Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Visit to the Beach

What would a trip to an Australian beach be without a visit from a bluebottle? I don't know...safer maybe?

We rented a house at the beach for us and our US friends. Unsurprisingly, since we are "down under" the house is built upside-down - Bedrooms downstairs and living/great room upstairs. After some thinking, this makes sense for lots of reasons. First, you get better views and breeze from the second floor. This is especially true since there is a strip of bush/trees between us and the beach making the downstairs less ventilated. I also noticed that there are screens below and none above. I speculate that this is because the biting insects don't fly two-storeys high. And indeed, we never got bit.

When we arrived, it was very windy and storm was coming in. Lots of fine spray in the air at the beach. It wasn't cold, but it wasn't hot either.

As you can see, there is a large dune covered with trees between buildings and the sea. In between is a nice wide beach with almost no one on it. We really had the place to ourselves.

Looking back toward the house, we see the sunset in in the west (same as in the other hemisphere, oddly enough!)

I have often stood on the beach and pondered why we humans feel such a strong connection with this place. Certainly, the beginning and end of land and sea are part of that pull we feel. Everyone seems to have an attraction to beginnings and endings of all sorts. But especially here, in the empty beach you see above, is a place that hasn't changed meaningfully on the timescale of human existence. This is what all our ancestors saw. In some deep sense, this is as close to home as our species can get in the modern world.

As the storm moves in, we get a dramatic sky over a lonely beach. And at the high water mark we find sea foam.

After the storm passed and sun came out, the beach shows a few more signs people, but not many.

While there were a few of the blue bottles (Portugese Man-of-War) on the beach, there were not many.