HERMINE TAKES BACK THE SEA’S SAND

For many months there has been a major beach replenishment project underway along Long Beach Island.  The cynics among us (moi???) were waiting for the first big nor’easter to return things to normal.  Well, Hermine certainly tried, and did a lot of its own reclamation around Holgate at the southern tip of the island.  But, there’s still a lot of dune left to protect the island.

————————-

The Friday night before the storm was stunning.  I swear to you that this sunset is right out of my cell phone … no enhancement, and just awesome.

01

—————————-

The image, however, belied the old sailor’s comfort:  “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.” as Saturday morning brought an undelightful sea.

02

———————

03

For both of the above shots I had waded out into the (warm) water.  The turbulence threatened to knock me over along with my $$$ camera and $$$ lens but I made it back to shore.

—————————-

There were a few other souls on the beach; after all, the sun was shining.  This sandpiper was among them, thinking, perhaps that my flip-flop was its mother.

Excuse me; those are my flip-flops.

Excuse me; those are my flip-flops.

———————————-

Sunday morning dawned beautiful.  Crowds gathered at the end of the island to witness the drama of the still-angry sea.

05

————————

Here’s the famous wooden jetty which had been covered by the adjacent dune.  It’s what we expected but it’s still sad and a loss.

06

——————————-

Here we see a 10′ cliff on the dune that used to COVER the wooden jetty, kids and big kids enjoying it but also adding to the destruction.

07

—————————

 The exciting sea made great opportunities for the enthusiastic.  This would be a fearsome prospect for me.  Maybe two or three years ago …. when I was only 80 …

08

———————-

And, how exciting to climb the sky!

09

————————–

We survived the storm.  We had rain only late Friday night, and we dined in the wind (under a tent) for the Saturday night season’s-end ball.  We brought in all of the porches’ furniture; Sigrid managed everything nicely for the annual trophies presentation Sunday morning, culminating a year’s work by her to prepare them all (ninety active trophies plus keepers).  My family raised everything off of the first floor onto cinder blocks and moved the bicycles up a half flight to the entry foyer, and some of us (moi, again) evacuated.  Yes, we lost some sand but some of that will come back, and we still have much more protection than we did before Sandy.

LIFE ON A SANDBAR!

———————

————————

WHADDYA MEAN IT’S AUGUST???

Sigh, it is.  I’ve said it before but endless summer isn’t.  I moved to the beach mid-June and had the whole summer ahead of me.  But that was then, and now it’s August.  Actually, things don’t change that much.  Gregg Whiteside on WRTI tells me every morning that the day’s going to be another two minutes less of sunshine.  Two minutes a day I can deal with, and I’ve still got two months before I have to return to the Old Folks Farm.

The beach and the bay still beckon, whether a perfect day or one with a stiff wind out of the west with whitecaps.  Here’s the view we’ve enjoyed looking west from Barb’s place in Holgate this summer.

02

——————-

Sunrise at the “new” beach?  Priceless.  The reclamation project is pretty much done at the southern end of LBI, with some fine tuning such as gravel walkways over the new dunes.  The scene below is from the parking lot at the end of Holgate.  The beach chair occupant?  He’s the over-night guardian to protect us from the replenishment pipes and equipment on the other side of the dune.

 

01

———————-

By early July the project had extended this dune to cover the old wooden jetty that bordered the surfing beach at the beginning of the Forsythe Refuge.   The dredges at sea pumped tons of sand sludge onto the beach, and dozers such as this one moved it as the Corps of Engineers had decreed.  This took me back to my Sea Bee days.

Farewell to the jetty and also to the surfing beach because the jetty had created the surf.  Sic transit gloria.

05

 

Being a photographer at the beach summer after summer is challenging;  where’s the new scene or the new perspective?  Well, you have to keep your eyes and your head open and hope you’ll luck out once in a while.  Here’s one that surprised me.   Sitting on Barb’s deck at sunset I noticed the bay’s reflection in the windows of the house next door, and I loved it.  Even more when I developed it and discovered that the undulations in the window glass had created a rolling sea on the quiet bay surface.

03

———————-

Another surprise grab shot was this scene.  I had gone to the beach to photograph a post-storm rainbow.  Beautiful? Yes.  Impressive? Sort of.  But, (yawn) another rainbow on the beach.  When I turned around and climbed the dune to return, however, here was a reminder of how narrow this sandbar is on which we live.  I’m on the beach dune and one can see the end of the street at the bay, only 1900′ away.  Composition Guideline:  always look behind you after you’ve taken your shot.

04

—————————–

My favorite summer event is the Twilight Sail.  This year some heavy duty thunder storms were smashing the mainland so Barb and I demurred.  I felt it confirming when our Fleet Captain also declined.  Anyway, four vessels took off for the edge of the world, including our now Beach Haven resident A-cat, Ghost (the taller mast below).  They all returned safely.

I was impressed with the blue world into which they were sailing.  Made me think of a colleague’s photography business, Twilight Blue Photography.  (No charge, Pat.)

06

———————————

Well, so what if it’s August.  Summer’s still here and I’m stickin’ around, too.

Here was the month’s first sunset;  Well Done August!

07

————————-

NO SWIMMING TODAY

No Swimming Today!   This was one of the signs that greeted me as I pulled into Island Beach State Park with the temperature in the 30’s  Well, I had forgotten my swim trunks anyway.

