I decided to brave the elements because I wanted to see what had washed up after recent storms, and today offered one of the few tiny windows of opportunity for a beach trip... with a slight dip in the tide level starting around 2:30pm... and continuing till dark, which occurs about 4:30 these days.
There are a lot of "microclimates" at the end of our peninsula. I have often seen it be completely dry at our house, only to find a day of pouring rain-- or snow-- in town, less than three miles away. Today it seemed like the central ridge got 1-2 inches of snow, while nowhere else did.
Being the weekend, there were lots of cars in the parking lot. However, I expect most of them belonged to people taking their dogs to the adjacent state park.
The tide was still very high as I set out-- only a narrow band of large rocks separated me from the waves... and it made going very slow. I think of this as an "ankle breaker" beach, and I did not look forward to making a 3.5 mile trek along that type of footing. And things did not improve. After about 15 minutes of slow going, I realized that the storms had not only "rearranged" the beach... but had also beaten the offshore kelp forests to bits, and now I found myself waking on large rocks covered with a six inch layer of slippery seaweed.
This didn't bode well for my day. Even if the retreating tide were to leave behind a decent expanse of beach, a thick layer of seaweed makes it all but impossible to get to any washed-up treasures. The fact that I was probably the only one beach combing today offered little consolation.
|A large vibrant deep turquoise glass bead|
As the light fades, the darker colors become invisible first, and eventually the only thing you can make out are the clear pieces, which look a bit like moonstones in the semi-darkness. One exception to this is the fairly rare "vaseline glass," a pale lime green which seems almost "illuminated from within," in low light.
In the end, the findings of the day were fairly modest-- the storms had not turned up large volumes of new treasure, and I'm beginning to think that maybe this piece of beach has simply been "picked clean," largely as a result of the repeated "exposure" from newspaper articles. A "secret" doesn't remain a secret for very long if everyone knows about it-- if you know what I mean.
The remainder of the day's finding were quite "ordinary" and now await sorting, at some future date. I had hoped to find more large pieces-- often the case after a storm-- but most pieces I saw were quite small, and uncommon colors were few and far between. There also seems to be a lot of damaged/chipped pieces-- which I always throw back, so they can "cook fully."
It was quite dark by the time I made it back to the parking lot at 5:45. The last half hour was very slow going, not only because my legs were tired, but because the footing on softball sized rocks covered in wet seaweed-- in the dark-- was treacherous.
This will probably be the last (and only!) time I get to beach comb, this month. The tide/daylight combination is about at its most unfavorable for beach combing, at the moment. There will be a very small window of opportunity again at the beginning of December... and unless the weather is absolutely horrible, I will be out there, looking to sea what new treasures the ocean has washed up!