Natural patterns and colours in pebbles of mostly igneous rocks like granite on the shore at Saints Rest Beach, Irving Nature Park, New Brunswick, Canada.

The pebble beach at Saints Rest extends for one kilometre between the mainland and the peninsula that is covered by Irving Nature Park near Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. The gravel and sand of which it is composed are precariously held together by the roots of marram grass. The beach forms a barrier between the sea and the salt marshes and river valley beyond.

The shore is covered by an amazing variety of pebbles of different geological origins, exhibiting a wide range of natural colours and patterns. Many or most of the smooth pebbles are derived from igneous rocks like granite found in the deposits of glacial moraine that covers much of the surface area in the region – rocks that were plucked up some distance away when the massive ice sheets passed over the native bedrocks, and then were eventually released in the thick superficial layers of sediment as the ice sheets melted.

Some of the other pebbles on the beach must have originated from local bedrocks that lie beneath the loosely compacted glacial moraine deposits covering the river valley, Irving Nature Park and Sheldon Point. The solid bedrock here belongs to the Taylor Island Formation, composed of Precambrian volcanic rocks (ZCTIvs). This underlying solid geology is visible in outcrops around the coastline of the nature park as well as on the headlands to the east and the west of Saints Rest Beach.

Natural patterns and colours in pebbles of mostly igneous rocks like granite on the shore at Saints Rest Beach, Irving Nature Park, New Brunswick, Canada.

Natural patterns and colours in pebbles of mostly igneous rocks like granite on the shore at Saints Rest Beach, Irving Nature Park, New Brunswick, Canada.

Natural patterns and colours in pebbles of mostly igneous rocks like granite on the shore at Saints Rest Beach, Irving Nature Park, New Brunswick, Canada.

Natural patterns and colours in pebbles of mostly igneous rocks like granite on the shore at Saints Rest Beach, Irving Nature Park, New Brunswick, Canada.

Natural patterns and colours in pebbles of mostly igneous rocks like granite on the shore at Saints Rest Beach, Irving Nature Park, New Brunswick, Canada.

View of Saints Rest Beach, New Brunswick, looking west.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

All rights reserved

3 Replies to “Pebbles at Saints Rest Beach”

  1. We just flew back in from Turkey where we also found some great pebbles (to the extent that we filled two water bottles with them and brought them back with us). They are not quite as colourful as yours but nevertheless we had a lot of happy hours scouring the shallows for them!

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  2. Sounds like you had great fun collecting the pebbles. I just love their variety whether they are ‘pretty’ or not. It is so difficult to work out what each pebble is made of – a real challenge. Also, I have found that many places (both here in the UK and abroad) prohibit the collection of any beach materials at all, including pebbles. Much of the time, I have developed the habit of photographing pebbles right on the beach, preferably near the water’s edge. I collect beach stones that interest me as I walk along the shore and then throw them down where the waves splash them to take the pictures. I do collect pebbles sometimes when it is permitted but they are so heavy to carry home! I hope that you did not have to pay excess baggage to get your two bottles of pebbles home.

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