Category Archives: our beach

Mystery solved!

Well, there you go. You learn something every day – and in fact one day was all it took to get a response from the Museum Victoria’s Discovery Centre. How impressive is that?

So this (from a mere two posts ago)

..

is a sand collar.

Sand collars are a gelatinous egg mass which has been deposited by a sea snail belonging to the family ‘Naticidae’

They also sent me a pdf attachment, but in the interests of being able to link, now that I know what I’m looking for, I’ve been able to google away merrily.

Here’s how Wikipedia summarises it:

Sand collars are the egg masses of certain sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Naticidae, sometimes known as “moon snails”.

These egg masses often wash up on sandy beaches, either whole or sometimes in fragments. When they are whole, sand collars are shaped like an old-fashioned detachable shirt or blouse collar (hence the name). They consist of sand grains cemented together by a gelatinous matrix, with embedded eggs.

A fresh sand collar feels stiff and yet flexible, as if it were made out of plastic. Each sand collar contains thousands of capsules, each one housing one or several live embryos. In species with planktonic development, these embryos hatch out as bilobed veligers. After the eggs hatch, the sand collar disintegrates.

If you google image search ‘sand collar’, you’ll get more info than you can poke a stick at!

Obviously I was holding a lot more than I bargained for in my hand!

And so… what to do with the prize I offered… ?

Noone actually got the answer as such, however Jayne, whose “Feral Beast” nearly had it.. and Jen who also suggested shark egg cases,both set me off on a non-seaweed research track.  So, Girls!  I can offer each of you a 6 x 8 inch print of any of my photos that you choose, or a full resolution digital copy of a photo of your choice (resized to whatever dimension you prefer) that you can use for your wallpaper.  Email me (see my About page) and we’ll sort it out.

Thanks for being part of my very first competition!

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Filed under miscellaneous minutiae, our beach

Once more upon the beach

If I can’t give you words, well I can give you images. Beach images. Of course.  With low tide coinciding with late afternoon at the moment, it’s definitely my favourite time for doing my beach walk thing.

Naturally after not taking my camera the other afternoon (whereupon I was going *click, click, click* in my head with all these perfect ‘mind’s eye’ shots), yesterday afternoon, camera clutched in my hand I was struggling.

Come to think of it, I was out a bit earlier than the other afternoon. You have to time it properly –  till the setting sun brings out that exquisite pastel pallette.

Meanwhile, with my small (but dedicated!) blogging audience to appease, there had to be something on the beach I hadn’t photographed before…

A-ha!

These!

I see them all the time on the beach, and they always looks to me like man-made rubbery things.

Like broken rubbery.. seals; and often there are loads of them washed up on the beach.

In the interests of investigation, this time I picked up one to look more closely at it. Just for you of course!

Hmmm. Perhaps they aren’t rubber after all.

It looks distinctly seaweedy to me.

As for what sort it is, I have no idea, and right now, with my ginormous list of Things To Do, skiving off on a Google seaweed search isn’t even on the front page, never mind near the top.

If someone has the time and inclination to suss it out (or perhaps is on friendly terms with a botanist) well… you could let me know, and maybe I could arrange some sort of prize. (Heaven knows what – I’ve never considered that option before, but when I think about it, I’m sure I could organise, say, a print – of your choice – of one of my beach scenes?)

That’s a long shot I know. But if someone comes through with the research, I promise to put my money where my mouth is!

Otherwise, we can all just go “Hmmm, how quaint it is the things one finds on Australian beaches!”

And, for the sake of adding some colour to this anticipated blog post, I prolonged my walk on the beach long enough to get some of that pastel pink into the photos:

(I confess to tweaking this one, above, in photoshop, but all the rest, I swear, are au naturale!)

(What beach post of mine would be complete without The Island?)

With visions like this on my beach on many an afternoon, heaven knows why I don’t make it down there every day.

I suppose I might just get blasé about it.

And you might too!

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[Ed: Mystery solved!]

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A precious weekend.

