No Day At The Beach

When something is not fun, the colloquial expression,  “It was no day at the beach” comes to mind.   Similar to “it was no picnic” or “not exactly a walk in the park” it denotes a situation which may be difficult to deal with – which is exactly what I discovered the first time I went to the beach this summer.   

I had not been earlier because of the kitchen reno and the hot/humid/rainy weather.   Although I can’t sit in the sun anymore I try and go at least a couple of times a year to take pictures and spend a relaxing afternoon with a book, but as it’s some distance for me, there never seemed to be a good day to pack up the beach stuff.    We’re lucky we have beautiful beaches here and very blue water, but the truth is we don’t take advantage of them as often as we should.

Beach  Canatara

Beach umbrella

Finally one day when I was running errands in town, (there always seems to be time for errands), I took a detour – as it was such a nice sunny bright-blue-sky- with-a-breeze day, it was a shame to waste it.    I thought I would sit in the car and enjoy a coffee and snack and watch the sailboats for awhile. 

sailboat race

 Except….

What the heck happened to the beach?

Beach chair

It seemed to have disappeared.     My usual spot, with the tree I usually sat under, consisted of a mere few feet of shoreline.

Beach

As the waterline was almost up to it’s roots, my beach blanket would have been swamped.

Beach

Before, you could walk out past the end of the groyne and still be in waist high water.

Beach

Now, the groynes were buried under water and considerably shorter. 

Beach

At least half of the stretch of sand was missing, although it was better at the other end.

Beach

There is still a strip of sand in front of the parking lot, where they have placed boulders to prevent people from driving on the beach, but the beach down below has eroded considerably. 

Beach

They have made some effort the past few years to protect the remaining sand by growing dune grass, but it was still a shock to see how much had washed away.   

Beach chair

The lake levels are about a foot higher than they normally are and beaches all along the Great Lakes basin have experienced erosion and flooding this year.   I shouldn’t have been surprised by the state of our beach, as driving down river earlier in the summer I noticed the same thing with the river level.  Some of the boat ramps were closed because the river water had come up over the breakwall and flooded the parking lots.

boat ramp

And some docks were under or near level with the water.   If I had expensive river or lakefront property I would be worried – another foot and the dock will just disappear.   

dock

The five interconnected Great Lakes make up the largest body of fresh water in the world.   Although they say their water levels rise and fall in a cyclic fashion according to the prevailing weather patterns, I have never seen the water so high here.   About ten years ago we were coping with the opposite – low levels exposing beaches and shipwrecks offshore which had never been seen before.   It seems it has become a world of weather extremes.   Although most of the problems with high levels and flooding in the Great Lakes can be attributed to the excessive rainfall this year, it does make you worry about global warming and the polar ice caps melting.   Here’s a link to an article from The Weather Channel with more information on potential causes. 

Beach

No matter what you may think about climate change, this sad sight, coupled with our brutally cold winters of late, and our prolonged rainy springs and hot humid summers, with all the torrential downpours and violent storms everywhere – it does make you wonder – are we ruining our planet?  

seagull

Hey what happened to the beach?

If things continue beaches may become a thing of the past, a relic portrayed in paintings and photographs. 

The Beachcomber - AMc

The Beachcomber

And life-guarding will become an obsolete occupation.

Beach and lifeguard chair

Perhaps it is not too late to take action?      

Postscript:    The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation has been advertising for “Coast Watchers”.   These community volunteers help the Goderich-based centre monitor conditions along the Lake Huron shoreline and collect scientific data for a long term monitoring program.   Last year they had 130 applicants, whose job it is to monitor a specific stretch of coast line once a week, from May to October, and record data such as wave height, temperature and wind speed.   Another general observation group monitors for algae bloom,  significant garbage wash-ups or spills, and rare birds or a species at risk.    The Goderich-based centre was formed two decades ago with the goals of protecting and restoring Lake Huron’s coastal environment and promoting a healthy coastal ecosystem.  It’s volunteer Coast Watchers Citizen Science Monitoring Program has been running for approximately 15 years.  Training sessions are held every April. 

Sounds like a great idea.  Why be a weather watcher, when you could be a coastal watcher!

