By Tony Rehagen
To the black boat-tailed grackle perched on a high oak branch, Clam Creek at low tide is not a creek at all. It is a puddle-strewn trench with walls of saltmarsh cordgrass. But as afternoon wears on and the grackle’s jeeb is drowned out by the shrill chorus of cicada and cricket, the winding waterway slowly rises from the mud. The tide spills in from St. Simons Sound, instantaneously turning the arid landscape into a vast salt marsh. Fish, crab, and shrimp ride this murky current inland and soon, royal terns follow. They fight the incoming wind just long enough to spot their prey in the water below. Then dive and splash and carry their dinner back out toward the sea.