There are so many things to see on an ocean beach, especially if you explore with your eyes wide open and don’t just walk around oblivious to your surroundings. It’s not just the sand and the water – it’s everything that washes up on the sand. There are starfish, jellyfish, shells, sand dollars, seaweed, and even driftwood. I find driftwood very interesting because of how it is often bleached by the sun while it floats on the ocean or after it washes up on shore, how light it is after it dries out, and the different shapes that can result.
In some areas, driftwood can become a nuisance. In stormy weather, driftwood can pose a navigational hazard in bays and inlets, and many communities collect as much driftwood as possible when it washes up on the beach to prevent it from washing back out again to threaten boat traffic. Driftwood sculpture is not uncommon in areas with large amounts of driftwood. Some artists use the formerly floating wood as is, while others may carve or cut it, using it to make bases for sculptures, picture frames, and other crafts. The wood can also be used to make furniture, canes, and fences. On the beach, driftwood provides shelter to a range of shore-loving organisms, ranging from insects to shellfish.
While walking the beach in South Carolina, I came across these pieces of driftwood piled on top of each other, and they got my imagination going. I immediately saw a dolphin with a sea turtle catching a ride on his back and had to capture it with my camera. It makes me smile every time I look at it. I asked my hubby what he sees when he looks at it, and he said exactly the same thing. What do you see?