When a recently ordered item didn’t arrive I found it had been shipped to my summer address. My fault, but grrrrr! It became, however, an excuse to drive down there on a beautiful day. The package was enjoying the sun at the front door and all was well inside the house so … off to the beach. It was in the 30’s and the wind was sharp from the west at maybe 15 knots. That was enough to blow spray backwards as the waves broke, creating dramatic scenes.
The jetty below Nelson Avenue in Beach Haven looked to be a good spot from which to record the blowing-back spray as well as the specular highlights. I shared the jetty with a group of gulls looking for summer. I looked around but I couldn’t see it coming anywhere.
The jetty was, indeed, a good platform from which to capture the surf and the sun’s reflection.
I then headed down to the Forsythe Refuge below Holgate. I had seen a report of a Snowy Owl along the beach and I had my fingers crossed. First, however, I parked at the refuge entrance and put myself outside of a Wawa sandwich. While sitting there eating I was amused by a couple of surfers wriggling into their wet suits in the parking lot while complying with the posted sign warning against disrobing. Turns out they wrap a beach towel around their waist for the final step.
I was warm in my car; they were changing in the wind chill; I prefer my hobby.
One of them looking up at me as he raced off with his board said, “Well, it beats video games.”
Refortified and well covered up in my dry suit I headed down the beach. It was a brilliant day and there was much to look at but no snowy owls. In fairness, the report said the owl had been seen about three miles south, almost to the inlet. I don’t do three miles, particularly in 15 knot, 30+ degree winds so it is left to others to photograph the animal. Nevertheless, it was a magnificent day and there is usually something to see along the way. About a mile down, I came upon this sand-polished and sun-bleached tree carcass. It made me think of a deformed dolphin on a bad hair day. It is the kind of thing I used to have nightmares about running into in my boating days, a real prop dinger.
Elsewhere, the specular sea through wind-blown grasses caught my eye. The fact that there’s a ridge here shows how dune grass can hold the sand.
A word about the rigors of photography with which painting artists don’t have to deal. Obviously, I had to get down low for this composition. My friend, Barbara, loves to tell of traveling with me and, losing sight of me, scanning the ground to find where I’m lying to photograph some turtle face-on.
Here’s an example. Barbara caught me photographing the civil war gravestone of a friend’s forebear.
That doesn’t happen as much anymore, and the getting back up is also a challenge. And even when prone, the head-to-the-viewfinder must still be raised up and the neck arthritis is not enthused.
Nevertheless, it was a fun, beautiful and satisfying day. The endorphins were flowing.
I plan to misaddress packages more often.