A Simple Grain of Sand

Beach snad being blown along the shoreline

"To see a world in a grain of sand" wrote William Blake, I think he knew a thing or two. Sand certainly takes on menacing form when the wind launches its savage attack.

beach sand being blown along the shoreline

Tiny splinters of quartz are whipped in to a frenzy, slashing everything in their path. The process that takes place here has a fancy name - saltation, which basically describes how sand grains move either in the wind, or underwater.

New Zealand oystercatcher, on nest in a mild sandstorm

For plants and animals who live in the dunes, these battles are a way of life. It is the challenge they accepted when they colonised the sand.

Beach sand on the move.

Where sea meets land, the forces of nature stage some of their most violent battles.

Close up beach sand

Sand is the aftermath. It's been here since the sea began storming the coast and it combines the properties of its markers: fluid as the waves, resilient as rock.

Close up beach sand

Magnified, it brings to light a treasure trove of gems and trinkets. Marble and quartz grind against more precious tourmaline and garnet. Windblown grains are like tiny ball bearings perfectly round and smooth, making sand squeak under our feet.

These still frames are taken from NHNZ Images vast collection of footage available for you to purchase in your video or television production.