We like waves that swish, swash, swirl and splash. They're hypnotic, sweeping in as they do. We try to guess which wave will be the largest and come the farthest. The roll sweeps in, the undertow tugs back. There's drama in waves and there's more drama at high tide.
But I like low tide too. I can see what lies under the water. I can walk up next to rock walls that I usually only see as a lichen crust in the waves.
We walk farther out--over where we can't walk a couple of hours hence when the water's too deep again. The rocks are crusted with barnacles--those white patches--that crisp and crunch under your shoes. It's like stepping on broken china, except these don't break. Seaweed floats in the tidal pools. Bright green moss. Fronds. Smaller marine organisms. A fellow bent close tells me he sees baby shrimp. I see what looks like a fish with many legs.
These are barnacles--as well as I could zoom in on them. If they look fuzzy, that's my camera. They're hard as cement and as tenacious. You can't pick them up.
On one of our usual walks along the beach, we come to a river. To get to the other side and continue on the beach, we have to walk along a wharf, up a driveway, over the bridge on the road, down the road for a while, and only finally back to the beach again. The detour takes about 20 minutes. But at low tide, we can walk across the river. Easy! Or so R assured me, standing in the very cold water rushing along at a clip. What you don't see, because we're not standing side by side, is that I'm a few inches shorter. So that very cold water...
But I did it. Gooseflesh legs, feet numb, but saved us the detour.
This isn't rippled water. The receding tide has sculpted the sand. This is low tide.
Here's another day, another beach, also low tide.