Being all caught up with work on Friday, I was able to spend the entire day at the beach with Ellen and her family. I decided it was time to do a large sand sculpture, the first of the summer (and perhaps the last). I marked out a roughly square area and dug around it to begin a mound. Not having any real inspiration, I decided to just go with a standard castle. Once the mound was begun and a platform packed down, I dug a round hole to reach water and really wet sand. Zach is standing in it here. Using double handfuls of this sand slurry I added further to the mound.
When the pile was large enough I started carving away, making a central manor with a tall tower, and an inner bailey wall with towers at each corner. The central tower was flat on top originally, but looked kind of bare, so I made the pyramid top separately and placed it on. In the background are two small towers Zach made.
Here’s the finished castle after about four hours of work. I added an outer bailey wall with four corner towers and two smaller ones at mid points. The one on the right is meant to be an entrance gate. Windows were added with small scoops, and I dug out the space between the outer bailey and the inner bailey, adding to the height of the latter. This was all I had time for. If I had another hour I might have tried adding crenellations to the walls and towers by making a smooth slab of wet sand and cutting tiny cubes from it. Maybe next time.
Another view looking landward. Late afternoon light always adds a bit of drama to the shapes and shadows.
Another shot featuring Zach’s two auxiliary towers. It was time to go home, so I filled in the large hole as much as I could to prevent walkers from stepping into it by accident, and left the castle to its fate. In about another hour the tide would reach it, and if that or destructive kids didn’t finish it off, the beach rakers would that night. It’s an ephemeral art, but one I enjoy.