Keep an Eye on Active Drift Logs

In timber country, any sandy beach with a backshore collects drift logs. Fallen forest trees end up in the rivers, down which they wash to sea. And there are other paths to the shore. Swaths of seaside forest slump onto the beach in landslides; and from the precipices, forest trees live out precarious lives, only to topple into the sea below. Can you think of other ways a forest tree might become a drift log?

Over time big wood, whatever isn’t lost to the depths, gets pushed by the highest tides and biggest swell onto the backshore. There it rests, above the zone of normal wave wash. Along with milled timbers, drums, buoys and other debris, drift logs make up the wrack line.  That’s what you see in the photo below, from July 23, 2016.

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On February 10, 2017, the same vantage saw an authoritative high tide accompanied by 25-35 kt southwest winds, gusts to 45 kt, and combined seas 16-20′. Conditions like these will mobilize the seaward-most wrack, as seen in the photo below. Active drift logs can knock you over, break your bones, or worse.

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I’ll illustrate the knocking over part of my argument with the self-incriminating three-second sequence, below.

The February 10, 2017 wrack line was a lively place. To see more of it’s scenes click here and scroll down to February 10.

Danger!