I do not know who settled on the name Boneyard Beach for this stretch of coastline on Big Talbot Island, just north of Jacksonville, Florida. It is fitting, though, that the skeletons of the old live oaks (Quercus Virginiana) stretch towards the ocean like Tantalus stretched towards the water beneath his feet and fruit above his head. This photograph was taken three years ago, before the northeast coast of Florida was battered by hurricanes Irma and Matthew. Kemper and I went to Boneyard Beach earlier this year, in the height of summer, to take photographs. I figured to get some photographs of him among the stripped, bleached bones. To my great surprise, many of the trees that I had become accustomed to (which are featured in my gallery Driftwood), had vanished into the sea since I had been there last. Kemper was disappointed for a moment, but then he caught sight of a ghost crab skittering around the base of a monolithic oak, unaffected by the reshaping of the coastline. It would have taken a much stronger act of God, or His hand itself, to move that oak from its spot. Innumerable hurricanes have battered the island over the centuries, and as the new oaks, themselves, fall to the beach, the skeletons will once again reappear–until, of course, another set of storms carries them off to the sea.
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