February walks 3

I: Charcoal and low tide (February 10)

Two pleasures today. An extra low tide and a grey sky. However, the patterns on the beach chronicle the continuing destruction of the bush. There is little new growth out towards the escarpment, so when it rains the scarified hillsides send their charcoal into the river, and ultimately onto the beach. What are beautiful patterns to me in fact signal overwhelming loss.

After this reminder of tragedy for the landscape, animals and humans, what is there to relish, and dare I relish it?

However, it’s always good to encounter old friends (periwinkles, chitons, limpets, coralline) and to develop the friendship with ones recently met (mussels, hairy and otherwise.)

There are also more traces of death: waterlogged feathers that probably weren’t dropped by a living bird, and a staring-eyed, stumpy-tailed leather-jacket, dorsal fin yellow against the sand.

II: High tide pleasures (February 13)

Today I wonder why I avoid high tide like the plague. The sand was both firm and flat, and there were so many pleasures along the tide-line: sea-arrangements; crab holes and their associated sand patterns; and round patches of beach daisies.

An emu is idling along, grazing as it goes. Joe stops for a chat and finds out that it’s eating selected bits of sea rocket.

IV: High tide again (February 14)

The pink amongst the grass near the toilet block proves to be flourishing turkey rhubarb, vivid pink against linear green.

The sky is a perfect backdrop to an inviting sea

The beach yields an unbroken mussel shell, a rare find. The valves are usually broken, although their rich opalescence is unspoilt.

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