Low tide

I’m a big “low tide” enthusiast:

Tidal pools … sandbars … the angled beach front … the foaming surge of incoming waves: it’s a hydrological wonderland in miniature.

It’s an ephemeral one as well – which perhaps makes it all the sweeter (as is a kid lost in a candy store). It makes me think about how the same processes, at a bigger scale and over geologic time, shaped the peninsula and its water bodies.

The first photo brought to mind the Everglades.

The elevated sandbar could be the Atlantic Coastal Ridge (Miami) and the tidal pool behind it the shallowly inundated river of grass.

Beach terraces mark tidal turning points.

That makes me think of the inland terraces left behind by the high sea level stands of antiquity which, combined with the modern day ascent of the seas, probably means this sand castle is built too close to the water line.

Low tide seeps are fun to watch.

The tiny rivulets of saltwater pick up and carry away grains of sand. That makes them deepen and lengthen over time. You can see the same process at work at a larger scale (and with fresh ground) up on the panhandle, forming Florida’s unique steep head stream valleys.

This walled pit of sand was my modest attempt to improve water flow.

While I can assure you I had only the best intentions in mind, the whole enterprise quickly unraveled – seepage became rampant, stability nonexistent and channel sedimentation unstoppable.

As I stepped back to take in the full glory of my creation, I was dismayed by the eye sore I had created instead. From an aesthetic standpoint justice would have been better served by leaving well enough alone.

But I walked away with my head held high:

There would be more low tides to get it right … or wrong:

The incoming tide would erase it either way.

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