Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Aunt Mimi's Beach

Rialto Beach on Saturday last. Not too much bird action, not too much wave action. For Olympic National Park's easiest beach access on a weekend day at the height of the season, not very many people, either.

Rialto Beach, Saturday mid-day, looking north (Click for larger image.)

When GF and PB and I were out the weekend before, there was an old lady (the fact that in retrospect she may have been no older than me is irrelevant at the moment: an old lady bundled up in scarf and shade hat) looking closely at the pebbles. We asked what she was looking for. Garnets. Just then I flashed instead to picking up tiny carnelians on the beach of Rodeo Cove in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and to tiny garnets right in the trail heading up Arroyo Hondo south of Taos, other states and other times. Wasn't until I came home that I remembered that indeed there can be garnet sand visible sometimes on Rialto.

So on Saturday, I looked very closely for the pink sand, but didn't see any. (See the last image in this post for what might have been visible.) There were nice fresh hydroids and bryozoans washed up close to the surf line, but nowhere was the garnet sand visible. The summer beach profile is different, maybe that's why. Or the tide wasn't low enough. Or whatever. Maybe there's magic involved, like the magic that hid and revealed R. A. Laffery's 'Narrow Valley.' OMG, the whole text of Narrow Valley seems to be out there. I l-o-o-ove the web.

Bryozoan Washed Ashore. Flustrellidra corniculata (Click for larger image.)

I ambled along, eyeballing the foreshore closely. Could actual crumbs of garnet be found? An extremely modest henge-maker had been at work on a log. The sky-colors and water-colors were way richer than these images show.

Very Small Henge (Click for larger image.)
Rialto Beach, MidDay, July 21, 2012 (Click for larger image.)

There's a soundscape for Cee, but it was a little windy out and the sound didn't come out very well.

Soundscape for Cee

I thought about what my friend IJ said about what the word "beach" means to people. When I was in Florida in March, we three younger and more mobile generations of the family went off to the soi-disant 'best beach in America'. I suppose IJ is right. Take a look at the second photo in the blog post I made when I got home. That is what 'beach' means to everyone in the country except those of us who live near the coast anywhere north of San Luis Obispo. I showed my 18-month-old great niece photos from Rialto. Her dad, my nephew-in-law, explained to her carefully that they were pictures of "Aunt Mimi's Beach". (They decided that my name was too hard for Baby Genius to say, and named me Aunt Mimi. Pfffff. OK, sure, change my name.)

No pelicans were yet on the move, it was early. I did see elk on Beaver Prairie. Here, as promised, a picture of the pink sand:

Pink sand, March 23, 2011 (Click for larger image.)

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