On the beach

This past Sunday, as has become my custom, I stay in town during my daughter’s short shift. It turned out to be a beautiful day, and I was able to have my first visit to the beach since the blizzard.

I have to say again, how incredibly fortunate we were during that storm. Yeah, we got some tree damage and were snowed in until we could shovel our driveway out, but we really didn’t have a bad run of it. Just yesterday, I was reading that there are still some 2000 people without power. The electric company, with help from other provinces, has about a thousand people working to restore power. In some places, generators were delivered or where on the way, to provide emergency power. The remote areas they workers are in, and the conditions, make these last northern areas much more difficult; in some places, workers are trying to restore power lines while chest deep in water and mud! A rough estimate was that the storm resulted in about $100 million in damage to the electrical system, though there is no way to know for sure until after it’s all done and the numbers are crunched.

We have much to be thankful for.

How the storm hit could be very different, depending on the area. Especially with the lake effect. The one time we did go by the beach, it was amazing to see no snow at all, yet just a couple of blocks away, people’s yards had about 6 inches of snow.

People living near the beach and marina posted videos online, and it was astonishing to see the waves crashing over the breakwall on the main dock.

There were some significant changes that I could see, right away.

When I go to the beach, I prefer to go to where it is rockiest, because I find it so much more interesting than the sand beach.

This is one of the rocky areas I would visit.

Normally, at this location, I would be seeing two distinct areas of rocks, showing the tide lines. Instead, I am seeing signs that the waves reached almost as far as the concrete sidewalk, which you can just see bordering the beach on the top right. The entire area, instead of being loose sand covered with pebbles and rocks, is now hard packed sand.

Coming closer to the main dock, you can see where the tide line is already starting to reclaim the sand and leave new ridges of pebbles.

In the distance, you can see a boy that was knocking down the ridge, further on. That turned out to be him trying to climb up. This is why…

Normally, this area by the main dock is a bunch of boulders, there for erosion prevention. They were completely buried until the time exposed some of them. There’s probably about 2 feet of sand and debris burying them right now.

I walked as far as the boulders, then had to walk all the way back to where the ridge was low enough to step over. Unlike the young boy, I am not able bodied enough to climb that ridge!

From here, you can’t tell that there are boulders there at all! I started walking over the mass of dried plant matter and started to feel myself sinking deeper, the further I went, so I turned back. It was more than 6 inches deep by then, and still getting deeper.

Not all of it was plant debris (and bits of garbage).

I couldn’t tell what kind of bird this was, but it was way to big to be a seagull. I found myself thinking it might even be an eagle, though I wasn’t going to go any closer to look.

As for all those rocks I normally see on the beach?

They didn’t get washed away.

They got wash UP.

Some of the videos people had posted showed waves crashing around the main dock, here, and you can see how the entry onto the dock is now covered with rocks. The area in the foreground was never completely sandy, but it never had a thick layer of such large rocks on it, either. The front of the main dock was never covered like this, either. At most, there would be rocks people kicked over with their feet.

There is a hotel near here, with a restaurant facing the lake. Of course, the wall facing this way is almost all glass, so diners can appreciate the view. There is a narrow patio, plus a boardwalk begins here, and continues until it meets the concrete sidewalk. I could see debris from the waves had reached the boardwalk. Those glass windows were very much as risk from the rocks those waves were throwing around!

Much to my surprise, aside from the bird, I didn’t find any carcasses. The last storm we had with high winds left behind many pieces of dead fish and bones.

I wasn’t the only one going over the beach, looking for interesting things. There were two people with metal detectors as well; on my way back to the van, I saw one of them was in the water, past his waist!

I didn’t know metal detectors were water proof!

It was pretty amazing to see how the storm affected this area. I look forward to seeing how things change before the lake freezers over!

The Re-Farmer

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