|Fine, white sand (viewed under a light). And fine, new, white snow on the distant mountains.|
Something very strange; I collected a good handful of sand from the very edge of the water, well below the upper intertidal limit. I took it home in a plastic bag, poured it into a tray and watched it under a lens, and then my hand microscope. Usually, within minutes I can see signs of activity; a grain of sand tumbling as a worm thrashes underneath it, a minute snail making his slow way among the "rocks", a string of copepods chasing each other through the ravines.
There was nothing happening here. Not the least hint of vibration. No corner-of-my-eye flashes, gone before I turned my attention that way. Viewed from an angle, no mini-bubbles.
I left the tray overnight, and then over the whole day, giving worms time to build their tubes to the surface. Nothing happened. I looked again, just now. There's nothing there but glassy sand grains and water. Not even remains of sea creatures, broken shells and bits of crab molt. Nothing but sand.
I have never seen anything similar, except in sun-baked sand found on top of logs. There should be something alive there!
Granted, my microscope only goes to 40x, so with a more powerful machine, I could probably find bacteria and diatoms. But it is still curious; there should be hundreds of worms in there, at least!
I must make a return trip, collect more sand, from different spots.
(I flipped a few stones on that spit in the distance. No crabs, no snails. I did find some barnacles.)