in hopes that any odor of decay might fade, leaving interesting Starfish “mummies.” After about six weeks, the Starfish were still there and still drying. Then suddenly one day we were startled to see from our window, in the distance, a star in a tree! Upon investigation, we discovered that the entire Starfish collection was missing. And yes, the star resting in a wisp of Spanish Moss among the oak's limbs seemed to be one of them.

A few hours later, as we walked about a block away, we spotted another Starfish lying in the middle of the street! So who was the clumsy thief? Was it one of the squirrels seen busying themselves about the neighborhood? Was it the Red-tailed Hawk circling overhead? Was it the raccoon which often appears at night?

This guide to Myrtle Beach is sponsored by Mitchells Publications.