Friday, April 4, 2014

Winter damage



A couple of bright sunny, if still chilly, days let me walk to the end of "my" beach (really a conservation area) which is a long spit of land between an inlet of the ocean and an outlet of a creek that joins with the inlet (actually in the top picture).  Over the past couple of years, thanks to hurricanes, I have thought it possible a narrow strip between the two bodies of water that separates the longer spit from the comma-shaped end, was likely to wash away so that the end would become an island, or at least an island at high tide. 

Yesterday I discovered that the conservators are trying what they call (on a sign) "an ancient" method of dune stabilization. A least a couple hundred stakes, about ten inches tall above the sand (how long underneath I don't know) have been set out.  Five years ago there was a higher dune on the ocean side and an area of marsh grass on the other side.  Now it's all sand and I hope this method works.

Further on the winter damage is clear. A large shrub that was closer to the end has been washed at least 20 feet.  Beyond it is a tree that has become more and more endangered each season. It was alive and covered with leaves five years ago but is now dead  and for a couple of years has become a "shell tree" where broken conch shells are threaded onto the limbs.  I see that a few shells have been placed on the displaced shrub as well. 

I understand the impulse of walkers to pick up these large, usually broken, shells and give them a home on the tree.  I've added my share.  Behind the tree some of that tangle of shrubs will surely come out in leaf and some of the tangle of beach roses will flower.   And I will continue to walk out here and watch the changes. Yesterday's walk was beautiful because I finally had a blue sky day.  But it was one of the uglier days to walk because a great deal of brown seaweed has been washed up all along the mile long beach.  As a country girl, I must say that those piles of matted brown vegetation reminded me of barn manure.  Happily it was not rotting enough to stink -- because the temperatures were still cool I surmise.  I am happy these days have been lovely and I hope the weekend will bring more so I can begin to feel that the time for daily summer beach walks is approaching.

3 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

What a neat observation -- a conch tree. Walking alone one observes so much more that with others -- and I feel that it gives us more time with ourselves to meditate on life. Like your compare and contrast with the seasonal changes of your walk. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thanks, Barbara. I really do prefer my private walks although I enjoy walking with my daughter also.

Lynn Guardino said...

Beach walking, the reason I love living on the Cape. Best place to think, breathe, pray, work out "issues" and share time with others who also get it. I often think of Anne Morrow Lindberg when I'm strolling along and rarely look at the water. My gaze is always fixed on the shore line, looking for more gifts from the sea.