Tuesday, January 30, 2018

I often intend to write in here about life outside of my crochet but I usually get distracted or forget - but yes, there is more to me than just crochet and lovely wool.

So here's a post about my beach combing/beach cleaning efforts! I first started beach cleaning when I was sixteen or seventeen - it's kind of strange, nearly thirty years later to be still trying to keep the same beaches clean -- if anything, things are worse now than ever before. We live in such a throw-away society...

These are photos from my latest trip to try and 'do my bit' - it's a little tiny beach near Scarriff that I only get to go to a few times a year as it's down a really bendy road and is quite far from our house -- there is so much rubbish on the more local beaches so I try to concentrate on them rather than spread myself too thinly.
 As you can see, it's a really scenic spot - every time I go I tell myself that I will stay longer the next time - and that Peter and I should go there with a picnic some day in the Summer (if we ever have picnic weather)

But the flip-side of the beauty is the ugliness of the rubbish that washes in on the tide -- I am always dismayed whenever I find syringes washing in; but I am glad that I am able to remove them at least. This one still had the needle attached (sheathed in the orange plastic section)
 I only had one rubbish bag with me so I filled it up with just two types of rubbish - I find it easier to sometimes just pick up, say, polystyrene and rope, when there's a load of rubbish - that way I feel like I'm making SOME impact instead of just scratching the surface.

All of these bottles have come across from Canada or America on the tide - the Coke can is marked as coming from a factory in Nigeria...but the others are mostly Gatorade/Powerade bottles. I think it must be the most popular drink in Northern America??  There's also a bottle of suncream from Walgreen's (US pharmacy) and a little bottle of 'Advil' from Canada.
 Marine litter is truly a global issue :(
 The other main kind of rubbish that I filled my bag with are these foam strips -- they are used in longline fishing and wash up so frequently here. They would originally be studded with hooks (you can make out the little holes in the foam pieces) but I've yet to find one that still has the hooks attached.

 I decided at the start of the year that I would keep a record of all the balloons that I find on my beach trips - so this is what I've collected so far this year. It's too many! I love balloons but hate to see them being released...they end up as lethal litter to many different kinds of wildlife.
 I thought I'd try to finish this update on a positive note....I'm so delighted that more people locally here in Waterville are doing their bit too...I went on a walk along my most local beach recently and only managed to pick up half a bag's worth of rubbish along a long stretch of the beach!

This is how it SHOULD be!!

The bonus of beach cleaning for me is sometimes those little finds that make you smile - like this <3 bladder...="" br="" seaweed="" shaped="">

...or a different type of heart: and real beach combing treasure! A seed from a tropical vine in Central/Southern America - this is called a sea heart and is very special. 
...or a piece of coral which I found on a bigger piece of polystyrene! This has come in on the tide but originated from somewhere along the American coast (between Mexico and Rhode Island)  and is something really special. It's only the second specimen ever to have been recorded as found in NW Europe (the other was found on a beach in Holland) I've sent it off to the Natural History Museum in Dublin...I like to think that there is a little corner or drawer up there that is filled with treasures that I've donated (various shells, sea beans etc that I've found here that have drifted across the Atlantic) :)  

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