S is for Sand

It is amazing how sand varies around the world.

Even in one state, like Florida or even Hawaii, sand can vary from beach to beach. It is made from a variety of things: crush rocks eroded from mountains that have made their way downstream to the coast, lava rocks and coral pounded by ocean waves, shells worn down from wave action, dumped glass and pottery tumbled in the surf, housing materials broken by hurricane storm surge and taken to sea to be tumbled around for years to come by the waves.

I have found pottery shards, well-tumbled glass, worn-down chips of china dinner plates and tea cups (one has part of the manufactures name on it), brick pebbles and more.

Sand can be pink, black, brown, white and every shade in between. It is course with large grains or fine as flour.


Sand blowing on a windy day at Gulf Shores

They all have advantages and disadvantages. Dark sands tend to hold the sun’s heat so be aware and wear shoes on these beaches. Even a grey sand, like Turtle Beach, FL, or a brown sand, like Ocean City, MD can be hot. White sands reflect the sun but compacted, like areas of Siesta Key public beach in Florida, can hold heat (my experience). Loose sands are tougher to walk in than fine sands. Fine sands, on a windy day, can damage electronic equipment (cameras) if the sand finds its way inside. And speaking of windy days, regardless of the sand, you’ll get sandblasted. The coarser the sand, they more you’ll feel it, but fine powery or sugary sand can rough up your skin, too.  Keep sunglasses on you and your children on windy days to avoid sand in your eyes.

I keep a collection of sand, something I started when I homeschooled so my boys could compare sands. Most I’ve collected but some I’ve had friends or family send to me.  If you collect sand, look on my Pinterest board for ideas on how to display it.dscn8461

What’s your favorite sand?