Beachcombers & Beachcombing
It’s always lots of pleasure to stroll the beach, keeping an eye to seaward for yachts, steamers, fishing boats, and other craft “alow or aloft.” And some visitors and residents add to this pleasure a more or less careful watch along the sandy edges of the sea for whatever the sea may have cast up there worth salvaging.
What might such a thing be? Well, it might range from a cask lost off a cargo carrier to a valuable ring lost by someone on the beach and only now uncovered to view by a friendly tide. Or it might be.. perchance, a lost coin; or a brooch, or even a watch. It might even be a piece of ambergris, which would buy you a nice summer home on Cape Cod.
Some nearby residents are satisfied to find a good sized piece of timber, or an abundance of other driftwood, which, when the cold winds blow and summer visitors are no more to be seen, will burn with a bright and cheering flame in their fireplaces.
Scavenging for what may be found alongshore is called beachcombing. To the ambitious summer visitors, it is of even more interest than to permanent residents. Any summer morning at daybreak may find some of them walking along the beach. They keep to the loose, dry sands, where the day and evening before, many persons may have been sitting. It is easy to delve into the loose sand and quickly sift it by means of a wire deep fry basket with a handle.
Some of the wood gatherers are not so much interested in driftwood as a fuel, for they live afar. Their eyes are keen with an artistic discernment. They seek driftwood of small size, preferably from some scrubby, gnarled and twisted beach tree long ago demolished and uprooted and despoiled by a storm. In such, these imaginative beachcombers fancy they see animals or fantastic formations. And they seize upon their finds as upon true treasures.
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