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The Changing Jenness Beach – Rye, NH
Walking Jenness Beach, Rye NH, every day you see the subtle and sometimes dramatic changes that occur. Change usually begins from the South end of the beach moving stones,sand and seaweed toward the North by the tides.When a storm comes through, it churns up the ocean floor and dislodges seaweed. It varies how the seaweed will disperse on the sand when the tide recedes. Sometimes it will be a thin layer along the whole beach. The next day or over weeks the tide can move it to the north end of the beach leaving a long pile almost 5 ft high and the rest of the beach clean. Overnight that same pile may disappear.
The beach sand changes as well. A tide may remove from or add sand to the beach. For weeks at a time the number of stones that appear increase in number. Either in clusters or widespread making it difficult to walk across barefoot. The piles move north. Then in a single day all the stones disappear. Several inches of new sand will have been deposited to hide them all beneath.
The tides create different textures on the beach below the high tide mark. Visible during a low tide sand is smooth, flat and hard. Easy walking sand. Or it can be a washboard which if you rode a bicycle across it would be a teeth jarring ride.
The best place to visibly see how drastic the change can be is where Eel Pond drains under Ocean Blvd onto the beach. Seagulls congregate in this area where fresh meets salt water.A “box” about 12’ by 10’ catches the water from the culverts and attempts to disperse it. The stream from this box takes a different path daily, changing with every tide.
The next time you walk the beach take notice. The more stones that appear the greater the chance of finding colorful sea glass. interesting scallop, razor and quahog clams shells and several varieties of snails. Most importantly, enjoy the walk.