This was only my second visit to this nearby barrier island park and I enjoyed it.  The trip was in response to the great images of foxes and snowy owls being captured on the island by an outstanding photographer, Ray Yeager.

The island is reached via a causeway from Toms River.  The park begins 2.5 miles south of the causeway, and continues on for about 8 miles paved and another mile of beach-walk to Barnegat Inlet.  Along the way are numerous places to park and walk through the dunes to either the beach or the bay.

—————————————————————————

Image 02

——————————————————————————-

The above image is a little soft in the foreground.  I had my 100-400 on in case I spotted an owl and they’re just not good for landscape work.  (370mm, f/16, 1/400, tripod mounted, and composed in live view)

The dunes are impressive compared to those on LBI as they are taller and generally covered with berry-laden holly, scrub pine, white cedar, sassafras and so on.  They reminded me of the dunes called Sandy Hills in Margate where we often played war in my childhood years.

Image 04

————————————————————

Elsewhere there were eye-catching zen scenes of simplicity and gracefulness.

Image 01

————————————————————-

I drove to the end of the paved road.  I had contemplated a sunset behind Barnegat Light but found that would require a hike along the beach of about 0.8 mile.  I realized that I was missing a camera accessory: a truck whose tires I could deflate in order to drive along the beach.  Must check the B&H Catalog.  I decided the hike would be good for me…but on another day so I drove back up to leave the park and get some lunch.  On the way I passed some fox activity which is one of the things I had hoped to see.  I saw five of them off and on; they were working the road in anticipation of being fed.  The signs, of course, say Don’t Feed the Fox but the foxes don’t read.  One gal had brought a box of hot dogs and was using them to entice a fox which enabled me to get this image.

Image 03

————————————————-

It’s also a little soft (370mm, f/16 and 1/166th, handheld) so I want to return and try some more.  I also had hoped for a snowy owl shot as Yeager’s are to be envied, and they are such beautiful animals.  I walked a lot of off-the-road trails but nary a flash of white.  I actually did have one in my crosshairs but it asked me if I were Ray Yeager.  When I said no, it gave me the claw and flew off.

———————————————————

I got back into town (such as it is in February) and found a pizza  place.  I asked the proprietor if he expected a busy Super Bowl Sunday.  He said he didn’t;  “Everyone’s back in New York and nobody lives here in the winter.”

I then headed back into the park as hope springs eternal.  Here are two more typical scenes I found.   The first, an unglamorous drainage cut from the Bird Blind Trail, the second on a beach trail after emerging from the trees.

Image 05

——————————————

Image 06

———————————————————————–

All in all it was a pleasant and informative afternoon and I mean to return.

————————————————————————–

CROSSING THE DUNE

The first Saturday in June dawned without the cold winds so I headed for the beach.  In my April 25th post I showed the way to the beach blocked by the artificial dune which the borough created after Sandy; now there’s a path.

Before & After

On the left is the little entrance deck which used to lead from the street behind you to the beach.  But, the image is from two years ago, and on the right is the new approach.  The deck is still there under the sand.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

The deck is still bounded by the Rugosa Roses which are at their peak of bloom in the spring.

_MG_6399

______________________________________________________________________________

and the Dolphin tiki survived the storm.

_MG_6389

__________________________________________________________________________

Once over the dune and onto the beach the desert analogy continues, the shadows of the mini-dunes being created by the early morning low light.  This is the view I see when I take my summer naps down here.  No, I didn’t capture this by dropping my camera onto the sand  but I was tempted; it’s tougher getting up from these shots than it used to be.

_MG_6368

___________________________________________________________________________________

The tidal pools drew both the gull and me.

_MG_6377

________________________________________________________________________________________

Later I drove through Holgate to the restored parking area at the entrance to the Forsythe Refuge.  Driving past the homes on the boulevard is still a sad, sobering experience.  Seen from the entrance to Forsythe a 10-15 knot wind from the southwest was pushing waves onto the beach.   We frequently impute a personality to the sea depending on its mood (and ours) .  Looking at these waves and thinking about the destruction through which I had driven I think the sea was saying “Don’t mess with me.”

_MG_6419

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

BACK TO THE BEACH

I made my first trip to the beach for the year and found things in good shape and headed for better.  I was pleased and impressed to find many stores open but there are more to come.  Even the Ferris Wheel was dressed up for the weekend.  Beach Haven favorites and stand-bys such as Buckalews and Uncle Will’s and Hands and Fred’s Diner are open for business.  There are, however, still many signs of damage and sadness as people work to restore their summer and even year-round homes.  My friend, Nick, continues to restore the boat landing at the end of my street where there is still evidence of damage but signs of life coming back.

Image 05

These tulips had about five feet of salt water above them during Sandy.  Yet, here they are.  Nick also has most of the Purple Martin houses re-erected.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

At the beach the artificial dunes created post-Sandy presently block the entrance from the street ends and give one the feeling of being on the edge of a great desert.

Image 03—————————————————————————————————————-

————————————————————————————————-

Clearly, however, people are crossing the desert and the dune, and wandering around

Where'd everybody go?

Where’d everybody go?

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

 

The erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy has exposed a number of groins and jetties from past years.

Image 01

—————————————————————————————————————————–

It’s a good feeling to see people back enjoying what the beach has to offer.

Image 06