Wednesday, 30 May 2012


It is getting warmer, not sandal weather yet for me (April when I took these), but time for wandering on the beach. A recent walk took me along the shoreline in search of driftwood and other items of interest on the beach and foreshore to share with you.

Driftwood is usually wood that has been washed up on the shore by waves and wind and grounded there. It can be small pieces of wood, logs that have escaped from booms, or wood (trees) washed off the shore by the action of wind and water, man made wooden objects discarded into the water from the shore (flotsam), objects lost from boats (jetsam) and the remains of shipwrecked wooden boats and ships.

Some driftwood seems to have arrived fairly recently while other pieces seem ancient.

On the local beaches it collects through the year and is sorted and distributed along the beach as shelter for sunbathers and picnickers; the extra wood is usually left for people to cut up and take away as firewood or cut up for making of carvings and table tops. Driftwood also serves as protection for birds and small animals and invertebrates and a place for lichens, moss, and plants to grow.

This seagull surveys its domain.

A beachcomber then is a person who searches or combs the the beach looking for useful things, items of interest and of value, I guess that makes me a beachcomber.

"The first appearance of the word "beachcombers" in print was in Herman Melville's Omoo (1847). It described a population of Europeans who lived in South Pacific islands, "combing" the beach and nearby water for flotsam, jetsam, or anything else they could use or trade. When a beachcomber became totally dependent upon coastal fishing for his sustenance, or abandoned his original culture and set of values, then the term "beachcomber" was synonymous with a criminal, a drifter, or a bum. The vast majority of beachcombers however, were simply unemployed sailors like Herman Melville in Typee, or Harry Franck in the book Vagabonding Around the World."  (Wikipedia)

Ancient nails, wire and bolts from some past use.

Driftwood comes in an endless variety of shapes and sizes, textures and patterns.

I like to look for interesting and recognizable forms in the driftwood. I see animal heads, faces, monsters and some pieces that are interesting to look at but just that; and I just let my mind wander.

An eye?

An octopus?

A face?

A sea monster?

A yawning face? (seen vertically below)

Narwhale, unicorn?

A birds head?

Another eye, maybe with a seaweed teardrop?

This piece of driftwood has captured shells in its outer layer at some point in its journey.

This piece offers us a unique perspective on the harbour.

A soft Sea washed around the House by Emily Dickinson:
A soft Sea washed around the House
A Sea of Summer Air
And rose and fell the magic Planks
That sailed without a care --
For Captain was the Butterfly
For Helmsman was the Bee
And an entire universe
For the delighted crew.

Well that was my beachcombing adventure, some interesting sightings, some fresh salt air to clear the mind and I'm ready for the next adventure.
Not many words today, this is another scheduled post since I am away from my desk travelling for a while yet. I am taking lots of pictures though which will be appearing here on my return. 
Here is a watercolour that I have recently finished called "Sedona Bell Tower":

Thank you for dropping by, Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next week ....