After the storm


We recently had a whopper of a gale.  A long night,
then an even longer dark day of sideways rain and rattle-the-rafters wind.
The lull that followed meant only one thing - time for beachcombing - so four-paws and I
headed out to see what we could find.  I wasn't entirely sure there'd even be a shore left.
Predictions had been ominous but living as we do on a tiny rock out in the Pacific Ocean
 we know variables can be extreme island to island.  I needed to see firsthand how our
favorite spot had fared.

Thankfully, it was not so bad really.
Bull kelp was in abundance, having woven itself down the beach in dramatic ropes.  A few
boulders that support the edge of the two lane road had been displaced and
one or two megalithic tree stumps (from Canada perhaps?) had been dredged up & tossed ashore
like toothpicks.

The donations from the sea were plentiful.

I left this red one in place.  Figured a heart rock was better doing its good business under
a big sky, near a Big Puddle, than home with me in my pocket or on my windowsill.

This particular beach is in somewhat protected waters, with San Juan Island directly to 
the east & San Juan Channel in between, so it isn't like beaches that 
face the open ocean where lots of human trash prevails
(I'll pay you five dollars if you can even find a piece of sea glass on this stretch),
but it does hold a motherlode of natural detritus ...
some feathers
and lots of seaweed ... especially during storm season.

And there was our "garbage" to collect and treasure.  Hadn't seen this around
for a whole year - a reddish seaweed that makes lovely rose-colored marks when wrapped in 
cloth (especially silk) if one is game to judiciously watch temperatures in the dyepot.

Worth the whole walk, was that.
Have you ever heard of the British artist, Jo Atherton?
She weaves tapestries with the flotsam from her beaches & other coasts of the world
and tells some very interesting stories ...


  1. & those wonderful purple starfish!

  2. it's very hard not to put stones in my pocket. respect.

  3. I love that you left your heart on the beach….and that flotsam weaver! Delightful.

    1. It needed to be in the world more than I needed it.

      I love Jo's repurposed flotsam. She has a strong point of view & is filled with dedicated intent.

  4. When I saw the pic in my blog roll I thought you had a new fiber project. Aside from the storm that created the mangled sea mess, it's a very artful Nature collaboration. That red rock!! It's like a message from the Universe. Reminds me of the little girl in Shindler's list in the red coat.
    xx, Carol

    1. oooh, that's a stunning memory comparison. Message rock vs. message in a bottle, perhaps? Quite small but stuck out like a sore thumb and tho nowhere near the girth of the displaced boulders it was a huge presence on that long expanse of sand.

  5. I agree with Carol -- my first thought was 'what has that girl gone and dyed this time? What fabulous pictures -- I'm afraid I would have stayed out there all day long. Oh my - selfishly that red heart would have been slipped into my pocket just for awhile anyway -- I could always take it back later. Thank you for this posting - its quite magnificent.

    1. hee hee, funny to read how I keep you guessing, Penny.
      That's a favorite walking beach with my dear Isla. Have spent many a day out there wandering around ... but not usually in November!

  6. How lovely to read the experiences of another beachcomber - and thank you so much for mentioning my website! Living in the UK, I do occasionally find objects that wash ashore from the USA and Canada, having made that huge trip across the Atlantic, which really fascinates me. I love to think about how the seas and oceans connect us all, and how there are always people like me, beyond the horizon, walking the beaches. Great to meet you :)

    1. My goodness, it is my pleasure, Jo ...
      I have been following your work for a long time and as I was composing this post the thought came to me about all the "treasure" you find vs. what was washed up for me that morn - the rhythms of waves & tides in distinct opposition. I'm fascinated by that notion. And it's my great joy to 'meet' you, too - thank you for your visit.

  7. I love beachcombing after a good ol' NorEaster. Such treasures! I thought it interesting that the flotsam and jetsam doesn't look all that different from our own.

    Love Jo's stuff!

    1. Your shores are sharing stuff with Jo's! Would even venture the notion that you've both been drawn to the exact same toy finds ... Jo weaves and you construct. Awesome.

  8. So impressed by your thinking of not bring in the red stone
    Well in fact you do by showing it to us all
    , thanks
    You named Alaska so is there amber too on your shore?
    Aren't we happy to be able to jut...( dutch for beachbombing )

    1. I'm not sure about the amber, Yvette, perhaps ... I know for sure we have agates tho and several of the jewelry makers on the island use them in their pieces.

      Thanks for your visit here. I hope all is well with you & you are able to do some handwork these days.

  9. beautiful after photos. i love the after of storms. what a beach!

    1. It's a favorite for walking, stone collecting, detritus examination and general slow down musings of the universe - I'm glad you stopped by, V ;>)

    2. i am forgetful at best, but love visiting! i even sometimes come back!