Postscript:  Have you noticed any signs of climate change in your corner of the world?

 

29 thoughts on “No Day At The Beach

  1. Anne says:

    Definitely. We are in the midst of a prolonged drought with virtually no rain during the summer, which was accompanied by very high temperatures. Nothing bloomed; trees and bushes simply shrivelled – and don’t even think of gardening. Then we got some unexpected rain (not much) in autumn: trees blossomed that usually only blossom in October-December; some birds actually began gathering nesting material. Of course it didn’t last but I got the impression that Nature was out to make the most of conditions favourable for procreation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. annieasksyou says:

    This is so well done, Joni. A very creative way to approach a critically important topic with a light touch.

    I find the evidence of human-made climate change overwhelming. I’ve written about it and been surprised to find otherwise intelligent people expressing skepticism. I find that scary, as it seems clear that time is running out.

    We were visiting friends on Martha’s Vineyard Island in the US last week. There was a tornado warning; the tornado actually hit a short distance away, and fortunately didn’t do much damage. But near us, there was a water spout, which I think is a tornado in the water that doesn’t reach land. Our friends have been there 22 years, and this was a first for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thank you Annie. A tornado on Martha’s Vineyard – that is strange. I would love to visit there. It is strange when smart people don’t acknowledge it, when the evidence is all around us.

      Like

  3. ruthsoaper says:

    I have mostly been hearing reports news report of the flooding in the areas along the Saint Clair River and Lake Saint Clair bodies of water connecting Lake Huron and Lake Erie. It has and continues to wreak havoc in these communities and while these people are hoping for water levels to go down farmers are in need of rain right now. I hadn’t though about the effects on the beaches. Thanks for the report.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      That’s true Ruth. We had so much rain they couldn’t plant here until it was extremely late, and now when they need rain, its dry! It’s been a strange and frustrating year.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ally Bean says:

    This is a sad story but one that needs to be told. I cannot believe how much of your beach is gone, but then again I can believe it. As for any local indications of climate change I’d say that our temps get higher earlier in the spring and remain higher late in the fall. Plus we have more mold outside on the stone paths. Nothing really dramatic like your shoreline, but small changes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      It is a dramatic change from the last few years. Small changes add up. I find the seasons shifting here generally, we tend to have longer falls with nice weather sometimes into November, except last year we had early snow in Nov. Who can figure it out? Not even the meteorologists, sometimes. PS. I’ve been mulling over your lipstick for older women post, but was too busy to comment that day. That model had thin lips (a common problem as we age) and that lipstick just emphasized it, which is why I switched to lip gloss, nothing too shiny, with just a hint of soft color. I wish there was more makeup for older women like myself, 60ish. I still like to wear a touch of eyeshadow, ever try finding a matte one that isn’t boring beige? No – all shiny metallic stuff made for young people with no wrinkles. A blogger I follow applied to be a tester at Sephora, she is 60, and asked her many readers to write testimonials for her, which many did, but she got turned down, probably because of her age. Makeup is only for young chicks, according to Sephora, although certainly older women have more money to indulge if they can find a suitable product. I know this is off topic as your point was, why are you being targeted by such an ad, but just adding my thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ally Bean says:

        Good points about that lippy ad and make-up in general. I didn’t like the lipstick color on that model either. Like you I prefer something less intense than what that advert was trying to sell me. I use tinted lip balms– light and sheer for me.

        I’m not surprised that Sephora turned down someone who doesn’t fit their idea of who their customers should be. Ever been in one of those stores? Most of the sales help would rather impale themselves on a pitchfork than help a woman over 50 find make-up. It’s annoying because like you said, I have the money now that I could spend on better make-up but it’s not available &/or no one will help me find it. Strange business model, if you ask me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Yes, and I wonder how many other women over the age of 50 have had the same experience. I have been to the Toronto Sephora store and yes, no one would help me out. I did buy a few things, brands I couldn’t find here, so it’s a shame they are ignoring the older demographic.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. lindasschaub says:

