Saturday, March 12, 2011

Patterns in Sand

We spent some time at the Rye beach this morning, as the tide was receding. A few hardy souls were surfing; their black neoprene-clad bodies bobbed in the waves, while they waited for a big one. Kodi met every dog on the beach with a big grin; chasing and being chased across the sandy beach is his favorite sport.

Low tide is the best time to visit the beach. It offers a great expanse of beach for dogs to run, for beach-combers to find newly exposed shells, and for gazing at intricate patterns in the sand left by the receding tide.

Today, as we walked down the beach, we stepped over small rivulets of saltwater still making their way toward the tide line. The water flowed in dendritic patterns -- like the branches of a tree. Every step revealed a different, beautiful pattern. All these tiny drainages will be erased when the high tide rushes in within just a few hours. Then, new patterns will form as the tide recedes again, twice daily.

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