Sand Patterns

Sand Patterns at Comber's Beach
Long curves of rippled sand mark the beach where Sandhill Creek empties into the Pacific Ocean.

I’ve been busy working on a project related to the sand dunes at Wickaninnish Beach and haven’t had as much time to devote to my blog as I’d like. However, in the process of sorting through vast numbers of dune related images I stumbled upon a series I took at Comber’s Beach late this summer while out birding with Sandy McRuer. It was a glorious day and while we didn’t see much in the way of birds, the sand patterns at the mouth of Sandhill Creek were fascinating.

Sand Pattern Detail
Wind shapes the sand into delicate ripples and exposes rocks and shells.

In a way, these graceful curves and ripples are connected with the dune ecosystem that is much more extensive further south along Wickaninnish Beach. With the “armoured” wall of beach grass (Ammophila sp.) preventing sand movement into the dunes, sand is moved along the beach creating these beautiful patterns.

Beachgrass Wall
Introduced beachgrass (Ammophila sp.) forms a natural wall the prevents free movement of sand into the dunes.


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  2. Beautiful dunes and sandy beach. Reminds me of some of the wide sandy beaches in California and Oregon.

  3. Love the images, but I was happy to learn of another case of plant/animal homonymy (Ammophila is also a genus of sphecid wasps). Yes, I’m actually interested in that sort of thing.

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