found on the beach x2

by Kaylah Stroup

beach trash, colorful arrangement, plastic pollution

It’s been a minute since my last found on the beach post. I’ve still be wandering the beach, picking up things that catch my eye and photographing arrangements but I haven’t been sharing my work. To be honest, I’ve felt a bit discouraged. An anonymous commenter (of course) left some stupid, snarky response about how dumb this is and how I owe my readers better. I obviously don’t agree. This is one of my favorite ways to relax, and I think my photos are beautiful. But, it still stings, ya know?

I think people tend to forget that there is someone real behind every single blog, username, and avatar on the internet. When you tell someone one of their hobbies is dumb, you’re being a jerk. You don’t have to like it, agree with it, or even look at it because the internet is a really huge place. The Dainty Squid is just a very very tiny section and I know for a fact no one is making you read it. So please, if you don’t like my found on the beach arrangements, stop reading or at least learn to scroll past. I’ll have cute animals back here another day. Life is seriously too short to waste it reading about things you don’t like. Instead of spending your time being snarky, go find something or someone you do like and build them up. It feels so much better to compliment than to tear down. It will make YOU happier.

Obviously the good outweighs the bad… by like A TON. It is really interesting how those awful comments wiggle their way into your mind and latch on though. Reading over that last paragragh, it feels a bit rant-y but it’s so true. When you start investing your energy into things you really like and care for, you will be so much happier. Maybe even zen enough to pick up trash for fun. Heh!

beach trash, colorful arrangement, plastic pollution

beach trash, colorful arrangement, plastic pollution, palladium boots


Back to the subject at hand, the beach! The weather has been perfect lately. Perfect meaning kind of chilly, especially on the water, and a bit rainy. For my birthday, back in August, Jeff got me a really nice raincoat that I’ve been getting a ton of use out of this last month. Rain almost 100% of the time means I get the beach to myself which is ideal. Plus it’s just fun to be able to play outside in the rain but not get wet. It’s almost strange to me what a huge effect being there has on me. It’s my favorite place to go and think. Just hearing the waves crash into the sand is so relaxing. I don’t think I could ever live far from a body of water. Every single time, I leave so much happier, so much more level-headed and grounded.

lake erie pollution, beach trash, plastic

When I first started making arrangements (back in 2012??) I almost always did them in the sand but this last year I’ve taken to building them on other natural objects nearby. Rocks, logs, etc. I love the juxtaposition of something very natural and not coloful next to an explosion of man-made color. Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t consider this art and I certainly don’t spend very much time putting hidden meanings in my work. I just like to have fun and it’s really interesting to me to see my ideas progress. Looking back at this post from 2014, which seems to be the oldest beach trash post that made the move over to wordpress, it’s incredible how much prettier everything looks now. I enjoy having hobbies that help me measure my growth as a photographer.

My little palette of rainbow trash.

For a long time I’ve had a “don’t keep any trash” rule but I’ve started collecting figurines of people that I find on the beach. This started with just plastic army men but the more little people I found the more I wanted to keep them all. Army men are still my favorite to find but I’m happy to find anyone to add to my jar of lost folks.



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