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Beautiful Losers

By Tom Poland

web posted May 6, 2016
beautiful
                                                          losers tom
                                                          polandLIFE DOWN SOUTH-- Death can be beautiful. So goes the line in a forgotten novel. Here, we witness the last days of a monarch doomed to topple into the sea, overthrown by lunar tides.

And where might we be? Jekyll Island’s Driftwood Beach, where sea-ravaged trees become beach statuary. Unrepentant Atlantic tides undercut roots, and gravity takes over. Stripped of foliage and bark, the trees throw up sand-smoothed limbs seeking salvation that never comes. Thus, by day, their sun bleached trunks, limbs, and rootballs become monuments. By night, these ghostly spectators behold bioluminescent, phosphorescent tides. By dawn, they bless the coast with a phantasmagoric presence like no other.

We call such places bone yards. Here we witness an opus, an epic performance, “Bone Yard Ballet.” Prima ballerinas grace a dais of sand and foam and we catch them at the precise moment all freeze in supplication to the rosy goddess of dawn, Aurora.

In plain talk, we witness the demise of a maritime forest, assassinated by saltwater encroachment as oaks, maples, and other trees lose their battle with the Atlantic. These beautiful losers will never leaf out and turn golden red come fall. Still, we cannot deny that in death they showcase perfection—a photographers’ paradise.








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