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Hendry's Beach Rock Art
updated: Feb 15, 2013, 10:50 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

These are some rock sculptures that someone made on Hendrys Beach. People like and photograph them, but I saw two middle aged women knocking them down. I inquired as to why the destroyed the sculptures and was told that they are not art, just rocks, and that, "you should go back to picking up trash." I guess they are very unhappy people to be so destructive and rude about as well. I and many I have spoken with consider this art and an enjoyable part of the beach experience. How do people feel about these "Rock Mandalas"?

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 374694 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 10:59 AM

I love it !


 COMMENT 374695 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 10:59 AM

To knock something down for no reason is beyond rude, especially considering that someone spent time and effort arranging the rocks in the first place. These women sound like a couple of total jerks.


 COMMENT 374697 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:01 AM

They are nice piles. I don't feel that piling up some rocks gives anyone perpetual claim to them though. If my kids want to play with those rocks, have at it.


 COMMENT 374698 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:03 AM

People love to destroy things. It's easier than creating and they get such a sense of satisfaction.
@Rex...yep jerks.


 COMMENT 374699 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:05 AM

Generally they are used in the BC as trail markers. In my opinon, they do not belong at the beach, and I do not like them. I think they take away from the natural beauty of the beach, to have human created rock stackings, or Cairns everywhere.

Would/Do I go out of my way to knock them down...no. Do I wish people would show more respect for nature and not create these...yes.


 COMMENT 374703 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:09 AM

agree with 697 and 699


 COMMENT 374704 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:16 AM

A friend just told me about this - how sad. Just yesterday a group of us were out surfing & we were talking about folks who behave badly in the water. Our instructor Chris Keet said something really profound: "Everybody goes out into the water looking for something." He then went on to explain that people who go out angry and hostile don't even know what they're looking for ... so they'll never find it.

It sounds like these ladies you encountered are the land-locked equivalent of angry surfers. They must have lost something important in their souls to willfully dismantle someone else's expression of joy - something that delights so many. Maybe they were hoping for exactly the kind of conflict they created with you to ease some inside ache. Who knows?

I'm sorry for them. But so happy and grateful that we got to enjoy those wonderfully whimsical little artworks for a little while & confident they'll show up again, somehow.

Have a great day!


 COMMENT 374707 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:28 AM

Yeah, and what if my little kid walks up an some how topples the rocks upon himself? I think they at not art nor necessary. Find another hobby.


 COMMENT 374710 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:31 AM

People who construct these are fully aware that they will end up knocked down in the end by one of many possible means. The joy is in the construction, not in the long-term viability. We accept this inevitable fate before taking on such an endeavor, you should too.


 COMMENT 374711P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:33 AM

Hopefully these gentle ladies got their aggression completely out before they got back behind the wheel. Aggression and driving, now that's a dangerous combo.


 COMMENT 374713 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:34 AM

If a small child topples one, fine, but for adults to do so is nasty. I love coming across these, especially the ones created by the elegant older man I've seen at Butterfly Beach who balances them on driftwood.


 COMMENT 374714P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:36 AM

I prefer that people not build structures on the beach and then leave them for the next storm to clear. A beach should be treated like a camp site - use it then it as found or cleaner with minimal evidence of one's presence so the next user has a fresh experience. The need to leave either a 'Kilroy was here' marker or a spiritual offering is as selfish as graffiti. Cairns and beach huts are not natural, and the joy of the beaches is that they provide an escape from manicured, constructed, edged, planted, and over-peopled urban environments. Good on the two women for restoration work.


 COMMENT 374718P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:39 AM

They are natural, and the tides change them eventually. What is wrong with people? To expend energy like they did is beyond sad.
They should go in the other direction and scrub the tagging off the rocks. That would be great.


 COMMENT 374721P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:42 AM

I can never believe the over zealous parent voices. Kids could be hurt? "Have at it," kids should be allowed to destroy them? It never ceases to amaze me how entitled overprotective and self-righteous parents are in policing every single aspect of public life for the benefit of their precious ones.


