Driftwood

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Wood that drifts into estuaries becomes perches for hungry bald eagles and herons; rafts for weary cormorants, pelicans, and seals; and nurseries for herring eggs. The estuaries of the Pacific Northwest are young, between 15, and 10, years old. Shaped by ice, they have remained dynamic environments due largely to the transformative power of driftwood.

Here, trees still arrive after falling into rivers the old-fashioned way, but since the advent of stream clearing for navigation, industrial logging, riverside development, and hydroelectric dams, humanity has taken the lead in shaping waterways—just as it has the world over. In Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, logging companies continue to float timber down rivers for processing at lumber mills. As recently as the s, an annual 10 billion board feet of lumber was rafted or stored as logs along rivers in the Pacific Northwest. If only one percent of those logs escaped and somehow eluded beachcombers, that means million board feet of merchantable timber became driftwood each year.

But these days, only a fraction of that enters the marine environment. Whether cut logs or whole trees, less wood completes the journey from the forests to the sea. And yet with gumboots, a beard, suspenders, and belt, he looks as if he just arrived from central casting.

Travis - Driftwood

Hammond is in perpetual motion—moving between his boats and wood with remarkable ease. With three dozen logs already trailing behind, he scans the water for more. Currently, cedar is the most valuable. At one time, salvaged fir was worthy of being milled into lumber. Nowadays, most logs he brings in end up being pulped for paper products. Across the Pacific Northwest, the volume of timber harvested is down and logging companies are taking greater care in securing their booms and bundling their logs.

There was wood everywhere. A blind man could pick up wood. Both men are obliged to take other part-time work, but find their greatest source of professional satisfaction—and identity—out here, on the water, finding and rounding up logs. The beachcombers of British Columbia are not alone in their attraction to driftwood. Kramer is a year-old fluvial geomorphologist, a scientist who studies rivers. And, with an impressive list of epic river descents and elite competitions behind her, she also happens to be one of the top pro female kayakers in the world.

In North America, only the Mississippi drainage basin is larger.

Logging off

Relatively undisturbed by large-scale industrial development, the Mackenzie River system functions much as it has for millennia, making it a natural laboratory for studying the long-term effects of driftwood and its relationship with marine and riverine ecosystems.

To Kramer, rivers are the lifeblood of the planet, and driftwood the nutrients in that blood, an analogy that came to life for her in , when she watched a huge, continuous mass of logs go floating past her base on the bank of the Slave River for three consecutive days. Kayakers travel the Slave River amid driftwood. Video by Natalie Kramer. She cored a tree growing out of the jam itself and found it was over 50 years old. Immense logjams and floating rafts of naturally occurring wood were once common and well-documented features in rivers and estuaries before they were cleared for navigation.

The raft and associated jams blocked kilometers of the main channel and stretched approximately twice as far. But shorelines around the world—especially in developed, temperate zones—are now severely wood impoverished compared to their condition before human settlement. As rivers lose driftwood, water travels through faster and there is less time for nutrient cycling. Excess nitrogen, mostly from agriculture, is one contributor to algal blooms in the marine environment.

In wood-starved rivers, there is less opportunity for nitrogen to get reprocessed before being flushed out to sea. Although her PhD project is now complete, Kramer still paddles the rivers of the Northwest Territories and still has unanswered questions. Like, how much longer will the Slave River run free? The Mackenzie River system exports large volumes of driftwood into the Arctic Ocean, where it gets frozen into or rafted on sea ice. The sea ice can become caught in the Beaufort Gyre a clockwise current before it melts or otherwise shrugs off its cargo.

Driftwood then finds its way to distant shores far beyond the tree line. By studying the amount and distribution of driftwood in the Arctic, researchers have learned more about changing ocean currents, sea ice extent, and climate over the past 12, years. Long before driftwood caught the eye of environmental scientists, Arctic people had a primordial relationship with the wood arriving from a forested world they could scarcely imagine. So valuable was this gift from the sea, archaeologists have speculated that when Inuit ancestors migrated from Alaska to the east over 1, years ago, they carried driftwood with them.

