With summer finally settling in , beachcombing enters into another phase. With the absence of the big tides and the storms we associate with winter there is very little to find as the summer weed appears on the the strand line. So what is there look for or to collect ?
Well this time of the year I head for four places, being Sandwhich Bay, Pegwell Bay, Kingsgate & Minnis bay. My objective is to find items that are affected by the bleaching effect of the sun as the sand dries in the intensity of the midday summer sun.
I have found that even though the summer sun has a devastating effect on some items found on the beach other items do benefit. For example the lumps of mud and clay I call mud stones which have been shaped by the tide and bored by worm. They normally come in on the late winter storms and are left high and dry above the strand line only to be baked by the sun. During the summer months they are baked as hard as stone and the shapes are almost art like, however when they become moist they crumble.
Then there is bone which during the summer months become very dry and hard and has a porcelain ring about it when dropped. The ageing effect and the weathered appearance makes sun bleached bone found in the dry sand or on shingle ideal for scrimshaw, but unfortunately I am not that artistic enough to be creative with it, so I keep it as found.
Overall, the bleaching effect of the sun does seen to have a metamorphosis effect on may items found in the dry sand or on shingle above the strandline which in most cases almost loooks like a art form, which is well worth collecting and it is free.