There must have been a storm a few days before. The beach was littered with shells of all kinds, but it was especially the large, blue mussel shells that caught my attention. These molluscs were heavy and closed up tight…they were still alive, but out of their element. Normally horse mussels reside in deep water (deeper than we swim anyways), below the tidal zone. Storms or heavy wave action bring them on shore…especially if their anchor – rocks, seaweed, other heavy still objects – is uprooted and floats or rolls to shore.
This past Sunday I took a break from a long drive to walk the shore of Melmerby Beach. This popular barrier beach is great for summer excursions. It is a Nova Scotia provincial park with over 2 km of sandy shore and all the amenities you might want. At this time of year it makes a great spot for a quite walk, just to get-away-from-it-all. Some perseverance is required to find this beach as it is off the main road. Take exit 25 from highway 104 and follow the signs. Destination Nova Scotia has a useful map as well as the map on hikes i like.
This delicate marram grass, protected by the snow fence, holds the sand in place and protects the long term life of the beach by preserving the low dunes that help shape the beach.