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The Inuit are not the only Indigenous people who relied on the bounty of distant forests. The wood flowing from the rivers of the Pacific Northwest also shows up in some surprisingly far-off places. Driftwood that escapes inshore tidal currents can get caught in the North Pacific Gyre, which pulls it far to the west. In the subarctic tundra of southwest Alaska, where the vegetation runs from moss to stunted willow, the Yupik have chants, songs, and stories about the importance of driftwood.

They prized the wood from temperate coastal rainforests for building their large double canoes—symbols of wealth, prestige, and power. Most driftwood, of course, goes untouched by human hands. The afterlife of these dead trees can be just as surprising. The fate of most driftwood ultimately awaits at the bottom of the sea. But as researchers like Kramer work to advance our understanding of the dynamic force of logs careening down rivers and streams, less is being added to our knowledge about the role it plays in the marine food web. Pioneering research was conducted on that part of the story by Ruth Dixon Turner during the s—s, and later compiled by James Sedell, a leading US Forest Service research scientist and director of fish conservation at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Sedell was intrigued by the disappearance of driftwood from the beaches of the Oregon coast, where he roamed as a boy. Driftwood can remain afloat in the open ocean, depending on species, for up to 17 months. During that time, these unrooted trees transmute into floating reefs, drifting habitat for a wide range of marine species, including the wingless ocean strider, the only insect known to live in the open ocean. The Ecology of Wood in Streams, Rivers, Estuaries, and Oceans , Sedell and his coauthor Chris Maser explain that over species of invertebrates and species of fish are known to congregate on and around floating objects like driftwood.

Shade, abundance of food, a place to lay eggs, and protection from waves are among the reasons scientists suspect these temporary environments are so attractive to marine life. It is estimated that, in the habitat associated with a single large piece of oceangoing driftwood, the combined weight of the associated tuna alone can add up to as much as tonnes—or the equivalent of well over half a million cans of tuna.

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Driftwood - Sandwiches | Palo Alto | Catering | TO GO | Deli

Tuna are known to time their migration to the continental shelf for spawning with the beginning of the monsoon season. In the eastern Pacific, driftwood carried by the resulting floods arrives just as young yellowfin tuna are emerging from their eggs. In the late s, Spanish fishers in the eastern Atlantic even began to enhance natural driftwood with artificial logs to attract more tuna.

For ocean-going driftwood, the journey ends far from where it all began. After a life lived rooted to the land, turning sunshine into energy among insects and birds, after enriching and reshaping rivers and streams, after sheltering and feeding plankton and fish along the surface of the sea, the remains of trees that do not wash ashore sink to the bottom.

This submerged wood is most abundant off the estuaries and shores of forested coastlines, but dredging frequently digs up logs in the deep ocean floor and even in deep-sea trenches. Deep-sea wood borers Xylophaga , a genus of bivalve mollusks take over where shallow water gribbles and shipworms left off. These creatures depend on driftwood for survival. Studies off the coast of Washington State in the late s suggest a rich and vital relationship between the forest and marine environments. Researchers found the amount of organic terrestrial carbon wood debris and soil from forested rivers and streams was high, and that dead trees are a significant source of energy in the ecosystem of the ocean floor.

Punta Mujeres benefits from a good deal more protection than other parts of the coastline, thanks to the rocky hills behind it, these were formed by old lava flows from Monte Corona, the biggest and oldest volcano on the island. With your back to the sea, Monte Corona is very visible. The tunnels which form the Jameos del Agua and the Cueva de los Verdes were all created by the eruptions which emanated from here.

How Driftwood Reshapes Ecosystems

I was a bit nervous when booking this holiday as my previous experience of Lanzarote was Puerto del Carmen some years ago but Punta Mujeres village seems to be on a different planet. It's a far cry from mass tourism and we were surrounded by Spanish voices all the time. The apartment was perfect for us and what sold it for me was the ability to swim from our doorstep.

