Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Bay of Fundy Living Beach

Due to our persistently snowy weather, it's been a couple months since I visited one of my favourite Bay of Fundy beaches. When I arrived there today I discovered that a fine, sandy beach had replaced last summer's rocky beach!

I was reminded of a favourite book, The Living Beach. I devoured this book when in came out in '98 and haven't looked at beaches the same way since.

When I was a kid here on the Bay of Fundy I remember a sense of anticipation every spring: how would a certain beach look after the winter winds waned and ice cakes evaporated? Would it be a pebble or cobble beach this year? A shale beach? Sandy? Strewn with large boulders and thick layers of wrack? Would a sandbar have shifted or a mud flat been created?

After reading The Living Beach, I realized that beaches are living ecosystems; they shift and adapt constantly to various conditions; they are constantly influenced by wind, erosion, and, in Fundy's case, are significantly impacted by the daily ebb and flow of about 100 billion tonnes of water.

I'm more observant, respectful and accepting of Fundy's annual spring beachscapes now - these simple surprises are one of the secret joys of living here.

(The Living Beach, by Nova Scotian, Silver Donald Cameron is available in video or book format.)

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