24 September, 2010


Been catching up on sleep, reading, and Twitter.  Also contending with a brain that no longer wants to think complex thoughts, a cat who thinks she's freezing to death (and therefore insists on cuddles), and a general desire to do nothing much at all.  Sometimes, inactivity is bliss.

So, in lieu of substantive blogging, another lovely photo for ye:

Beachscape at Holman Vista

Sand dunes are quite amazing.  It's hard not to think of them as alive, somehow. 

Speaking of amazing, Dan McShane has a pair of posts up showing some remarkable erosion at Cape Shoalwater.  They really bring home the fact that, ultimately, what we build and the landscapes we build on are temporary - some more so than others.


george.w said...

I disagree that a lovely photo is in any way insubstantive.

And I am so glad you weren't hurt...

Dan McShane said...

Having been trying to get my head around dune development of the coasts and subsidence and uplift associated with the subduction zone, your picture is well timed. Also yikes about the car wreck!

Michael said...

You're right about seeing sand dunes as somehow alive - and in good company.

Eighty years ago, Ralph Bagnold (more at http://throughthesandglass.typepad.com/through_the_sandglass/2009/01/the-man-who-figured-out-how-deserts-work.html) wrote of his observations of dunes in Egypt's Western Desert:
“In 1929 and 1930, during my weeks of travel over the lifeless sand sea in North Africa, I became fascinated by the vast scale of organization of the dunes and how a strong wind could cause the whole dune surface to flow, scouring sand from under one’s feet. Here, where there existed no animals, vegetation or rain to interfere with sand movements, the dunes seemed to behave like living things. How was it that they kept their precise shape while marching interminably downwind? How was it they insisted on repairing any damage done to their individual shapes? How, in other regions of the same desert, were they able to breed “babies”, just like themselves that proceeded to run on ahead of their parents? Why did they absorb nourishment and continue to grow instead of allowing the sand to spread out evenly over the desert as finer dust grains do?"

And, during a sandstorm:
"Up above the great fine-grained crests of the dunes were on the move. Cornices dissolved as we looked, swaying along the curving surfaces in heavy dark folds, as if the mane of some huge animal was being ruffled and reset in a new direction by the gale”

Good stuff, huh?