On our town beach -- 04/02/07

Two weeks without an entry. That's bad.

I've just been busy. That busy? Well... yes and no... I'm doing two presentations at a technical conference in a few weeks (well, co-presenting with a colleague) and we had to have our PowerPoint presentations submitted by the end of the day on the 23rd. That kind of ate up a lot of time, and then had to play catch-up on some projects at work, plus trying to be a little better about not skipping workouts, and being tired at night and choosing to grab a book at ten or ten-thirty and go to bed and read instead of staring at a computer screen for another hour or two while writing an entry...and, of course, I'd promise myself that I would write an entry "tomorrow" night... (oh, and please don't mention taxes.. I've got almost two weeks left)...

The pictures that follow were taken on the South Kingstown Town Beach -- but they weren't taken yesterday -- they were taken a week earlier.
Looking east from what remains of the boardwalk at the beach. Those buildings that start after the end of the beach are the western end of about three quarters of a mile of trailers, small cottages, a couple of bars, some summer rentals, some condos, and a few more substantial (and pricier) houses. See, for example, the 1896 house I showed when writing about a walk on another beach earlier in March.
I'd said the "remains" of the boardwalk. What is left now is a pavilion and a nice deck overlooking the beach, but the boardwalk used to extend three or four hundred feet along the inland edge of the beach in this direction. Some fierce winter storms smashed it a couple of years ago and the town decided that it would be foolish to rebuild it.

So, walking westward along the beach...
There are a lot of vacation homes -- mostly very small cottages -- inland from the beach. And, as you can see in the distance, also some more substantial homes closer to the beach. And some years each major winter storm brings them a little bit closer to the beach (or, rather, brings the beach a little closer to them).
And, just as the boardwalk was taken, the homes along the beach are also threatened by winter storms. The slight rise of ground where many of these homes were build is being eaten away despite attempts to lessen the damage.
It's not just people's beach houses and vacation homes that are in danger. Sometimes nature can be pretty rough on nature.

Most of the ground where this tree had spread its roots was washed away this winter.

This is not some kind of global warming phenomenon -- this is the kind of thing that happens year after year. Some areas find land being eaten away; other areas find sand being added.
Here's some of the damage nature can do to a house. Yes, that was one house -- split in half. I think the half that is closer to the camera had actually slid forward (or had its foundation swept away) and was tilted onto the beach but was hauled back up to level ground. The openings have been boarded up with sheets of plywood and wrapped in plastic. Nancy says she read a story in the local paper indicating that the owner hoped to have his house restored.
[Note: I was wrong about the house having been split the ocean eating away the foundation -- in order to prevent that from happening, the owner had a contractor split the house and he hopes to be able to move it back to a safer location. See my next entry for further details.]
I turned my back to the ocean as I took this picture of tranquility, ducks floating on Cards Ponds, an interconnecting series of salt ponds just a few hundred feet further down the beach from those damaged and threatened houses. (In fact, parts of these salt ponds extend to behind those houses.)
But if I turn again to face the ocean, I see its relentless power.

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