Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Collection Report March 12, 2012

Monday, March 12. 9:50AM. Just past low tide. A warm one this day, bright sun & energy in the air.

When I stepped onto the beach I was greeted by a new sight:
Low-tide sandbar exposed!
Never seen this sandbar before, not in two years! Pretty excellent evidence that the seabottom offshore is shifting and moving. And if that's happening, pretty good evidence for why this year's collection numbers are so different from last.

With this impediment in the way, the wash-ins were sure to be low. Which gave me a chance to reflect on the beauty of the moment. The stillness of the slack water left behind by the retreating tide, with the gurgling surf juuuuuust out of reach.
Rippled bar
Snail and worm tracks
Within 10 minutes the turning tide had inundated this peaceful backwater, churning up the ripples & tracks, burying the bar back under silty sea. The ephemeral beauty of the beach.

On to the collection. Zone N:
26 finds:
  • Building materials: 2 (asphalt chunks)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 2
  • Fishing misc.: 5 (rope scrap, lobster trap bumper, trap vinyl coating scrap, 2 claw bands)
  • Food-related plastics: 2 (straw, bottlecap)
  • Food-related metal/glass: 1 (tiny can scrap)
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 5 (baggie, toy thermometer, tennis ball, vinyl floormat scrap, 1 scrap <1")
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 5
  • Paper/wood: 1 (tissue)
  • Misc./unique: 2 (rag scrap, leather strap)
The thermometer, dropped that week by someone's little boy or girl, will make a nice addition to my daughter's collection. Otherwise, it was the usual shlock -- and this year's usual amount. Down to Zone S:
13 finds:
  • Building materials: 4 (2 asphalt chunks, 1 concrete, 1 vinyl-coatedmetal fencing)
  • Foam/Styrofoam: 1
  • Fishing misc.: 3 (2 lobster trap vinyl scraps, shotgun shell)
  • Food-related plastics: 2 (bottlecap, mint "tin")
  • Food-related metal/glass: 0
  • Nonfood/unknown plastics: 0
  • Cigarette filters/plastics: 3 (2 filters, 1 packaging)
  • Paper/wood: 0
  • Misc./unique: 0
As far back as December I suspected this year was going to play out differently than last. A month ago I started seeing very old seabottom stuff that suggested the seafloor was shifting. And on this day I got to see the effects of that shift -- if briefly -- down at the end of the beach.

The ocean is ever changing. What it chooses to send up onto the sands can tell you a lot about what's going on beneath the waves. If you can figure out how to see it.

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