Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Collection Report Oct 31, 2011

Monday, Oct. 31, 11:00AM. Sunny skies, calm (if chilly) air. Just one day after a very wacky storm.
We actually got off comparatively light here in coastal Maine. Seabreezes kept much of the snow at bay, and quickly melted what did land. But the storm still left its mark. The beach felt like quicksand -- saturated gravel squished underfoot; the heaviest of the gravel slumped down the foreshore and collected at the base of the low-tide terrace. Deep briny pools formed just in front.
Alien landscapes
The weekend's weather brought a carpet of odd flotsam, especially from the sea floor...
Razor clams, slipper shells, and wrack
Of course, amid the shell, wood, rock, and wrack, plenty of bits that had no business being there.
Somewhere, a lobster trap lies rusting 
More than plenty. A beach load. Zone N:

155 finds:
  • Building materials: 20 (8 asphalt chunks, 7 brick, 2 tile, 2 wood, roof shingle scrap)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 29
  • Fishing misc.: 25 (6 rope, 3 claw bands, 14 vinyl trap coating scraps, 2 rope twine)
  • Food-related plastics: 9 (bottle, 2 bottle caps, "Red Devils" cup scrap, 3 food wrappers, gum, knife)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 5 (bottle cap, 3 sea glass, foil wrapper)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 33 (cap, flip-flop, glove, 2 firecrackers, shoe-rack hook, Hooksett disc, 7 scraps >1", 19 scraps <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 28 (27 filters, Skoal pack)
  • Paper/wood: 2
  • Misc./unique: 4 (wire, cloth, leather swatch, sock)
The spike in asphalt & brick is telling. Usually deeply buried by sand on top, the week's weather left many chunks exposed. The flip-flop and soda bottle speak of local action. But this odd, discolored retail-store shoe hook doesn't.
This one's a first
Here's a wild one. A faded ketchup packet. Unused & unopened, just roughed up; the ketchup is long gone, replaced by wet sand. Surely washed in from the deep, where it had spent ??? months/years.
Would you like fries with that?
And any time dense vinyl scraps like this float in, you know the seas are agitated. Vinyl sinks, so this one spent plenty of time scraping along the seafloor before reaching Bay View.
Seat cover, maybe?

Zone S was odd this time. Usually void of much of Zone N's richness (both natural & manmade), this day it was chock-a-bloc with razor clams, snail shells, slipper shells, and a prominent wrackline. Here's what came out of it:

79 finds:
  • Building materials: 15 (6 asphalt, 4 roof shingle scraps, 5 brick)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 15
  • Fishing misc.: 10 (rope scrap, shotgun shell, 2 claw bands, 5 vinyl trap coatings, rope twine)
  • Food-related plastics: 1 (gum)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 4 (Schlitz can top, 2 sea glass, foil)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 20 (balloon w/ long string, 3 caps, 3 package scraps, tape measure case, glasses earpiece, tennis ball, o-ring, 2 scraps >1", 7 scraps <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 11
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Misc./unique: 3 (leather sole fragment, 2 fabric scraps)
Still less than Zone N, but in a season where 20-30 Zone S finds is the norm, finding 79 is worth noting. Also worth noting is one particular piece.
Go for the gusto!
This is the aluminum top to a steel beer can, an old-style pull-tab Schlitz beer can. In fact, some research showed that this style was only used from 1972 to 1975. The Gulf of Maine harbored this little piece of the past for at least 36 years. Until finally releasing it back to the light.

What else awaits in the deep?

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