Photo 24 (Hard)

Point Michaud Beach
Photo 24 of 30: Point Michaud Beach
Taken 2008 October 8 in Point Michaud along the beach in the Point Michaud Beach Provincial Park
GPS 45°35.50?'N 60°40.80?'W

Point Michaud Beach is a day park off the beaten track (though on Highway 247, a paved road not far from where the Fleur-de-Lis Trail turns inland to Grand River in Lower L’Ardoise) on the south coast of Richmond County. Its exceptional 3 km (2 mi) crescent sandy beach is backed by sand dunes covered by marram grass and by large cranberry bogs. It sports very few facilities and is intended for picnics, playing in the waves, basking in the sun, making sand castles, and exploring the cove—if you don’t mind wet feet, you can hike all the way out to Point Michaud, seen at the far left, where you will find another beach on the western side of the point.

This fall photo was taken on a morning which had seen rain and was only now beginning to clear up. A very few people were out at this relatively early hour of 9h30, walking their dogs and getting some exercise on the sandy beach, though none is visible in this photo. The golden light along the coast here this morning was special, as the sun was just successfully beginning to break through the clouds, which were still pretty thick and blue-grey-black, particularly offshore, but inexorably yielding to the blue sky seen in the photo that this area was to enjoy for much of the rest of the day. The tawny frost-bitten grass above the rocky coast to the east of the beach and the offshore Basque Islands (both outside the scope of this photo) under these changing skies made for some memorable scenes which were tricky to capture in this light. This view is the best I have to represent this gorgeous place.

As I discovered when I crossed them to take this photo, the piles of kelp seen strewn along the beach were rather thicker than they appear here—I’d guess on the order of 30 cm (1 ft) deep—and very fragrant of the sea, still wet from the retreating tide. They too added to the allure of this scene, which as well as any can stand for the great beauty of Richmond County’s unfrequented Atlantic coast.