You know.. I think I’m a bit of a homebody.  Oh, I love to travel, as you know.  But it’s hard to beat a sunny, autumn  (mid-school holidays/pre netball season madness) weekend at home. Just me, him and the kids – and that beach just over there!

I just had one of those weekends, and I loved it, loved it, loved it.  (Ack.. did I just channel that SYTYCD guy?  Help me!)

Himself arrived home on Friday night after a four-night work trip. Nothing like a bit of absence to make the heart a bit fonder, I guess. Once upon a time a four-night mid-week trip would have been nothing. Pffft! In comparison to 4 weeks (6 weeks. 3 months…) – meh!  But we stopped all that three years ago, saved a marriage, and, obviously, get to enjoy a whole lot more time together.

School holidays – when we don’t go away – can be characterised, around here,  by a bit too much sloth.  Friday afternoon, though, Ms 16 kept a pinky promise  we made with each other (with some sort of ‘thumb lock’!)  and went out for a ride on our road bikes.

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Filed under awesome, miscellaneous minutiae, on yer bike, our beach

Oh dear, still feeding my soul…

When all else fails, head for the beach (AGAIN) and get a dose of Mother Nature, I say. (And hope not to bore people silly while I’m at it – with three beachy posts in a row, sheesh…)

Since our visitors left I haven’t had much energy or motivation to do anything. I blame all that pre-visit cleaning.  (And, yes, it is a bit tiring having visitors in the house.)  And just general school holiday laziness.  Blah!

I did hit the shops today with the girls.  One of the downsides to living in a beachside region is that things tend to get a bit crowded during the school holidays.  I’m not into crowded places. The parking area at the major shopping centre in town was worse than it was leading up to Christmas!   And the Food Court was full. And noisy. Blah!

It was very tempting to just sloth when we got home.  But I finished the last of the chocolate (that I liked).. and decided that perhaps I should walk it off. Post-Easter (self-disgust) resolutions, and all that. Plus the sound of the Wii was going to make me kill someone pretty soon.

I struggle to find the words to express how lucky I am to be this spoilt.
That all this is just a couple of hundred metres from home.

Who could complain about having this setting for a daily walk?
(I just wish I did make it a DAILY one.)

It’s never boring …

I don’t know..

Time of day… the light.
.. the clouds…

Even though I like having the place to myself…
there is often something special about what others are doing on the beach.
I like people-watching. (As long as they aren’t too close to me!)
I’m a bit self conscious about standing there and boldly taking photos – but I managed to snap these ones off.

I’m not into fishing myself..
But there’s obviously something about it that sings to those who do it.

Sometimes it can be something about the clouds that completes a possible picture  –
a picture that I try to capture in a mere snapshot..


Or it’s the reflections in the late afternoon light.
And the patterns in the wet sand as the tide recedes.

Even the contrail from a passing jet.

(“Contrails” – that’s a new word I learnt today! I had to skype Mr Knows-a-lot, and ask “What do you call those streaks in the sky that planes sometimes make?.. Ah!.. vapour trails.. uh huh.. or  condensation trails.. Ohhhh “Contrails”. How about that…!)

It’s always different – no matter how often I take myself down there.
Hope it was different enough for you too… three blog posts in a row is a bit tedious I know.

You realise it’s all your fault that because I sat down to blog it all, right away, it’s  now 7.30,
and I haven’t done a thing about dinner yet!!

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More beach.

I’m still light on for wordspace in the old headspace.

So instead I give you more beach.

We’ve had friends visiting from Sydney over this Easter weekend. The southerly ‘breeze’ and dumpy surf haven’t been that enticing to me, but they’ve been loving it. (I’m just spoilt!)
It’s been hard to drag their two boys away from the water, and from digging in the sand.

Today -after they had a dip – the three of us – deciding some exercise was in order to counteract  the food (and chocolate) intake  – walked the 5km or so north up the beach to the next town. Instead of doing my usual up and back trek, we’d decided to wimp out on walking back south into the strong headwind –  and Himself kindly drove up to collect us.