Driftwood is beautifully furnished with many unique pieces of handcrafted furniture and super attention to detail. As an avid self caterer, I was pleased to see the basics - bin bags, dishwasher and washing tabs, salt,pepper, oil and a welcome pack of water, tea, coffee ,milk and prosecco in the fridge!


  1. Driftwood sea / beach front apartment | Lanzarote Retreats?
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  3. Driftwood (disambiguation).

Lanzarote retreats picked us up from the airport and provided a Toyota Prius for our use during our stay. A car is necessary to explore the island. I would happily recommend Punta Mujeres if you want the authentic Lanzarote!

Driftwood B&B (Bed and breakfast), Brixham (UK) deals

A wonderfully situated apartment. Go to sleep at night and wake in the morning to the sound of the sea lapping outside. The well equipped kitchen made us wish that we had ordered a food hamper to cook and eat, whilst watching the lovely view across the sea from the lounge window. You may want to take advantage. The surfing beach at Arrieta is a short walk away. We have just had 5 Idyllic days in Driftwood. The apartment is fantastic and the owners have thought of everything!

It is so relaxing to hear the waves lapping against the rocks, and to wake to that sound every morning is a memory i won't ever forget. To have Josh pick us up and take us back to the airport was a wonderful little touch that meant we didn't need to stress about anything! I can't wait to come back, just hope it's soon. A truly amazing apartment, everything you could possibly need and in such a beautiful location, on the sea front Lovely bars and restaurants near by in the quaint little village Did not want to come home and will be back as soon as we can!!!

We stayed at Driftwood in April and booked it through Lanzarote retreats. What a fabulous service. Picked up from the airport and given a guided tour and tips on places to visit on way to the appartment. No fuss or hassle having to get on a bus. When we arrived at the appartment it was clean and well laid out. Complimentary tea and coffee and a well equipt kitchen. But the views were amazing.

The first thing we had to do was lay on the bed and take in the panaramic views of the sea - it was like you were floating on it - amazing. Then to top it off there was a roof terrace with the most amazing day bed. Along with the appartment came a hybrid car which enabled us to get around the island.

There were some lovely local restaurants that you could walk to and they served lovely food. It all the holiday was a peaceful, scenic, perfect week - I would deffinately recommend it. Lanzarote does have some mosquitos, but due to the island being dry, not too many! To prevent them coming into your holiday home keep doors and windows closed from dusk. Yes all our pools are heated either by solar or electric, please check for details on the villas features tab for full details.

The weather in Lanzarote is good all year round due to the proximity to the equator. No, all restaurants and shops trade 52 weeks of the year. It is holiday season all year round in Lanzarote! Lanzarote is open all year round, it has a steady moderate temperature so is lovely to visit any time of year. We can put you in touch with companies who can help you organise this and point out our best accommodations for your party size.

Surfing is good in Lanzarote all year round. Its known as the Hawaii of Europe due to its great conditions. The biggest waves for advanced surfers are from October to February. See this LINK for more surfing info. There is wind all year round but the most consistent is when Lanzarote has Trade-Winds from May to September. See this link for information on Windsurfing.

Yes, we can help you put together a twin stay holiday. Where you transfer from one holiday home to another during your stay.

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Just enquire with your ideal dates and we will send you over options. By booking with Lanzarote Retreats you are not going through an agent, you are booking direct with the owners. With offices located in Costa Teguise, Michelle and her friendly team are totally committed to providing a personal and knowledgable service to all their guests. Using their own personal experience of life in Lanzarote, they ensure that every holiday is tailor made and the best it can possibly be.

What to pack between October and March? Glamping is a wonderful holiday package combining glamour and camping, it is also known as luxury camping and posh camping. Finca De Arrieta is a perfect location for solo parents, the eco child friendly retreat is made up of a community of 15 different holiday accommodations.

The communal areas and chill out lounge provide a wonderful place for the kids to play as well as a place for the parents to enjoy some adult conversation. You can arrive to your holiday home from Open the page of the accommodation you have chosen to stay in.