The Spectrum of Sea Glass Colours

Sea glass, which is also known as beach glass, is glass which has been found washed up on beaches. Typically it is glass that was once discarded or somehow found its way into the sea. It could have originally come from any source of glass from windows to jam jars or beer bottles. The glass has been naturally pounded by the waves and rubbed against rocks and sand until it features smooth edges and a frosted appearance.

Sea glass can come in a wide variety of colours, mainly determined by the origin of the glass. However due to the natural processes involved to form it, the shades of the colour can vary greatly depending on the amount of time it has spent in the sea and the amount of sun light it has been exposed to while lying on the beach.

Again depending on the origin of the glass, different colours of sea glass are more common in different parts of the world. However amongst collectors, there are colours which are referred to as common and some very rare shades indeed which are classed as treasured pieces.

The most common colour of beach glass is green. Green glass is generally vibrant in colour and originates from beer bottles. Some green coloured glass is very old and from early green beer bottles while other pieces are more modern in origin from beer bottles that can still be found in shops today. Brown sea glass is also a common colour. Again this colour originates from beer bottles, some of which are very old in origin while others are much more modern.

The next most common colour is clear. Clear sea glass comes for a variety of sources including window panes, soda bottles, glass plates, drinking glasses and juice bottles. Although it is referred to as 'clear' you actually can't see through it due to the frosted appearance of the glass. This is caused by the effect exposure to salt water has on the chemicals used to produce the glass in the first place.

Amber sea glass is the next colour in the rarity spectrum and is a slightly lighter shade of brown than more commonly found brown glass. It originates from old whiskey and other alcohol bottles, along with medicine bottles. The most common way for these kinds of bottles to find themselves in the ocean was for sailors to throw them overboard.

Turquoise beach glass is reasonably rare and, depending on the shade, can also be referred to as aqua in colour. This glass originates from fruit preserve jars, soda bottles and old ink bottles. Rarer still is deep blue or cobalt blue sea glass which comes from old poison bottles. These are much darker in shade and are usually found in very small pieces due to their age and the amount of time they have spent in the ocean.

Then we come onto really rare shades which are prized by many collectors as they are extremely difficult to find. Purple and red glass can be found in very small pieces and the origin of them is completely unknown. Black beach glass is also rare but is believed to come from old alcohol bottles that pre-date 1800. Although this colour is rare to find due to its age, it's also difficult to find as it's hard to pick out from the surrounding dark pebbles on the beach, especially if the pebbles are wet.

Controlling Pond Weeds

While some aquatic plants are needed in a lake or pond for a healthy fishery, controlling them so they do not become lake or pond weeds can be a challenging task. Many times a lake or pond owner will start by using a chemical treatment. We are accustomed to running to the hardware store to get a herbicide to handle our dandelions in the yard, so this seems to be a logical place to start.

Additionally, the per application cost appears to be cheap. However, to maintain this level of water quality, one must repeat this application process throughout the growing season. Depending on the plant and the region, that can be every two to four weeks for five to seven months or more. So an application that costs $300 per treatment will ultimately cost you $1,500 to $4,200 for the entire season depending on frequency and duration the plants are growing. Not as cheap as it seemed.

Another problem with chemicals is that the plants that were killed with each application drop to the lake or pond bottom. While the initial decomposition pulls oxygen out of the water depriving the fish, the nutrients contained within the plant are released back into the local ecosystem. This in turn feeds the next generation of plants and possibly and algae bloom that takes advantage of the lack of competition. The next generation of plants is now a little resistant to that chemical as they were exposed but survived. The next time that chemical is used, more is going to have to be used to get the same effect. Much like a drug addict, your pond is now hooked and will need more over time and costs will go as product needed goes up.

Applications of herbicides, pesticides or other aquatic chemicals are a very useful tool for SHORT TERM CONTROL of aquatic plant growth. They do NOT, however, address the underlying problem that is causing the unwanted growth. They are best used to keep an ecosystem under control while targeting the root problem and improving the conditions that are causing the problem.

One very successful option is to harvest those lake and pond weeds mechanically. As the growing season begins the plant grows absorbing nutrients, producing oxygen and providing great habitat for the young fry just hatched. Once the growth level nears your desired level manual harvesting can begin. This can be done manually in small scale or with an aquatic plant harvester for large scale applications. Removing the nuisance and with it the absorbed nutrients from the bottom material without adding to the bottom muck. There isn't any oxygen deprivation as there is no material decomposing at the pond bottom. As with chemicals, this will have to be repeated throughout the growing season but usually not as often and it does not leave residues behind. Leaving some plant growth in areas keeps the fishery in good order and buffers the water column from wild swings and algae blooms.

There are many tools in the pond owners' bag to deal with lake and pond weeds. Consider your ultimate goals in determining which management technique you wish to use and remember that short term success does not always mean a long term triumph.