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Seal Cove Beach

July 19, 2015

Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick: July, 2015

mist

Walking on the seashore, I am often struck by the diversity that can exist in a very small area. Certainly you can observe a range of features and life forms if you walk in a forest or across a grassland, but on the shore the diversity effects are magnified and multiplied by the juxtaposition of land, air and sea. Physical forces above and below tide line act upon the water, sediment, and rock; life forms respond to this complex and dynamic system with their own complexity and dynamism. On a summer morning the beautiful sands of Seal Cove beach may seem like a peaceful, idyllic place for a walk, but even at a time like this the change is constant, and if you look you are bound to be surprised.

Seal Cove beach

The warming sun drives the last mist from the sands of Seal Cove beach.

What is the physical process that causes these remarkably regular tidal channels across the beach? I'm sure that there is an M.Sc. thesis here . . .

What is the physical process that causes these remarkably regular tidal channels to form along the beach? I’m sure that there is an M.Sc. thesis to be found here!

Old pilings protruding from the sand serve as homes for algae and invertebrates.

Old pilings protruding from the sand serve as homes for algae and invertebrates.

To understand how gulls predated/scavenged this crab, follow the footprints and traces backward.

To understand how gulls predated or scavenged this crab, simply follow the footprints and traces backward.

At the far end of the sandy beach, a sloping shelf of bedrock marks the transition . . .

At the far end of the sandy beach, a sloping shelf of bedrock marks the transition . . .

. . . to a seaweed-encrusted rocky shoreline.

. . . to a seaweed-encrusted rocky shoreline.

On this spur of rock, the crest of a toupee of seaweed is peeled aside to reveal a bald pate.

On this spur of rock, the crest of a seaweed toupee is peeled aside to reveal a bald pate.

A square metre of this rocky shore must host thousands of plants and animals.

If you start lifting the seaweed to look underneath, you will appreciate that a square metre of this rocky shore must host hundreds or thousands of plants and animals.

At the village end of the beach, the wonderful disused herring smokehouses have been rightly declared a national historic site, but most of them still await conservation and, perhaps, repurposing.

At the village end of the beach, behind the grasses and beach peas, the wonderful disused smoked herring “stands” have been rightly declared a National Historic Site, but most of them still await conservation and, perhaps, repurposing.

© Graham Young, 2015

For information about the Seal Cove National Historic Site, see here.

 

12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2015 9:36 pm

    Hi. Each of the beaches on Grand Manan is unique in its own way. The beach at Seal Cove is a great place to find sea glass, especially nearer the wharf area. I love your photos, especially the one of the old piling and its seaweed population. Jane

    • Graham permalink*
      July 20, 2015 9:28 am

      Thanks, Jane. We always look for sea glass at Flagg’s Cove, but given the amount of broken glass at the inner end of Seal Cove beach, I’m not surprised that the sea glass is good there too!

  2. Sam Ciurca permalink
    July 19, 2015 10:19 pm

    I love this type of post. I remember fondly my excursion along the Bay of Fundy doing the same thing – observing the fossil cliffs and all the thing that happen as the tide comes in and out. Oh what a time it was ….

    • Graham permalink*
      July 20, 2015 9:27 am

      Thank you, Sam! The Bay of Fundy is so endlessly surprising and entertaining.

  3. July 20, 2015 2:52 pm

    The sloping bedrock layers are Triassic lava flows, part of the Seven Days Work Member of the Dark Harbour Basalt. Unlike the thick member below it, the middle member lava flows are often tilted in wide synclines and anticlines. The flows at Seal Cove Beach are on the eastern limb of one of these synclines.

    • Graham permalink*
      July 20, 2015 3:33 pm

      Thanks, Greg. I specifically avoided commenting on the Seal Cove geology, because I realize that it is complicated! By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed your exhibits at the museum.

  4. Doris Nisbet permalink
    July 20, 2015 4:46 pm

    Wonderful article…beautiful photos. wish I was there right now~!

    • Graham permalink*
      July 20, 2015 9:50 pm

      Doris, thanks, so do I!

  5. Gary Bell permalink
    July 21, 2015 9:03 am

    A beautiful place especially the marshes, Castalia at night has a spectacular sky. The ferry ride can be challenging sometimes!

    • Graham permalink*
      July 21, 2015 10:35 am

      Gary, you are right. In the past few years, there always seems to be a ferry pulled for repair at some point when we are there.

  6. settleandchase permalink
    October 5, 2015 2:37 pm

    Life is never boring looked this way! I love thinking of all the worlds running at the same time as ours, and all the things happening in one space.. And, love those smokehouses!

    • Graham permalink*
      October 5, 2015 3:30 pm

      Thank you! Yes, that thought of everything going on at once is so mind-boggling!

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