Saturday, April 21, 2012

On the Beach

I went down to our beach today. The weather was so beautiful, I couldn't resist. It was low tide, so I went down for a short walk with my camera.
The view of our beach from the top of the stairs, street-level.

The last time I was down there was on Easter. I took all our Easter guests down there to walk off our Easter ham and other goodies. It was a beautiful day then too. Today, like on that day, it was low tide.

Our beach is not a very big one and constantly subject to erosion. I have the feeling that our property owner's association fee for using the beach in the summer (quite steep--but I find it hard not to cave in and scrape up the dough when the beach in question is 100 yards from my front door) entails adding sand to the beach in time for summer beach-going.
Low tide.

Today the beach seemed very small, even at low tide. The two yards of beach leading up to the water were completely paved with stones and various other oceanic debris. Because we are on the Long Island Sound side of the island (north shore as opposed to south shore), the water is like the water in a bay: very calm and flat. There are rarely any waves. Today's were minuscule.

As a consequence, in addition to the many-colored stones, perfectly polished from rolling in the deep, sharp-edged shells, and sea-weed that peppered the shoreline, it was also easy to distinguish a variety of other Sound debris. Namely, concrete blocks, bricks, often still mortared together, as well as bizarre rusted metal tubes, pipes, and junk of ambiguous origin. One time there was a whole metal door of some sort that had washed ashore.
Asphalt square; concrete block, and some bricks at the far right.
Today's findings were a little less startling, though just as rusted and strange.
No idea what this is--a rudder that fell off a boat? A piece of boat? 

This looks almost like one of those early headpieces for underwater suits. Creepy.
Where does this stuff come from? Both disgusting and fascinating, I can help wondering not just where these things come from, but how long it takes them to become so rusted, and how they came to be tumbling over the ocean floor. Granted, the south shore of Connecticut is quite industrial, with many shipping ports. Nearby New York is no better. Things just fall off, apparently, and are dashed about by the currents until they are spit back out into our sand.
Stuck in the sand. No idea what this is.
By the time these remnants of civilization end up on our shore, they are utterly changed from their former selves, studded with rocks, coated in seaweed, broken and battered.

(Makes me think I should get my tetanus shot renewed. And that I could make a calendar with pictures of bizarre Long Island debris and sell it on Etsy.)

Of course, I hate this industrial litter. It's vile. Disgusting. Poisonous. But it's also fascinating, and maybe a little inspiring. They could be remnants of a lost underwater civilization. A litterbug Atlantis. They could be space trash that has fallen into the ocean and washed up on our shores. Maybe these elements rust so quickly because they are made of Terbinium and thus only adapted to the atmosphere of Mars.

Still, I do hope all that junk is gone by the time swimming weather arrives.
Huzzah for sunshine at 7pm!