    Here Lake Erie is the worst for lakeshore flooding – I went two weeks in a row to Lake Erie Metropark and the first time at one end of the park and then I went to Cove Point this past Saturday – the water was encroaching on the grassy areas, the park bench was sitting in the water as were the boulders. There was mud and water on the cement pathway – that is how I discovered the other pathway and the wildflowers – I went that way as it was at least dry, though where the fawn was in the bushes, it was swampy with an algae “crust” – not all that long ago people worried that boating and other water activities were not going to happen as the lake levels were so low – now we have the extreme. I liked your seagull and before I saw your caption, I was thinking the same thing – he had a look like “what is going on here!” When I was younger, maybe early teens, we would drive to Amherstburg and go to Holiday Beach. Look what happened with those cliffs erosion and killing three people over the weekend – it was a tragedy on Saturday morning before the mass shootings which became Saturday night. The lifeguards said the cliffs are eroding badly now and to stay away – it is not good what is happening out there … erosion of the icebergs and the poor polar bears are suffering now. This looks like a nice beach though Joni.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I just googled cliff erosion, as I wasn’t aware of that tragedy. I can’t imagine a park bench sitting in water. Thanks for reading Linda, I know you are busy. I’m behind in reader too, but am going to read a book tonight. I’ll get caught up tomorrow when it rains. I had to water again tonight, as unlike you, we have had quite a dry spell and could use some rain. It was a nice beach, I went again on Sat. and the waves were almost coming up to my beach towel. But that will probably be it for the summer – it’s too much hassle to pack up the car and drive there. and I can’t handle the humidity. I wish I had a pool in the backyard, but then that would be one more thing to take care of! The air is starting to have an August feel to it – I think it will be an early fall.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Here in Michigan, I heard the story on Saturday morning before I left on my walk. It was on the national news and then one of our county executives who had been in public office passed away from pancreatic cancer – that story overtook the airwaves all of Saturday –
        the cliff erosion story took a back seat to political stuff … the lifeguard was not very nice as he said “people were warned” – I wanted to say “did they have signs near the cliffs then you are taking a chance but you are forewarned.” We have a sticky and very hot morning – right now it is 3 degrees and 90 percent humidity. Thinking of walking at the grocery store this morning. Like you I hate humidity. I felt badly as I was so late reading your last two posts – I was caught up to two days out last night, but then I’ll respond to bloggers’ comments on their site, likely tonight and be three days behind again – we have a series of thunderstorms going on today which, if severe enough, I will shut off the laptop. Have big project and one small project done, one small project and we did not do the invoices – he said I did not have to do over the weekend – I am still typing time entries – I was going to work a few hours Sunday and we had storms. I wanted to do a blog post to commemorate the Woodstock 50-year anniversary and was going to link to your Summer of 1969 blog post, but now they are not having a big festival as planned – if things settle down at work, I’ll try and get it done – I have some ideas … all I need is the time. My house is so messy – I am ashamed to say how many weeks since I vacuumed. I should not be that forthcoming to say weeks, but it was the finger issue and did not do it, then bills to get them out the door on a Sunday, and the hot weekend was stormy throughout the day (the 50th anniversary of the moon) and I didn’t want to start anything as I turned off the A/C – storming through the day – decided to just take a breather, then last weekend and this weekend, just needed a break and the storm again this past Sunday. By the end of the day and Robb’s revisions and busy day and try to catch here a little and catching up here in the morning, I can’t seem to get much done. I may have 500 followers, but I actually only have 20 that I interact with … in the beginning I followed back every follower, regardless of whether they were in my genre or not – I’ve not done that in a while as it is impossible as it is … they just followed for a followback. If you read through Hugh’s blog, he often writes about people following or liking (like yesterday’s post) just to get followbacks – I have commented in the past to Hugh that sometimes I’ll post a long post that is laden with narrative and photos and someone likes but does not comment and it is “hot off the press” … I told Hugh that insults me. I think it will be an early Fall too – my neighbor still has her hanging pots of dried and crispy flowers.
        I wish I had more time – I have some ideas about the heat again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        We think alike! I drafted a post about Woodstock a few days ago, after my neighbour asked me to go with her to a theme party at a retirement home – she got 4 free tickets for a buffet and music after, dress as a hippy etc. You know we are getting older when a retirement home is celebrating Woodstock! I thought I would unearth some 17 magazines from 1970 from the basement, to check out the fashions of the day, and kind of make it fun, as I don’t want to take pictures of any of the residents there…..plus make a bit of history re Woodstock, which I do not remember as I was only 12/13??? only remember people talking about it after. It’s funny the original 50th Woodstock anniversary party in Vermont got cancelled, and now your neighbourhood party, maybe nobody wants to revisit Woodstock???