 COMMENT 374730P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 11:54 AM

Building them is art. Knocking them down is performance art, perhaps?


 COMMENT 374740P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 12:05 PM

leave the rocks where they naturally are- they provide "homes" for critters


 COMMENT 374743 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 12:07 PM

I wonder if everyone feels the same way about sandcastles.


 COMMENT 374746 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 12:11 PM

In making public art, probably no one expects what they make to be permanent. People will make things, others will destroy them; that is expected. You can see the process as a representation of our lives in the larger world.

Or not.


 COMMENT 374752 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 12:35 PM

I do not feel strong enough to upset someone making a rock pile to ask them to stop, but I prefer to see nature in a natural state. leave nothing but footprints-take nothing but memories and photos of course.


 COMMENT 374759 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 12:51 PM

AAHHHH 757, HOW TRUE IT IS! Bitch, complain, gripe about everything and everyone. Both our posts will be removed shortly as they won't agree with the nanny.


 COMMENT 374760P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 12:52 PM

It's fun to build them. It's fun to knock stuff over too. If it isn't hurting you, try to ignore it. Be a busy-body about graffiti or something that matters.


 COMMENT 374764 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 01:01 PM

We were at the beach near San Ysidro one time and my nephew knocked over a stack of rocks. Apparently the guy who built it was only a few steps away and he got angry. Frankly I thought the guy was being a little immature-- if you're going to get pissed when someone knocks over your pile of rocks, you might as well stand next to it so everyone knows you're serious. Absurd.

I agree that the joy is in the building, not in the maintaining. I saw a video recently of a dude who professionally builds amazing stacks of rocks and even he would knock them down at the drop of a hat.


 COMMENT 374767 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 01:18 PM

OP Here, I often build these too and call them rock mandalas as they are less permanent than a sand mandalas. It is an interesting measure of people in that some destroy, some admire, and some build more; and it has nothing to do with age. It seems more to do with disposition and happiness.
I'm sorry people feel this is a human intrusion into their natural experience, and I would like for them to know that the 1/2 ton of trash I personally remove from Hendrys every year is not part of their natural experience either. We beach-goers keep this beach very clean with daily patrols. Thanks everyone for picking up after your pets and the pets of others!


 COMMENT 374768 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 01:20 PM

when I was a kid I mad a cool sand castle on the beach - after about 1 hour the tide rudely washed it away - not fair at all - the ocean is very rude and should have better manners


 COMMENT 374777 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 01:49 PM

In Hawaii people are discouraged from rearranging nature for any reason, it is considered disrespectful to the land.

I personally would not knock down rocks at the beach, I also would not destroy a sand sculpture or step on a child's sand castle on purpose, that behavior seems a bit mean spirited to me.


 COMMENT 374784 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 02:06 PM

The response the women gave doesn't actually answer the question.


Then ... parental negligence.


 COMMENT 374785 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 02:07 PM

Did they have a permit for New Construction?
What about Liability Insurance?
Was an Environmental Impact Report done?
Did they use Fair Living Wage Union Labor or did they hire Undocumented Laborers?
Are they Vegan or do they kill cute animals?
What, if any political agenda is present in the so called "art"?
Have they ever watched Fox News?

Answer these questions and I will think about an opinion.

Thank you.


 COMMENT 374792 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 02:27 PM

Epoxy caulking gun works great.


 COMMENT 374802 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 02:50 PM

The rocks don't care, why do you?


 COMMENT 374805 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 02:59 PM

I too walk Hendry's daily. We do clean up after ourselves, as well as others. Some very nice people there.
I do have two smaller dogs that run all over the beach and rocks. I wouldn't take down the rocks myself, but I wouldn't want my smallish dogs to get crushed by them either.
The beach changes daily. Nature makes sure of that. There are way too many other things to bitch and moan about.


