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

Thursday, March 27, 2014

When Christmas Trees Just Aren't Enough

Hi everyone! I ventured out to the beach today!

Yesterday we had what local people sometimes call a *clear storm*---sunny but very high winds. Often caused by a strong low pressure area off the coast, this is lso known as migraine weather.
The Weatherbug sensor thing is over on the golf course, by the bay, so whatever winds it reads, the winds is 10 or more mph greater right here on the open oceanfront. It was blustery---with sustained winds of about 40-45 mph.

One of the neat things about a clear storm is the  [to me, magical] sight of cloud shadows racing across the open beach or water.  Too fast to capture in a photo or vid...

And look who the winds blew in, poor babies. This is the first set of oystercatchers this year, the trio that live on the beach to the west. Some people watch for the first robins, but here we watch for the oystercatchers.

very long distance shot,
they are not used to me yet, of course

This year they are 10 days past their normal arrival date of St Patrick's Day. I hope it's not too cold for them.

Or too---busy? Remember the recycled Christmas trees in the dunes project? here So far, no dunes have begun there [take years]....And the dredging barge that sucked sand out of the channel to the east, was there all January?here We thought that sand was just for the town beach. But No! They are using the sand to rebuild our dunes.

The trucks are mammoth. And a bit scary since I am not at all sure they can see me hustling down the path behind their work site.

And on the open beach, they drive so fast! Right where the oystercatchers mingle and feed.


The guys are working against the clock, since I am pretty sure they must be done by April 1st when the piping plovers may arrive? The plovers---and , eeew, arctic terns!?--- are more coddled than my adorable OCs, who are not quite totally endangered. Yet.

This is where the boardwalk usually is. It is removed in the fall, except the section that goes over the dunes. That is then removed, repaired in March, and the entire walkway replaced each spring. This is pretty much my only path to the beach unless I drive to a park nearby....

But for the last two or three days an endless stream of big dump trucks has been arriving and dumping sand. The mounds must be 20 feet high?

I have read that artificial dunes like these are not structurally sound compared to natural dunes  where there is debris, driftwood and roots, and and all the tiny sand grains kind of nestle into one another to form a permanent hill of sand. On the other hand , this work area is right between my neighborhood and a park. The high storm tide of H. Sandy swept the dunes away. The water here flooded all the way to the main road, maybe across the entire island.

So whatever is done to repair that dune break [and others] is probably an excellent plan. Even if the trucks do scare me and the birds away...



gone to the beach