Monday, October 3, 2011

Collection Report Sep 18, 2011

A quick return to Bay View. 10AM. 60 degrees. A partly cloudy, moody, beautiful morning.
The kind of day where leaden skies offset glimmering sand, and you just can't quite tell what the air is doing.
It had only been five days since I'd been here. A couple of those had been cool and drizzly. With gentle tides that left the softest, finest powder behind. Sand dollars peeked out along the low-tide terrace, and there were few people to be seen.

All of which should point to a quiet, clean beach. Which wasn't at all the case. Though at least the litter tried to make itself interesting this week:
How to tell if your beach is in Maine
So, on to it. Zone N
151 finds:
  • Building materials: 4 (2 brick bits, asphalt bit, fence slat)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 20
  • Fishing misc.: 11 (buoy scrap, 3 rope bits, 6 rope twine, shotgun shell wadding)
  • Food-related plastics: 6 (cup, bread tag, lid, 3 tear-off tops)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 7 (can, can scrap, 2 bottlecaps, 3 foil wrappers)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 23 (bag, balloon, 2 condom wrapper scraps, bandaid, 2 firecrackers, rubberband, 2 plugs/grommets, pail handle, 3 scraps >1", 9 scraps <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 69 (67 filters, cigar cap, filter tip)
  • Paper/wood: 10 (7 paper scraps, popsicle stick, 2 firecracker sticks)
  • Misc./unique: 1 (headband)
A lot! Why? Some was probably lightly buried when I visited on the 13th, and later rains uncovered it. At any rate, the burned bits, styrofoam, and condom wrapper speak more to the 13th than they do to the 18th. Aside from some fishing scraps, the two most likely wash-ins were the faded sand-bucket handle and the balloon.
Those gray plastic fireworks are also strange. Nothing of the sort washed in during 2010. Yet most weeks since late spring 2011 I've seen them. Are they fishing-related somehow? Are they construction -- like blasting caps? Dunno. Would love your thoughts.

At any rate, another week filled mostly with debris of beach people doing beach things. On to Zone S:
22 finds:
  • Building materials: 1 (tile)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 10
  • Fishing misc.: 3 (buoy scrap, rope scrap, shotgun shell wadding)
  • Food-related plastics: 0
  • Food-related metal/glass: 0
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 3 (bag scrap, pen cap, scrap <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 5 (all filters)
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Misc./unique: 0
Zone S continues being comparatively dull & delightful.

Still, the week's big takeaway: A beach that looks clean, probably isn't that clean; a beach that's been picked clean, also probably isn't that clean. All it takes is a late summer shower to remind you. What lies beneath?

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