Sunday, July 3, 2011

Boundary Bay Plan B (It may be Plan A).

Some treat a low tide mud walk at Boundary Bay as a challenge. Must get to the water, no matter how far it has receded. 2, 3, 4 kilometers out, it must be found, to make sure it's still there.

Oh, it is.  And if you spend too much time getting there, it may do an end run around the low-lying ridges, and you will end up wetter than you expected.

Unless you expected to get wet, lashed in a cold soup of eelgrass fronds (which is actually very refreshing and somewhat pleasing on a hot, cloudless day).

Or perhaps your goal was to catch some edible sea life, legally or not, what these fellows seem to have been doing:

Whether or not we make it to the surf, there is always Plan B for me.  All I have to do to feel the walk has been a success is to reach the colder, deeper tide pools about a mile out, the pools that hold the bleached remains of sand dollars.  If you want to know a bit about the functional morphology of sand dollars, I have written of them previously.

Sand dollars are simply beautiful, perhaps moreso in death--after the thousands of tiny spines have fallen--than in life.  I cannot resist picking them up, feeling their lack of heft, flipping them over and back, over and back.

On land, it's horse chestnuts, gleaming in their splitting husks.  I cannot resist them either, and in October usually have one or two in my pockets.

Whenever I find a sand dollar, I marvel at how beautiful it is, and I want to find an even more beautiful one.  I have a hard time discarding one favourite for another.  It's like deleting multiple images of the same loved bird or plant or person. What if I delete the wrong one?

I try to limit myself.  They break apart in your pocket or pack if you take too many.

You really shouldn't take them at all.  The ocean needs all the calcium carbonate it can get.

7.

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