Sunday, August 24, 2008

The South Cottesloe Beach at different times of the year

When I first visited the South Cottesloe Beach last November, I decided that I should document, using photographs, the changes on the beach (and hopefully underwater) at different times of the year. It was supposed to be an interesting project - not really a scientific one, but one that would give me another reason to visit the beach frequently. And I did visit the Cottesloe beach quite diligently - on average 3 times a month between last November and today!

It has been more than six months now. So I thought I would write a post about it.

To keep track of changes on the beach, I have taken photos from or at four points on the South Cottesloe Beach, as indicated in the above mud map. For a decent map of the Cottesloe Reef Fish Habitat Protection Area, you could either google for it or go here.

Looking south from the Cottesloe sundial (position 1 in the mud map) - February (left) and August (right) this year.

In summer months, this part of the beach was very often deserted if you ask me. You might see some snorkelers but not the surfers or stand-up paddlers. The shore would be covered in sand (left). In winter months, very often I saw a rocky shore (right). And in the photo, you can see green algae on the rocks at the water's edge. Also, in winter, there were very often seagrasses and seaweeds that were washed ashore (not in this photo). And you would see many surfers in the water :)

Position 2 in the mud map - photos taken from the steps - November 2007 (left) and May 2008 (right).

Position 3 in the mud map- photos taken a few steps from the beach sign - February 2008 (left) and July 2008 (right). Again, sandy shore in summer, rocky in winter. I suppose seagrass wracks were common at both times but the rocks and the algae that grew on them were only common in winter.

Looking north from position 4 in the mud map towards the second rock - June (left) and August (right) this year. I call it the second rock because I can't find its name - and not even sure that it has one. Anyway, there were piles of wracks and some sharp rocks in June, but now, it is just clean, sandy shore.

Looking south from position 4 in the mud map towards the Port of Fremantle - June (left) and August (right) this year. Again, lots of wracks in June (I remember seeing them at least two, maybe three weeks in a row) but they are gone now.


Well, that's why I would never be bored of going to the beach, they just never stay the same. And it is fun to observe how things change on the beach throughout the year. So, I think I will continue doing it till end of the year.

It would have been even more fun if I could keep track of the underwater seascape during the year. Shallow seascape, of course, considering I am only armed with a mask and a snorkel! But that would be a mini-project for future - if feasible.


Mosura said...

Very interesting. Nice change from the usual seasonal pics of snow, autumn leaves etc. I wonder how many people notice such changes.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Alan,

They are interesting indeed. I think knowing how the environment changes surely helps me in understanding the animals and plants living in it.

Also I am thinking about going into marine life research some day - switching from crop plants to marine life. And in this case, I have the advantage of living so near to the beach. It is like a huge, natural laboratory for me. I can have a lot of hands on experience. Certainly more interesting than reading a marine biology textbook. And not any beach, but a nice one - easy to swim in and quite rich in marine life.

I just went snorkeling this morning in South Cottesloe again. I had the immediate satisfaction of seeing an old friend again when I hit the water. Sounds romantic but it is true! The feeling was just different from snorkeling in Coral Bay. I was simply a tourist there, but more than a tourist here.

Mosura said...

There's no place like home!

My latest post is of a marine animal or at least the shell of one.