Each year in winter the beach at Santa Marina, Ribadesella becomes littered with tonnes and tonnes of driftwood and river wood. It is an amazing sight. After the pristine sand that the beach presents us with for 10 months of the year, from now until Easter time, the beach is awash with wood.
Most of the wood comes down the Rio Sella during periods of high tides, heavy rains and rising river levels. Other rivers and tributaries also contribute their fair share of wood in its many forms. There are however, some strange and incongruous finds that tell another story.
|Ribadesella Council make a start on clearing the beach|
This week we made a trip down to the beach with the specific intention of finding wood to replace the cat's scratching posts that we have in the garden. The existing ones were originally from the beach a few years ago but with lots of use and natural decay they needed replacing.
|Think before you throw your plastic|
Needless to say we had a lot to choose from. Amongst the detritus washed ashore were single flip-flops, plastic bottles, way too many plastic bottles, a pair of badly scratched Tommy Hillfiger sunglasses, a yellow rubber duck and too many pieces of cast-away rubbish.
This year we have seen many more local people collecting firewood from the beach, a good use for it for those who are able to process it.
Our finds included several pieces of oak and chestnut that we will use for mosaic art, a carved and decorated piece of a grain store (Horreo) about 150 years old we think, a piece of oak with a carving of a bear stood on a rock, two fine scratching posts, a weathered and characterful plank and a well-washed and almost polished tree-stump.
|Notice the antique nail in the top left hand corner|
We will find uses for all this reclaimed treasure and enjoy it in the process. Beach-combing, well wrapped up on a fine winter's day, there is nothing better. We may be back for more, we have until mid march when it is cleared by the local council in readiness for horse racing on the beach that takes place around Easter-time.