Beach traditions

On Boxing Day tens of thousands of people head to the beaches around the Cape Peninsula and this year it was a hot,  sizzling kind of day.  Colourful scenes were cast,  revelers enjoying the day.  A day to chill, complete with barbecues, picnic fare, families in a day out with all their beach paraphernalia.  Many of the Peninsula’s fine white sand beaches are kept “pristine” by the regular removal of kelp and other detritus.   But some are left to nature’s cycles, and in this case local knowledge is an advantage, spelling the difference between comfort and discomfort.   In August i wrote about the anatomy of a working beach, the complex symbiosis of sea wrack and the legions of ‘detritus movers and shakers’.    Here is the summer guise of the same beach, still very much the domain of bird and buck, sand hoppers and sea lice.

Hanging-lose,-feathers'-awry_01What’s a gal to do when the mercury is rising and her feather’s equate to a winter’s weight duvet?  Feathers awry – Seeking-the-breeze_ruffling-feathersstretch to catch a little breeze?


The heat of the day catches, mirages form shimmering on the horizon.  Even the buck are caught in a state of ennui.  A swishing tail flicks away the bothersome flies.

The-bachelorsThe young bachelors hang near the dried-out stream bed.

Swift-terns,-ruffled-feathersSwift terns line the rocks, feathers’ slightly ruffled in a soft sea breeze.

Slender-sunfish,-Ranzania-laevisThe rotting dried out corpses of Slender Sunfish lie on the beach; victim of the southeasterly winds and the upwelling of the chill Benguela current.

Beach-partyAn intrepid party of beach goers arrive; foreigners – French speaking.   As they set up in the midst of sand hopper terrain, not far from the high methane scent of rotting kelp,  i can’t help but wonder how long they’ll last before moving to a more hospitable venue.


11 thoughts on “Beach traditions

  1. Liz, your marvelous photos and stories continue to dazzle. Your part of the world is no longer completely foreign to me, and I’m glad to have happened onto you here.

    1. That’s a wonderful compliment, thanks Sid! Guess that’s the beauty of blogging, connecting across a world of ether, and bringing alive our patch. Really enjoy walking with you in your Fenner woods, seeing the wild places, and creatures a world away.

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