Sunday, March 13, 2011

Going Shopping for New Supplies

Saturday morning I woke up earlier than usual. After my cup of coffee and a quick scan of my emails, I decided it would be a very good day to do a little "shopping" for some new focal beads for my jewelry creations.

"Shopping" for sea glass is something I look forward to, especially as the weather starts to turn away from winter and head towards spring. So on this sunny Saturday morning, I was off to a place where the prices for sea glass are the best....FREE!

It was still a bit overcast as I arrived at the beach, but as the sun climbed in the sky, the clouds quickly disappeared. The entrance onto the beach was proof of how hard a winter the NJ coast experienced this year. Heavy machinery had been moving sand around, trying to create new support dunes to keep the high tide away from the expensive beach-front homes.

Heavy machinery, moving sand from one place to another and any type of general repairs to the beach are often a tell-tale sign that today's shopping isn't going to be a very good one. As I looked up and down the beach, I knew that today's "shopping" trip was about to turn into a nice stroll up and down the beach and anything I found would be a bonus.

The beaches I encountered on Long Beach Island on Saturday were basically flat. One straight shot from the surf, right to the dunes. All of the fall preps that were created to protect the dunes were eradicated by the combination of rough seas and a brutal winter. Despite the efforts of of the city workers moving sand to shore up the dunes, much of LBI's dune barrier that protects the beach front homes are quite vulnerable to one good storm as we enter spring.

Flat beaches are terrible for sea glassing on LBI because the tide has very little trouble reclaiming anything it has left behind. The area of beach that was to the north of where the sand shifting was taking place did have a few decent collections of shells that tides had left behind. I was hopeful that there would be a few sea glass gems in the mix since my foot prints were the first on the beach, but there these shell beds were basically void of sea glass.

With the exception of a couple of undercooked larger pieces, only a couple of small Budweiser brown pieces were located. The nearby jetty yielded a well-weather, much older brown piece that looked almost red from a distance. After walking north several blocks, and only finding a couple more pieces- both older and nicely weathered, I turned back and decided I would try my luck to the south.... only to realize this was not going to be my lucky day. The beaches were absolutely flat and garbage, no shells, no nothing. At least the walk was invigorating and I can say that my 75 minute beach walk was a bit of a workout.

So I came away from my shopping spree basically empty-handed. What I did find were pieces that I can't use for my handmade jewelry creations, but they were older pieces that have spent a great deal of time in the ocean and the best part is... the price was right : )

'til next time...

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