Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Collection Report Oct 24, 2011

Monday, October 24. Bay View beach, Saco, Maine. 1:25PM, a couple hours before low tide. The latest high-tide had been fairly weak, and there was little new wrack/seaweed. An overcast day, 60 degrees and deliciously fall-like.

The cooler days & quieter beach gave me a little time to reflect. On ephemeral rivulets:
A seagull's walk, interrupted
And the wealth of color & texture strewn about:
It's funny what you see, when you just stop & look at a handful of sand and pebbles. (After all, in Maine, that sand may have 600 million years of history behind it.) Even with a weak tide, this was a great day for wash-ins -- slipper shells, blue mussels, tons of crab, a few fish bones. A real treat. Of course, nowadays the modern world always intrudes, though often in colorful ways:
1/1000th of one of the ~1 million lobster
traps on the floor of the Gulf of Maine
Which, I guess, brings me back to the point of a collection report. So, on to it. First, Zone N:
82 finds:
  • Building materials: 7 (5 asphalt, brick, wood block)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 14
  • Fishing misc.: 7 (3 rope, rope twine, shell wadding, claw band, trap vinyl coating)
  • Food-related plastics: 1 (plasticized cupcake base?)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 3 (foil wrappers)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 11 (5 bags/scraps, tube, 2 scraps >1", 3 scraps <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 36
  • Paper/wood: 1 (paper scrap)
  • Misc./unique: 2 (fabric scrap, odd piece of paper with thin wires embedded)
A wide range, but mostly the usual suspects. (Why any of this should be "usual" is another question.) Sad to see so many cigarette butts, but hardly surprised. 5.5 trillion are used in the world each year. If even 90% of those were disposed of properly, that's still about 17,500 tossed on the ground every second. Every second. It's not sustainable, and change is in the air. Where that will leave smokers in the end is, largely, up to smokers to decide.

Over to Zone S:
31 finds:
  • Building materials: 2 (asphalt)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 6
  • Fishing misc.: 11 (4 rope, Plante bumper, 3 trap scraps, twine, 2 claw bands)
  • Food-related plastics: 1 (Gatorade label scrap)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 2 (sea glass)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 2 (scraps >1", scraps <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 5 (4 cigs, 1 filter)
  • Paper/wood: 2 (firecracker sticks)
  • Misc./unique: 0
Nothing to see here. Except maybe the big black trap corner bumper, nicely stamped with the maker, "PLANTE" on the side. Also, curiously, there are two other words embossed: "CANADA" and "U.S." The "CANADA" had been X'ed out, making this seemingly meant for U.S. traps. Wonder what law/regulation is behind that. Such a regulated industry, yet still leaving such a legacy of debris.

As I was leaving, I noticed this scrawled on a drift-log up in Zone N.
I study the accidental ways we leave pieces of ourselves behind. Here's an intentional one. A hope for a little permanence in an ephemeral world. A reminder that Joyce was here. But a reminder to whom, again? Maybe it doesn't matter. She left, but for a while at least her presence is still at Bay View.

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