Saturday, December 29, 2012

Patterns in wood and stone

Between the water and the hill, between one raincloud and the next ...

It was raining as usual, and the tides are high all day these days, but we've been too long shut in. We went to Crescent Beach anyhow. And the rain stopped, just for us!

The sea was empty; no boats, no people, only one lone Bufflehead. But there's always something to look at. Like wet logs and stones, for example.

Empty sea around Kwomais Point, grey-green branches overhead.

Water rushing over stones in a creeklet.

The White Rock - Kwomais Point - Crescent Beach shore is home to an amazing variety of stones and rocks. I never get tired of looking at them.

Some have washed down from the cliffs above over many millennia; others have broken off the rock piles that support the railway, or the rough gravel on the rail bed itself, and have been barged down from the upper Fraser Valley, or possibly from the Sechelt area on the Sunshine Coast. Some are volcanic; most are granites or conglomerates. I find agates, many but of poor quality, green jade-like stones, fossils, a bit of sandstone, white marbling. There's pink, green, grey, blue-black, brown, creamy yellow, translucent white, solid white . . . Beach glass, too, mostly green or brown. A few stones even seem to be worn-out bricks. How they got there is anyone's guess.

I don't know my rocks and stones. So, in the absence of proper vocabulary, I give them my own names. Like so:

Pink, peach, and rust "Easter Egg" stones.

"Knitted" rock. It looks like a mass of thick threads.

Laurie says this one looks like a frog.

"Iced potato" stone. Some softer, coarse brick-like stone, covered top and bottom with drizzled marble.

Another beach face.

The stone is uniformly grey; all the pattern is in the etching or molding. And I see dozens of shapes in it. A couple of horses, a sculpin, an axe-head, an old grump, a Roman statue, a dinosaur head.

Grey-green stone, with narrow veins of harder rock. Many of the rocks are veined like this, or split apart along a vein, leaving a white, flat side.

Most of the logs come and go, hauled away by the winter storms, or by the clean-up crews that try to keep a path open along the shoreline.

This old stump has been here for several summers.

Cute "chick" sheltered under the stump's wing.

Head-height into an old shrubby tree, something (high tides, high winds) had tossed a peeled, red stick.

Neither a stone nor a branch. Kelp float, sporting a side-ways Mohawk haircut.

I'll save the lichens and fungi for the next post.


  1. Your knitted rock looks like gneiss. The potato rock is intriguing - I'd have to get it in hand to get an idea what it is, but from your description, it could ne sandstone with calcite or quartz veins. Beach rocks are hard to identify - but they're lovely!

    Love the wood, too. Makes me think of Ents.

  2. Thanks, Dana! I'll have to go read up on gneiss. And calcite.

    I wish I had a pair of extra lifetimes; in one of them, I would study geology. As it is, now I just look and wonder.

    I'm enjoying your blog - more looking and wondering.

  3. Lovely stuff. When you talked about all the stones on that beach, it brought to mind a particular part of a particular beach in northern California that I LOVE for JUST that reason. So many beautiful stones, all rolling around in the surge. Beautiful to see and hear.

    First thing I saw in that green stone was a frog. Nice. I love that you see a sculpin in that grey one. Such a nature girl! =) xo

  4. your grey-green stone, with a whitish one lying at its bottom reminds me of a sculpture at a local art center. Wish I could remember it's name.

    Beautiful pictures, at any rate.

    I particularly like the tree branches in the stormy light.

  5. I love your Easter egg stones, especially!! I would have brought them home with me...
    And I take a million photos of water moving ober rocks like that...

  6. Anonymous8:12 pm

    I really like this post! Fun.


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