Work and Play…

…at the winter beach!

Sun, snow, and deep blue sea - it's all in a day at the winter beach, Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME!
winter sun sparkles brilliantly at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME

We always try to make the best use of our time out-and-about, to honor the Lord by being good stewards of the time that He gives us each day, especially when that day takes us away from our regular work on the homestead. So, this particular errand day doubled as a chance to collect some water for making sea salt…Which then doubled as a chance to appreciate God’s glory out at the winter beach!

First thing’s first, when the winter sun is blindingly-bright and the wind chill is below-zero…fuel up with a hot drink! ❄︎ ☕️ ❄︎

As we stepped out onto the uniquely-beautiful pebble-dunes of Jasper Beach, the wind whipped and scoured grainy snow pellets across the landscape. It was, quite literally, breath-taking! The wind was so cold that it whipped my breath away along with the snow, and while I tried to capture it on film, I forgot just how quickly these conditions begin to fog up a camera lens! Still, you get the idea…

blowing, freeze-dried snow, on the pebble-dunes at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME

On the other side of the dunes, sheltered from the fierce wind, things were a bit more comfortable…

Sun, snow, and deep blue sea - it's all in a day at the winter beach, Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME!
Sun, snow, and deep blue sea…
Sun, snow, and deep blue sea - it's all in a day at the winter beach, Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME!
….it’s all in a day…
Sun, snow, and deep blue sea - it's all in a day at the winter beach, Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME!
…at the winter beach!

…and Joe got all set up for our little saltwater-harvesting operation. It’s quite simple. Two five-gallon bottles. Two pails. One large funnel, which we unfortunately forgot, but were able to manage without.

Just gathering a little sea water to make sea salt! RivenJoiner.com at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME

One determined Daddy. And one happy-to-help little girl!

Just gathering a little sea water to make sea salt! RivenJoiner.com at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME
Just gathering a little sea water to make sea salt! RivenJoiner.com at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME
Just gathering a little sea water to make sea salt! RivenJoiner.com at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME
Just gathering a little sea water to make sea salt! RivenJoiner.com at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME
Just gathering a little sea water to make sea salt! RivenJoiner.com at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME
Just gathering a little sea water to make sea salt! RivenJoiner.com at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME

Helping with the saltwater is still one of Genevieve’s favorite things, and we are happy to let her enjoy it!

harvesting a little saltwater at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME

And once our jugs were full, and stowed in the truck, it was time to have a little fun!

…ready…
…set…
…and off we go!

To be honest, I was skeptical. It was low tide, and Asher wanted to go explore the tidepools. “It’s freezing,” I thought, “what are we really going to see?” Of course, as Asher remembers, it’s only freezing to us – for many forms of marine life, these winter conditions are no different than all their other conditions throughout the year! The birds may have departed for gentler climates, but the sea creatures remain!

Sweet little starfish, at Jasper Beach in Machiasport, ME.

The surrounding cliffs were draped with sparkling icicles, one of those iconic characteristics of the Northeast’s winter coastline…The combination of mist off of the ocean and groundwater off of the land produces crystalline monuments all along the rocky boundaries of sheltered coves up-and-down the New England shore.

Coastal icicles adorn the cliffs at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME.
Coastal icicles adorn the cliffs at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME.

They make you want to just break one off and have it for your very own! (Or, at least, they make some people feel that way…)

And under seaweed and under rocks, Asher uncovered some lovely little sea creatures for us to enjoy, reminding us of just how magnificently God made the waters to teem with life!

Beautiful lacy-crust bryozoan in the winter tidepools at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME.
beautiful lacy-crust bryozoan colony in a winter tidepool
Beautiful skeleton shrimp in the winter tidepools at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME.
skeleton shrimp…
Beautiful lacy-crust bryozoan and rough-mantled nudibranch in the winter tidepools at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME.
the underside of a rough-mantled nudibranch
Beautiful skeleton shrimp in the winter tidepools at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME.
…the inch-worm of the sea!

Beneath a slushy mantle of freezing seawater, the barnacles yet winked; the filigreed architecture of the lacy-crust bryozoan colony yet graced rock and seaweed alike; the rough-mantled nudibranch yet perched resolutely; and the delicate skeleton shrimp yet inched across the wavering underwater landscape…Even in winter, the waters still teem with life, as they have since the beginning!

So God created the great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters teemed according to their kinds…

(Genesis 1:21, BSB)

And just to finish up the day, on our way back to the truck, we found that someone had left us this precious reminder of God’s love, nestled within the landscape of this magnificent reminder of His majesty!

Surprise! Hearts on the beach at Jasper Beach, Machiasport, ME.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

(Luke 2:14, KJV)

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