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Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.
I like walking on the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
One of the benefits of regularly walking the beach is that the beach changes. Each day is a new beach. Sometimes the changes are subtle, other times significant. Yes – the buildings are the same, but each walk is different because the beach is always changing.
Wind and water are always changing the beach landscape. With the shifting sands, I wonder about the odds of my feet touching the same grains as yesterday anywhere on the beach – let alone on the shoreline where I walk.
The sand along the shoreline changes the most. Some days the shoreline is relatively flat – other days steeper – and the locations of the steep and flat are different.
Today the sand is extra smooth from the winds and the roaring waves of recent days. The sand at the waterline is how I like it – firm and with minimal slope. The firmness makes walking easier as more energy transforms into forward motion. There is no forced lifting from sinking into the sandy muck.
The relative flatness allows the water to glide ashore, then gently wash over my feet, then back to the sea. The slow retreat allows time for the sandpipers and sanderlings to forage for food in the freshly washed sand – but this only happens at low tide.
Some days the sand along the waterline appears as scalloped moguls that are gentler than those for snowboarders – but other days, they are absent.
Some days provide areas of small sandy cliffs that a future tide will remove. Some less than a foot tall, but sometimes up to five feet (1.5 m) in height. Cliffs with scalloped faces and flat-top plateaus. Cliffs with striations on the face caused by the water. Cliffs as a miniature display of the White Cliffs of Dover.
Some days I find shallow pools away from the waterline. Watery pools varying in length, width, and depth appear as small lakes. Yet, these pools are temporary.
Shells are always present – but not in the same location – let alone in numbers ranging from some to many. Some days the line of shells serve as a bountiful treasure for the shellers to pursue – but I am not a sheller. To shellers, every new day brings new gifts to the shore.
Some days bring starfish ashore. Other days, it’s slugs, jellyfish, sand dollars, or Portuguese Man-of-War – again, not all days.
After the stormy waters of some days, remnants of human civilization wash ashore – various building materials, cans, bottles, broken glass, clothing, pieces of tires, and more. Several years ago, a dredging project at the nearby channel exacerbated the litter.
On the northern gulf coast, the color of the water will range from emerald green to an olive green with a brown tint. I do know that wind direction influences the color of the water here.
Some days bring a thick seafoam washing ashore that may stay as a foamy trail – but not most days. The seafoam slowly returns to the water as it adheres to the shore as legs of a full-bodied wine clinging to the inner sides of a wine lover’s glass.
Life involves constant change. For us, changes due to technology, unpredictable weather events, human actions, personal decisions, and more make every day different and unique.
Nature is no different. The sun’s path across the sky is different today than yesterday – and tomorrow will bring a new arc. Temperature, wind, humidity, pressure, amount of daylight, and other factors make each day different.
Here at the beach, each day is unique. Subtle some days – very noticeable on other days. The constant action of the repeating waves, the blowing winds, the moving tides, the changing weather are always altering the beach – let alone the effect of human activity.
Whether gradual or abrupt, change on the beach is inevitable. Embracing this is good because every day is different. Besides, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.
See what other bloggers have posted about a changing beach
- Shifting sands (poem)
- Textures of Puget Sound (essay and photos)
- Changing tides (essay)
- Shifting landscape of Cape Cod (essay and photos)
Next Post: Wrack Line – Thursday 21 January @ 1 AM (Eastern US)
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