Tag Archives: beachwalk

Unexpected Yellow

After a warm summer that lasted almost all the way to the solstice, temperatures have cooled, we’ve had several rainy days in the last couple of weeks, and the sun is having a hard time making its way through the thick clouds along the coast.  So while yellow is expected at the beach in the summertime, it is much harder to find on a gray, almost winter day.

With a nice low tide this afternoon, we couldn’t wait to get to the beach to explore and walk. Since we were north of our usual beach running some holiday errands, we decided to walk at a beach different from our usual place.  Near a jetty, this beach is rockier than the one where we usually walk.  So we practiced our usual beachwalk pasttimes–taking photos, picking up trash, and searching for sea glass…and what a bonanza we found!

Sadly, there was abundant trash on the beach, especially small pieces of plastic.  And there was a bit of yellow…this packet of mustard tucked in the rocks.  And as good Litterati, we took the photo, picked up the trash, and disposed of it properly.

yellow-litterati mustard

With my eyes tuned for yellow, I started to notice yellow all around me.  Not bright, summer sunshine yellow, but earthy sandstone yellow.  (And if you look closely, you can catch a glimpse of the piece of green sea glass that I picked up too!)

yellow reef

Looking into the distance, you can see the ripply texture of the low-tide reef and its yellow hue.

yellow low tide

As I watched the seabirds and listened to the music of the waves crash along the shore, I could feel the stresses of the weeks leading up to my winter break wash away and the muscles in my back and shoulders begin to unknot.

yellow-ocean music

The rhythms of the rocks rolling with the tide added a spring to my step and energized me. I began to notice the colors of the rocks, the browns and greens and yellows…

yellow rubble

And as we left, heading off for a few more of those holiday errands, a strip of yellow opened on the horizon just beyond the empty lifeguard tower.

Yellow sky behind tower

Unexpected and welcome yellow at the beach.

Beach Curves: A Photo Essay

Summers are always busy for me…but this summer has been busy in extreme!  Between Geoff’s schedule and mine, we haven’t found time for a traditional, go someplace, kind of vacation.  Instead, we have had to grab vacation time wherever we could find it.  Today was one of those kinds of days…and we squeezed in a fun and relaxing one-hour vacation at the beach.

It was sunny and warm today…and the ocean water was on the warm side too…perfect conditions for a summer beach walk.  The marine layer stayed off the coast and we got there early enough that parking was easy!  We had just had a lovely breakfast at one of our favorite local haunts and were ready to walk and talk (or not)…and as always is true of me these days, take a few photos along the way.  This week’s #sdawpphotovoices theme has been curves, so I was on the lookout for curves on the beach.

When we parked, the very first thing I noticed was this giant pipe on the street and immediately headed over to take a picture.  I got Geoff to stand at the other end so its size would be noticeable–and I love the way the curve also becomes a frame for the portrait.

pipe

As we headed down to the shoreline, the tide was approaching high.  This can be a limiting factor for how far we can go, so today we headed north.  The waves were small, but the surfers and boogie boarders seemed to be having great success catching the curves and enjoying their rides.

waves

Curves seemed to be everywhere.  Erosion is a major issue along our local shoreline.  The northern walk takes us below expensive homes that seem precariously perched above the beach.  One section was still barricaded with yellow caution tape…and the crack we had seen a month ago seemed more pronounced today as it curves along the layers of sediment that make up the sea cliffs.

crack

Giant kelp, which my students know by it’s scientific name Macrocystis Pyrifera, is a constant on our local beaches.  Piles are evident as it washes up along the shore.  Holdfasts, the rootlike structure that hold onto rocks in the water, are home to many fascinating sea creatures and we often see locals rummaging in these wet piles and finding brittle stars and tiny sea urchins hiding within and enjoying a close look before returning them to their wet and salty homes. The long stipes frequently form tangled webs although this one reached out in a gentle curve away from the rest of the pile on the sand.

kelp

Sand castle makers have been hard at work this summer.  I passed this creation and just had to stop and get close for a photo.

turtle

I love this turtle version of a sand castle with its curved head, shell and limbs…and the extra touch of bucket-molded sand on the top.  Ocean washed rocks became eyes and the proximity of the kelp seems like a perfect touch!

I was surprised to find this coconut laying in the surf.  It had clearly spent some time being washed and worn by the sea, not quite round but definitely curved.  Had me thinking of Tom Hanks in Cast Away.

coconut

There were quite a few holes dug with curved banks that began to hold pools of seawater as the tide continued to rise.  I took a few pictures of the water in the holes and then stopped to wait to see if I could capture the waves coming over the bank to fill the hole.  I love the sense of movement this still photo captured.

hole

And then before finishing my walk, I came across another yet another sand castle.  This one in more classic style with a moat, some bridges and curved turrets, and stones and shells for decoration.

castle

I love the way #sdawpphotovoices themes focuses my attention and helps me see familiar places in new ways.  My one-hour vacation was relaxing and exotic!  The photos represent only a fraction of the curves I saw at the beach…and yet give a glimpse at the variety of curves along the shore.  Tomorrow begins angles…I can only imagine what I will find as I look at the world through that lens.