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That is funny that they’ll do a party to celebrate Woodstock at the retirement home – since we were already “around” and preteens, it makes us feel old doesn’t it? I had intended all along when I realized this was the 50th anniversary year, then their big celebration started to fizzle and die. They moved it from the original location, then announced a few days ago that it will just be a very small gathering at the original site. Like you, I don’t remember anything about it more than what I read later. I was not into that type of music either back then. I was going to pull together some old pictures, but when I went to gather those photos, I could not find enough to say “Summer of 1969 photos” … so it kind of fell apart. I still wanted to do something if I get a chance though. I think it would be a fun party to go to – take a headband and put it around your head like they did back in the day … then, get a silk daisy (or a real one if you can find it) and stick it in the headband for flower power. And some rose-colored granny glasses. And some beads. It sounds like it will be fun to be a hippy for the night!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I did go through my closet today looking for suitable hippy attire! Found a few things that would do, and a beaded bracelet (love beads) and necklace. But I never thought of coloured glasses. I believe light blue ones were all the rage too. And I’ll be sure to wear a flower in my hair!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, it will be fun – and hum the song that goes with the flowers in your hair … I can hear the lyrics in my head playing now. Wear a pair of jeans – too bad you don’t have a gauzy-type top or something tie die.
        In fact you could tie-dye something if you had an old article of clothing. Yes, blue was the rage for the little granny glasses or glasses that looked like the readers you get the dime store sitting on your nose. That would be easier than trying to have the go-go boots, fishnets, a mini dress and a teased up hairdo – the other trend for circa 69. You’ll have a great time at this party.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I actually tried on the only pair of jeans I still own and they are in bad shape….so no jeans. I do have a gauzy top that would do, but no to the go-go boots, and mini-skirt. And definitely no to teased hair. I have a picture of my grade 8 graduation class and I am the only one with my hair long and bangs, the rest had sky-high teased beehives. My mother offered to take me to the beauty salon, but even at 13 I knew that look was ridiculous. I wore a white lace mini-dress/pantsuit thing, with a green ribbon on it – an outfit I loved! I should try and find the picture, but I don’t think I would have the nerve to post it. The song is “If You’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair…” I’ll have to check and see who sand it. Good Night!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I was not allowed to wear anything like that to school and we had a dress code at our junior high/middle school and no jeans except one day a year. My parents were really strict – I had shorter hair then. All our clothes we wore back then were ridiculous looking. I remember that song now – it was kind of running in my mind. So I am sitting here fuming right now – last night my work desktop computer was broken – computer guy came in at noon, said it was not plugged in properly – don’t believe that unless the cleaning people are messing with it – Robb (boss left at 6:00 and it broke at 7:00. So I got ready to do the accounting stuff at 5:50 and that is in a different computer which I access through the other computer (and the computer guy could not check it out this morning?) Called my boss who will fix it in the a.m. and woke him up from a nap – I’m going to catch up on comments and go to bed and will be further behind in Reader and am exasperated with that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Oh Linda…..you are certainly having your share of computer woes lately. I am signing off for the night early as I’m tired and thunder is rumbling. We had a torrential downpour this afternoon but the ground was so dry it’s all soaked in already. Hang in there, the weekend is coming!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        And it’s unlikely you’ll find a rawhide lace to hang a peace symbol on, but you might be able to get a piece of poster board and mount it on a stick and make a sign “Make Love, Not War” to carry in your hand. Oh, and leather sandals or flip flops if you don’t have them. And now this oldster is headed off to bed, having never tread in Reader at all. No rain for us – it was supposed to be a stormy day and we never got any storms – that’s okay with me.

        Liked by 1 person

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