 COMMENT 374818 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 03:25 PM

As an elderly Matron with both Ways and Means, I intend to not only clutch my pearls, but wring them too.


 COMMENT 374857 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 04:20 PM

If this is of great concern in your life...you have it pretty good!


 COMMENT 374860 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 04:36 PM

Why do you think that people who like stacking rocks have any more right to stack them then people who like knocking them over? People often post random signs around the local parks for business services and garage sales, and I take them down because I don't like them. These random sign posters have no license from the city for posting them, so I need no permission to take them down.


 COMMENT 374868 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 05:13 PM

The rock sculpture is called a hoo-doo. It's common to start one and have others add to it. It's something for everyone to partcipate in. If someone is unhappy with them, all they have to do is wait for a high tide. Knocking them down is bad mo-jo, and her comment to you was down right rude. BTW - Thanks for picking up the trash. I try to do it too when I walk. You will have good mo-jo because of it.


 COMMENT 374870 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 05:17 PM

Seriously? Piling rocks on top of each other takes away from the beauty of the beach?


Here's something to think about: humans are natural, too.

I hereby resolve to go to the beach every day and pile up rocks.
That's my natural reply.


 COMMENT 374884 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 06:06 PM

I am more concerned that child owners are apparently not properly leashing their young creatures.

We have laws for a reason.


 COMMENT 374891 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 06:32 PM

All those afraid of having their dogs/ kids crushed by cairns: Keep your charges on leash and under control. I'm still stuck on the 'middle-aged ladies' aspect of this. Way to represent.


 COMMENT 374898 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 06:58 PM

sometimes I like to create a mandala on the sand...rocks, sticks, shells, what ever...human beings like to play, we are creative...building is part of our nature.. we are part of nature and like footprints, the tide soon washes them away...sometimes it can also be a spiritual meditation... the sea shore is also my temple ... who has the right to tell me that I may not hold a rock that is eons old in age, to ponder its history, to contemplate what kind of rock it is,,how did it get here and then to place it gently on the sand and balance another rock on top of it.. .I will balance rocks ladies... like it or not...


 EDDIEKD agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 07:11 PM

While I have never had an interest in making these, I do find them thought-provoking. Who built them? Was it during a campfire and maybe a little partying? How long will they last? It's fun to think about.
As one poster mentioned, they are at the bottom of my list of grievances at the beach. I am aggravated by the trash. Styrofoam, paint spray cans, hot sauce and ketchup packets, coffee cups and stirrers, plastic water bottles, and condoms. I've found all those things on a regular basis.
But really, I'd rather not be aggravated at all, so I try to leave the place better than I found it and practice good habits.


 COMMENT 374905 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 07:25 PM

Seriously people? There are stabbings, shootings, famine, people injured by meteorites and you all are arguing about a freekin pile of rocks at the beach that the tide will wash away? Really?


 COMMENT 374906P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 07:39 PM

Playing with rocks, sand and driftwood is part of going to the beach. It's not like it's the shore of a placid lake where whatever you do is going to stay. The tide will re-shuffle everything in very short order.

Building anything sizable or digging is dangerous and harmful and is a separate story. I wouldn't support that.

The "ladies" kicking the rocks over is really an ugly story. I would like to pooh pooh it and say it's probably made up. Unfortunately, I've seen my share of people of all stripes wearing blinders, oblivious, uncaring and snarlingly contemptuous of anything outside of their narrow view.


 COMMENT 374909P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 07:49 PM

EDDIEKD and I are in complete agreement. The fishing line, the polystyrene/styrofoam, the spray paint cans . . . that trash is the eyesore, not to mention bad for marine life.

This is what I love about Edhat. It is always so provoking, in every sense of the word.

Whenever I have seen rocks stacked at the beach, it never bothered me. Instead, I have always felt a kind of awe that anyone would take the time and have the energy to create such ephemeral art. If it is art. I think it's just rocks that will soon be washed away.

