I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


What a winter-y joy! To welcome February with a long hike on the beach!

I am always amazed at how quickly we humans can adapt to changes in weather---a month or so ago, twenty-seven degrees felt frigid, but today, after weeks of bitter winds and temps in the teens, it felt almost---balmy? Well, comfortable and pleasant anyway.
Brisk, okay I admit it, brisk.

Of course, just as in the summer there's the old adage: It's not the heat, it's the humidity...in the winter, it is not the temperature, it is the wind! Which is, I suppose, the reason that the famously ambiguous wind-chill factor was invented.

The winter beach is amazingly beautiful and peaceful, just me, a handful of joggers, and a few dog owners with intrepid breeds like spaniels or Portuguese water dogs who will brave the coldest seas. In January and February even the Labs and Goldens prefer to stay at home, cozy and warm, dreaming of Frisbee summer days.

The beach is devoid of birds right now and the beachcombing pickings are slim. The glass shards that wash in on the tide don't speak of Victorian summer picnics or Roaring Twenties bootleggers, or 50's bonfires with Coca-Colas in sea green bottles. In fact the sea glass does not even harken back to last summer, more like "last week", all shiny and sharp. But a few finds do turn up, and a few shells, and a rare sand dollar in remembrance of a friend lost last year at this time.

As the sun sets, refreshed, cobwebs blown away, I trudge back over the dunes, back to work on my current hearts and angels.

My winter-chilled imagination is buoyed by the sight, once indoors, of red and yellow tulips, happily smiling in a blue and white pitcher...

... and a pomegranate-citrus candle in an old tin mold---a rusty star--- filled with last summer's more abundant sea glass.(Maybe, just for Valentine's Day, a heart mold with pink sea glass and red glass hearts? I must search my cupboard, perhaps one lurks under the array of cookie cutters. Or if, not, another item for next summer's flea market list.)

And--if sufficient sea glass is not in your possession--- there is beautiful repro glass, available inexpensively at craft shops like Michael's. Or you can buy authentic seaglass on eBay.

I pile my sandy treasures in a tiny dish---mulberry transferware, English, still perfect, c.1808---just imagine, it has seen 200 winters! And travelled far.

 I pick up my needle and thread and begin.....

Stay warm!

PS Be sure to click on the photos for really awesome closeups! enjoy!