Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If It Had Been Like This

Low tide at Rialto Beach, surveying for COASST. Had I had the sense to check the tide tables before hauling L. out there on her first day, had it been low tide and early in the day instead of high tide and already exhausted when we got there, the whole visit would have unrolled differently.

Low tide, warm grey weather. Rialto Beach, August 15, 2010. (Click for larger image.)
Almost the sun broke through, never did. Rialto Beach, August 15, 2010. (Click for larger image.)

"The migrating barrier invades and kills the forest trees." (meaning, the gravel barrier beach retreats, winter storm waves overtop the berm, and salt and cobbles wash into the forest.) That's "Gravel Barrier Morphology: Olympic National Park...", by Patrick J. MacKay and Thomas A. Terich, Journal of Coastal Research, v. 9, #4, Fall 1992. This one will go over in next winter's big storms, I think.

Ghost tree in ghostly weather. (Click for larger image.)

Formally, as to the monthly examination of my two beach segments for beach-cast bird carcasses, once again no dead birds. On the Rialto Jetty segment there was a place where there were a LOT of feathers, fresh feathers. I looked and looked, back and forth, up and down. No sign of anything else. I decided it must have been an eagle kill, and after he'd torn into the critter (gull?) and strewn many feathers around he must have carried it away to work on elsewhere. Or it was buried by the ever higher smoother beach sands of late summer, but I didn't think so. Or picked up by the surf and carried along the beach; just in case, I looked even more carefully as I proceeded north, but as far as the turnaround at Ellen Creek, no sign of it having washed ashore.

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