Friday, February 4, 2011

A Winter Day at the Beach

For early February, it was sort of a nice day on Thursday. High 30s, sunny and little wind. Considering the recent weather, and several high tide warnings over the early part of the week, I thought it would be a good time to take a stroll on the beach. So off to one of my favorite hunting spots on LBI.

It's amazing to me how different the beaches look every time I visit in the winter. During the summer, there is little change in appearance. But come the winter, you would swear you are standing on a different beach, even on a week-to-week basis. Yesterday's trek was no different...I was a bit stunned at how exposed the beach looked. The dunes in front of the houses were built up, but the beach was basically flat, allowing the waves a clear run at the dunes.

Flat beaches are usually not very good for sea glass hunting, especially when the high tide is way above normal. The flat beach, combined with a rough tide, usually means the sea glass ends up back in the water, rather than on the beach. And yesterday, with a small 2 block exception, this was exactly the case... clean beaches- no shells, no driftwood, no garbage, and no sea glass.

The small exception was several 8-10 foot wide "shell beds" that didn't make it back into the surf as the tide left. Most of the shells were broken pieces, and in a few of these beds were several pieces of sea glass. And interestingly, I found several pieces of sea glass as I walked from one bed to another (they were spaced out approx a 30 second walk from one another) In all, I found about 20 pieces of sea glass in that short span of beach and absolutely zero pieces anywhere else.

As I turned to make my trip back home, I stumbled upon a large piece of bright green sea glass, not more than 4 or 5 feet away from one of my footprints (yes, my feet were the first to travel along the high tide line) and remembered what a more experienced sea glass hunter told me years ago... always pay attention on the return trip, you're almost sure to find a few hidden treasures you missed on your first pass. By the time I had made my way back to the very first shell bed, I added another 15 pieces to my findings for the day.

Every day on the beach is a good day, some are better than others...
but I wonder how many pieces I would have found that day if there had been shell beds all along the beach, instead of just those 2 short blocks. Regardless, it was a very good day.

'til next time...