Sunday, August 7, 2011

Collection Report July 24, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 7:15AM, the tail end of a sweltering week. And even now the parking lot was already full. Sunday mornings seem to bring lots of dawn-watchers and dog-walkers. And who could blame them?
There's nothing like the beach under a swift sunrise
It was a busy, messy week. And the evidence lay all around. Another day, another firecracker...
There's nowhere to hide
And maybe another Flotsam Diaries mascot?
Anyone know what this little
magnetized pivot-head guy is?
Here's what the day brought. Zone N:
228 finds:
  • Building materials: 3 (asphalt, brick, slat)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 13
  • Fishing misc.: 6 (5 rope twine, claw band)
  • Food-related plastics: 31 (2 bottles, 5 caps, 3 lids, 3 chewing gum, 12 food/straw wrappers, knife, 5 straws)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 19 (2 cans, 4 bottles, 4 caps, 8 foil wrappers, sea glass)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 42 (10 bags/scraps, 2 balloons, bandaid, 7 toys/scraps, 5 firecrackers, 2 twist-ties, 4 nylon ribbon/cord, 3 scraps >1", 8 scraps <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 72 (70 cigarettes, 2 packaging)
  • Paper/wood: 34 (12 firecracker sticks, 3 popsicle sticks, 19 paper frags)
  • Misc./unique: 8 (2 flipflops, 2 scraps fabric, battery, dessicant, zipper, cord)
What happens at the end of a day to could compel anyone to walk off and forget a 3-foot-long inflatable happy-face float??

I'm glad they did. It wsa the highlight in a dull day. Summer collections are, in general, dull. Beachgoer stuff left behind by beachgoers. It's the storms of winter that really show just what's out there in the ocean -- that tell of long travels, huge swells, crashing waves. On the other hand, summer beach "stuff" becomes the faded, brittle, bryozoan-encrusted flotsam of winter. So getting 228 pieces of it off the beach this day still feels good.

Now, on to the conundrum that is Zone S:
23 finds:
  • Building materials: 1 (asphalt)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 2
  • Fishing misc.: 5 (rope pieces)
  • Food-related plastics: 4 (3 wrappers, 1 straw)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 0
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 4 (tampon-unused, glowstick, twist tie, 1 scrap <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 6
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Misc./unique: 1 (thread of fabric)
If I was suspicious before, I'm now all but certain that this isn't a natural spread. 10 times the amount of trash from Zone N to Zone S? Unheard-of last summer. But without any evidence of what's happening yet, all I can do is keep walking week after week and record it. I do think I've had about enough feminine hygiene products for now, though, thanks.

This week the finds may have been dull. But still, the day wasn't. It started with that gorgeous low sun bursting through the clouds. And it ended with some neat sights down at Zone S. I've talked about the dunes reclaiming the beach there. Here finally is a picture. (Solid yellow line shows last year's fence/dune line; the arrows show all the new growth.)
A dozen+ feet of new dune. Cool.
The trend the world over is dunes receding, eroding, dying. Not here at Bay View. Here they're muscling their way back toward the foreshore. I wonder why?

And to end the week, an impromptu art installation/totem pole. I don't know what it means...
Don't see this every day
...But I like it. You just never know what the next week will bring.


  1. I had this toy as a kid, the fish looked alot like the pivot-head guy you found!

    Thanks for the relevant, interesting posts!

  2. Wow! That looks exactly like what this is. A pivot-head magnetic fishing game. Thanks for the post. I love the Internet.

  3. No problem, it's so neat to see what you do! I work at Ferry Beach Ecology School right down the beach and am constantly relating my trash treasures to stuff you find (just the other day found a lobster tag from Canada, some of the weird disk thingies, and of course the feminine products!). Keep up the good work!

  4. I need to get down and visit the Ecology School. I'm thrilled if my blog has helped you guys ID stuff -- even if it's sometimes unpleasant stuff. I should say, the education has been mutual. Some months back I found the Ferry Beach guide to coastal ecology at the library -- learned a ton about shells, dunes, etc. It's nice to spend time looking for the stuff that -should- be at a beach, instead of just what shouldn't.

    So you've found some of those NH sewage treatment plant disks too? That's very interesting. I keep scanning the Web to see how far afield they've gotten. The way things do & don't travel in the ocean is just fascinating to me.

    Anyway, thanks again, so cool to have that toy mystery solved.