Crumbling Cliffs

1 - Cliff Face Pulling Away From Shore
2 - Cliff Face Falling Into River
3 - Cliff Splashes into River

Yesterday, we took a road trip down to Santa Cruz to visit the monarch butterflies and to check out the beach.

Turned out to be a beautiful day at the beach.

With all the rains, the rivers were running high and, thus, nature’s awesome power was evident everywhere.

We happened to be on the far bank of a river that was steadily eating a way at the sandy cliffs along its shore.

I noticed cracks appearing across the land at the top of the cliff.

Grabbing the camera, I set it to a 1/1000th shutter speed to ensure that all the crumbly splashy goodness would be caught in sharp detail.

And then I waited.

It wasn’t long before my patience was rewarded.

An entire section of cliff pulled away from the shore and splashed into the raging rapids below.

Of course, the splash is best viewed really large.

Roger Crumbling Sandy "Cliffs"

These were taken on the beach at Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz.

The relatively flat beach has a river that runs through it while the tidal action causes the river to enter the sea via a variety of ever changing paths.

On the day we visited, the river was running around the rocky outcropping at the west end of the beach. This created a nice curved bit of rapids that was eating away at the sandy shore.

The “cliff” was all of 15 inches tall and the water would undermine large sections at least once or twice every minute along about a 100 foot path.

The river itself, was a whopping four to eight feet wide, and was entirely mesmerizing to watch. Because the sandy bottom is ever changing, the river would ebb and flow in an almost tidal fashion.

One moment, it would be smooth and serene, and then it would suddenly turn into a bumpy course of white capped waves.

Next time, we’ll take a shovel and a bucket so we can go seriously artistic on the beach and river. No worries about damaging the shore as the tide effectively resets the canvas every high tide!

3 Responses to “Crumbling Cliffs”

  1. Convert says:

    On that larger picture 2.54 megabyte – Mb version on flickr, the effect of the drops of water flying in the air is amazing. It was worthy to wait for the slide.

  2. John C. Randolph says:

    There’s a place just north of Davenport on Hwy 1 where there are two streams coming out of the mountains. I used to go down there to watch them cutting meanders through the sand in real-time. You could see sand cliffs four or five feet high, crumbling away just like this.


  3. Jeffrey J Hoover says:

    Wow. Next time you folks are over here, give us a shout. We’re on the west side of Bonny Doon… We had some random folks over yesterday quite by accident and made baked brie and did an impromptu party thing.

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