There are things on the beach that I don’t tend to look twice at normally, but J – who is originally from Finland – suddenly did a bit of a double take and asked ‘What on earth is that?’

Meh.. it’s just a washed up jellyfish, said her Aussie husband and I.
We often call them jelly blubbers too – but I doubt that that is the correct scientific name for them!

And there’s my rocks again…
The locals actually refer to them as ‘Witches Hat’ – or ‘Witches’ ‘.
This time I’ve got a  fisherman perched on the rock.
Check the seagulls having to face into the wind to keep their positions.

What can I say.. It’s Easter – so patently this is a Hot Cross Jellyfish.

Despite the rough conditions, this kite surfer had just been out in it all.
All I can think of is what amazing upper body strength he must have.

Plus it made a good photo in my head.

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And that was March.

Not my month for writing anything of substance, so it seems.  If this was a job, I’d be sacked.

I’ve been busy. Ish.  School canteen. Renovation design choices. Netball.  (The netball stuff has taken up a fair bit of time – and emotional energy. Committees .. bah ..  what was that quote by Jean-Paul Sartre? – “Hell is other people” ?  I’ve been through the wringer a bit with some Stuff (caused by one person) but it’s too hard to summarise  in a blog post when I really should be cleaning up the house for visitors, so I’ll pass. For now! And choose a brighter subject.

Well it actually rained nearly every day for the first three weeks of March, which dampened  spirits a bit, and caused more than my usual amount of procrastination, particularly in regard to getting out and getting some exercise.  The rain was just bloody  unpredictable, so you’d never know when you went out if you were going to get drenched or sunburnt.

One day, after whingeing A LOT on Twitter (as BushBabe will attest) I kicked myself in the backside (with a bit of assistance from across cyberspace), grabbed the camera, and headed down to the beach.

No hat, no sunnies, no sunscreen – because it was like this,

Water had been falling out of that sky about 15 minutes earlier.

“Just get wet”, said BushBabe.
So I sucked it up, and decided that I could get wet and still live.
Shoes on, and out the door. Just like that.

But THIS  is what I got instead
(along with a VERY sunburnt face, neck and shoulders):

Rain? What rain?
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Beached as…

A lazy summer school holiday Saturday.  A sleep-in. And some family beach time. Twice in one day! (Actually three times for Ms 16 and Ms 11 – amazingly Herself stayed up after her early paper run (yes, more often than not she goes back to bed at 7.30!) and took her little sister down for a swim before breakfast.

It’s only in the past four years or so that I have finally learnt the knack of body surfing. We’ve lived here, only a few hundred metres from the beach, for 12 years now, but it’s only been the last few years, after so many spent taking turns to mind children, that I’ve been able to get some  tuition from the master (ie. time out in the surf with my bodysurfing husband.)

These days we all hang out together ‘out the back’. Well, four of us head out there – Ms 14 with her boogie board, and the rest of us eschewing the use of equipment. And we catch waves. The Daddy rides them in, usually till his toes are scraping the sand. Then he brings Ms 11 out with her boogie board. He shoots her off on a wave, then catches one himself. (If he times it right, and the waves are the right sort, he can sometimes ride the same wave as her.)

Rinse, lather, repeat.

And grin at each other like dopes each time we stop, and stand up out of the wash, exhilarated. (NB. When doing this without rash shirt (like at 7.00 late this arvo), I have to make sure ‘everything’ is tucked back into my swimmers before standing up.)

I still can’t ride them in as far as him (he makes me laugh with how ridiculously far he can go), but I’m doing pretty well for an old girl who didn’t really take it up until in my 40s.  It’s got to be good exercise too – with all that wading/swimming/diving under waves to get back out. (That’s what I keep telling myself – and after a couple of hours worth of doing that today, I don’t think I’ll have any trouble getting to sleep tonight.)

Each time today I called it quits before the rest of them. I usually do. They probably think it’s lack of stamina. But I like my quiet time where I stand there, soaking it all up. One of those moments where you couldn’t pay me to live anywhere else in the world.

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