Totem Park Beach

On a sunny day walk down to Totem Park, most of my attention (and camera) was focused on the beach. I’m always impressed by how effectively the shorebirds can blend in, even when they are close to me.

As part of my beach wandering, I also documented some of the changes (or lack thereof) on the upper part of the tideflats at Totem Park – especially the area around the battle site bench.

A log I remember leaning against at the top of the down sloping gravel is now half buried and overgrown with vegetation that extends another several feet out past the log. It’s impressive to realize how much rock has accumulated here over the past decade or so, and I find myself wondering where it comes from. The obvious answer is from lower down on the beach, but it’s not quite clear to me how that works.

I’ve long noticed the slope break, with a relatively steeper section of course gravel and cobbles dropping from the advancing beach meadow (which in turn is being taken over by the advancing trees), meeting the distinctly flatter tide flat. The rocks that are piling up on the steeper section are not being excavated from the flatter portion. No doubt some are being carried up by seaweed as the waves wash it up to shore, but I have a hard time imagining that accounts for a significant proportion.

Another interesting part of this story is how just around the corner the there is no accumulation, and I think actually some erosion of the very upper part of the beach.

I am curious about the dynamics of what is going on here, but have a lot more questions than answers at this point.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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