4/17/2009

Big Beach Logs


The Billings Spit area of Sooke is a good place to see big old trees, as well as large drift logs on the beach. The log above is up the beach from the park access at the end of Kaltasin Road.

Since this west facing beach is on the Sooke River estuary it collects debris from both the river and Sooke Harbour. Many a winter storm I have watched large whole trees washing down from up river, not to mention picnic tables, floats, and other debris.

Most of the material deposited on the beach will move on with the high tides. If the logs or trees are large enough they may endure for years. You can tell the severity of the storm by what it moves or carries away on this beach.

The log featured above is one of two on this west facing beach that have survived multiple years of river flooding, high tides, and strong winds. I finally took the time to count the rings on this log. I estimate that this Douglas Fir was about 330 years old when cut. The stick up against the tree is 5 ft long.

I wonder if it came from up the Sooke River, or if the tides brought this log in from elsewhere in the Harbour or Basin. It is possible that it came in from the Straight of Juan de Fuca. Stranger things have been brought in on the tides, such as a large, dead elephant seal. I wonder where the rest of the tree ended up. Perhaps it was used to build the building I live in.

Thank you, tree.

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