Friday, October 15, 2010

The Winds of Autumn, Oct 7, 2010

October 6 brought the first real taste of the Maine winter to come. Cold winds whipped and gusted and tossed trees around for hours. Sheets of blinding rain blew horizontally well into the night. October 7 was still gray, blustery, and threatening for much of the day. The last spits of drizzle only finally ended right about the moment I pulled into the little parking lot at Bay View in the early afternoon. I had a hunch what this might mean.
Kelp thrown ever higher up the beach
The evidence of Mother Nature's little shindig wasn't hard to find. The kelp was almost up to the dunegrass. Shattered and mangled debris spread up and down the coast -- including score on score of these faded wooden slats, ripped from the dune fencing nearby:
From Zone N... Zone S and beyond
Actually, not scores. Hundreds. 237 individual slats or slat-shards, to be exact. Who knows how many more littered the areas outside my collection zones.

But, as usual, all debris is not local. One piece in particular had traveled a very long way to join the party.
Half of a recycling bin
A well-traveled recycling bin!
St. George, N.B. (New Brunswick) is over 200 miles to the north. I have an e-mail in to Jail Island Salmon to see if, on the off chance, they remember when they lost a bin. One wonders where the rest of it is.

Though possibly the longest-traveled, the bin was hardly the only eyebrow-raiser. In fact, as the tide receded I got a chance to witness the waves offer up another goodie.
Dear "1761 0057 01 Z:G,"
I found your trap
But it was in Zone S that I stumbled upon the piece de resistance...
Half of a Zodiac XDC inflatable
You never really want to find half of a boat washed up on your beach. Its serial # was still intact (CG508, built May 1985), so I gave the info to the police. There were no personal effects, and plenty of non-tragic explanations. But still...

Things I sadly didn't get pictures of in situ included one complete and two fragmentary lobster trap buoys, cast all the way up to the edge of the dune grass. (There will be pics of them in the forthcoming collection report.) As well as a remarkable amount of styrofoam scraps. And the usual cigarette butts, etc.

Not to mention all the things that were lost back to the sea before I even got there, thanks to a brisk offshore breeze.
Blown from the dunes back to the water's edge... and beyond
All told, a very busy day. Full report following soon. But for now, I'll close with a little uplift.
Wind art
I collect, catalog, and blog about the detritus of human life not because I think I can make the world beautiful. But because it is beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. Harry -

    "Wind art" I like that! The half boat is frightening, but like you siad, there are many non-tragic explanations.....

    I remember this time of the year well in Boston. The blustery nature of the weather was always my favorite. Except now it means something a little different to me. It means that stuff that shouldn't be getting into the ocean is being swept in. Once I started really turning my attention to this issue, it is a hard lense to take off..

    thanks for your hard work and great blog