Did you go to the seaside on holiday this summer? I did but to a shingle beach, which has its plus side, but there’s nothing like the luxury of a beautiful sandy beach to sink your toes into. So, sand – its the theme this week – hope you enjoy it.


What comes to mind when you think – sand?  A classic desert island perhaps?


A little gem in Cornwall?


Or sand dunes in the Sahara?


Talking of sand dunes, have you heard of the great dune of Pilat, on the Atlantic coast of France,  near Bordeaux?  It’s a bit of a crazy sight – just a huge mountain of sand, about 60,000,000 m³ of it, measuring around 500 m wide from east to west and 2.7 km in length from north to south and  currently standing around 110 meters above sea level. It’s Europe’s largest dune and gets a million visitors a year.

Back to the beach – one of the things you just have to do is build a sandcastle – be it a simple bucket shaped affair or


something a bit more complex. I like the simple but surreal work of sand artist Matt Kaliner who incorporates bits of driftwood and fishing line into his creations.


Photographer Claire Droppert hurled clumps of sand through the air and captured the peculiar shapes with a high speed camera for her series Sand Creatures.


‘Looking at the final images it was hard not to see the abstract forms of animals and other creatures that emerged from the weightless plumes of sand.’ There’s a magical, ethereal quality to these images which show off a different, physical, aspect of sand.

Now, take a look at this:


isn’t nature endlessly surprising? This is a completely natural phenomenon of coloured sands on the island of Mauritius.

Sand is ubiquitous in our lives – sand bags help with floods and other problems, sand is used in the building trade, for horticulture and even beauty techniques. Sand from the Sahara sometimes reaches our shores in great storms of wind and rain and, of course, Great Father Time carries an hour glass, filled with slipping sand, to mark the course of our lives. Phew – that’s a bit serious – lets get back to the beach!