Now, I've taken the time to compare the two zones I work. This has been even more eye-opening.
As a quick refresher, every week I walk two distinct zones at Bay View, I call them "Zone N"(orth) and "Zone S"(outh).
|My two zones at Bay View|
In Maine, beach season is pretty much only the summer, maybe a little in the spring. In autumn and especially winter, only the hardiest of solace-seekers hits a Maine beach. So my question when I started was, will there be a noticeable difference in debris between the zones, and will it even out over the winter when the beachgoers have gone?
Well, here's my charts for the four seasons:
But look at autumn, winter, and spring. All of them still show a big difference between Zones N & S. In fact, 2 to 2 1/2 times more in Zone N for each season. What does this mean?
|Breakdown of finds by zone & category|
No, what's happening here is weird. Two zones, same beach, same climate & weather, separated by barely 150 feet (if that). And yet during the winter, Zone N consistently doubles the amount of debris washed up.
There's a rock outcrop just north of Zone N that's exposed at low tide. Maybe it changes the current? The beach at Zone S seems slightly narrower, slightly steeper. Not drastically, but maybe enough? What about the trees? You can see from the satellite image that Zone N backs onto open ground, while Zone S is tree-studded. Does that blunt the seabreeze and change the flotsam?
Whatever the reason, I know this: If you think you know how your beach works, take the briefest of strolls up or down it. And then check again.
I love this stuff.