Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Bar, November 17, 2011 (Beachcombing series No.55)

This one is about a month old - I'd forgotten to post it! The weather had been very warm in November, but the day I decided to hit the beach it dropped to 42 degrees (F). It was overcast and damp with a brisk steady offshore wind out of the north. An occasional shaft of sunlight would break through the clouds and shimmer on the wet stones. I hadn't been out very long when I began to wish I'd worn long johns! Even the gulls, my winter companions, weren't as raucous as they often are. They sounded creaky, like old doors.
The Bar is a mix of stony sea floor and marine mud, exposed at low tide and linking the main island to Bar Island. It's not a great mix for sea glass - the glass tends to get mired in the mud for fifty years with minimal weathering, then when it is washed free it smashes on the rocks. I find an awful lot of very old broken glass. You can see some of it in these photos. The piece near the top center is a pale purple that looks like it came from an old square bottle. It was probably clear originally, but the old bottles have manganese in the glass, and exposure to sunlight will turn it purple. I'm probably going to put that piece back in the ocean since it isn't very weathered. In another twenty years or so it will be a much stronger purple, and (one hopes) rounded and weathered by salt and waves.


  1. Hi Jenn!
    I sit in awe at all that you find beach combing! We spend time in the summer in Newport, Rhode Island (a needed change from San Antonio, Texas in the summer!) and I have to say our beach combing booty never looks this good! Oh sure, every once in awhile we'll find a nice sized pieces of sea glass--maybe a 1/2" big or so. But most of the time it's tiny fragments. And green. My most precious pieces are cobalt blue--and I have three teeny bits that I refuse to part with or use!
    I filled a small jar this year with my finds and love the memories it holds.
    I love your blog and read each and every one that hits my in box. Maine is lovely. And so are your photographs!!

  2. Hi Robin, Wow I imagine San Antonio must get pretty hot in the summers. Newport would be a nice escape! I've been to Texas once (Fort Worth) and Newport twice, so can't say I know either of them well. Your photos of the Newport Kite Festival made me want to travel there.

    And I still haven't found a good piece of blue sea glass of any size, so I'm totally jealous! (I find plenty of blue broken glass, though.)

    And thank you for reading!