14 January 2009

King Tide and Dr. Seuss Trees

Clara with her painting

On Monday, Dave took Clara down to the Japanese Garden and Art Gallery for an art class she was enrolled in - Fantasy Creatures. She made a wonderful painting on canvas. Dave enjoyed the Japanese Gardens while she was in class. The rest of us had visited the gardens on a different day. Wonderful koi pond!

While they were gone, I took Tristan, Zoe and Neo down to MacMasters Beachfront. On this beach, there is a sandbar about 40 feet out. Generally, when the tide is low, there are some very strong rip tides due to this sandbar and the troughs that form. On this day, the tide was so low, that the sandbar was at the beach! I could not believe it. The waves were extremely large and made very erratic patterns. Very strange.

There were several surfers taking advantage of the unusually large crests.

Dave came down to the beach and waded on the sandbar a long way out. He couldn't believe it either. Our neighbor, Arthur, later told us it was a King Tide. That these tides are naturally occurring and that they happen twice a year. This one was notable because of it's size. The high tide in the morning had many scientists photographing and measuring. The theory is that in the future - 2060 or so - this kind of tide will occur more frequently due to global warming and the rise in water.

On Tuesday morning, Dave took the kids to MacMasters beach again. This time they were there for the High Tide and the effects of the King Tide was still evident. They saw many examples of sea life that had been washed ashore because of the large waves and high tides.

These trees are a variety of Eucalyptus Trees (there are some 300 different varieties according to our tree book). To me, they look like the trees that Dr. Seuss drew in his books.

The excerpt below is from the Wisconsin State Journal - the paper in Madison, WI, USA where we are from. It's notable to me because last year's snow fall was a record - and supposed to occur once in a century.....
A total of 3.1 inches of snow fell on Monday, bringing the monthly total up to 7.3 inches and the seasonal total up to 52 inches. During the record snowfall of 2007-08, 38.8 inches of snow had fallen by Jan. 12.

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