I wonder how I would have felt if I had seen those women knocking over the rock mandalas. Probably would have felt pity for them, that they had nothing better to do. It does make my heart tweak a bit when people are so angry and lash out for no reason.

@721P: As for parents acting self-entitled about their kids----you would love what I have going on next door to me. There seems to be a new kind of parenting, not too widely practiced, I hope, wherein the kids can do no wrong. And yelling and screaming is not only accepted but encouraged. Who cares if the neighbors complain (repeatedly)? It's all about the kids.

I had to laugh over the parent worried that his/her child would be hurt by tumbling rocks. What a world we live in, where now everyone else is to blame. How did this evolve, where now it is always someone else's fault?

My dog won't have to worry about stacked rocks. He comes when he is called and I don't let him get himself into potentially dangerous situations. It's called being a responsible caretaker.


 COMMENT 374913 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-15 07:58 PM

I think it's vandalizing nature to make them. If someone wants piles of rocks, go make them in their own back yard.


 COMMENT 374956 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 06:46 AM

First world problem


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 07:25 AM

Golly sakes, what a big deal out of a few piled rocks the tide will tear down. I always like seeing what people make with driftwood or rocks. Look at the picture, does the little stack of rocks really "ruin your nature experience" at the beach? I agree with the poster, and thanks for bringing up the subject; the replies make for interesting reading.


 COMMENT 374973 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 07:49 AM

I love the positive energy I see in these. Taking time to knock them down is releasing negative energy. But this is a kind of art that people make, then walk away, and part of the fascination is how long do they last? How do they get knocked down? Nature? Fun? Maybe the women were having fun knocking them down, adding to their experience and the joy that they are getting from their beach walk.


 COMMENT 374978P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 08:06 AM

860! Compadre--I take down stealth ad signs All The Time! drives me nuts along roads, at intersections: "Pond Cleaning!" "Do your windows leak? Replacements!" "Re-fi NOW!" down they come. I 've recycled them into all sorts of things... :-)


 CORKY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 08:28 AM

Well, maybe if the builder were stacking with concrete, but otherwise, nature will take it's course.Interesting what offends others though. I find them intriguing, not offensive, but to each his own.


 COMMENT 374996 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 08:44 AM

Entropy takes many forms. To create we destroy.


 COMMENT 375002 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 09:05 AM

the need to leave your mark every time you go to the beach is vain. I say knock them down. seeing one once in a while is fine, but this is an eyesore.


 COMMENT 375004 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 09:15 AM

721P: right ON! I concur.


 COMMENT 375010 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 09:36 AM

Ah, Santa Barbara ... a teapot full of tempests, no?


 COMMENT 375011 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 09:38 AM

sounds like these two women and many others posting on this thread would have gone into the caves at Altamira and scrubbed the cave walls clean, well, because it isn't natural or might hurt my kids or dogs! Jeeze louise!


 COMMENT 375050P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 11:46 AM

a billion people on earth lack access to safe drinking water. 6,000 children under the age of 14 die every day from illness related to unsanitary water, and you're worried about a rock falling on your kid at the beach?


 JMAC agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 12:21 PM

I was just at Hendry's this morning & noticed there were more of these than usual on the small stretch of beach they occupy. I find them refreshing because they remind me of trail markers in the Sierra. Backpacking in my youth, I learned that one should NEVER dismantle any trail marker unless it was obviously marking a dangerous or dead-end route. To me, stacked rocks are a symbol of safety and a friendly offering to others that happen across them. Now, before the trolls start screaming that these are not trail markers and that you cannot get lost at Hendry's beach, my point is these REMIND me of those hikes in the Sierra and in that context, stacked rocks signify respect for mother nature's power and I truly enjoy the memories they provoke. Long way of saying, these clearly do inspire people in many different ways...and if it's important to you to destroy things that bother you, then go ahead & knock 'em down. Flatten sand castles too while you're at it. I, for one, am going to spend part of my weekly beach time stacking up as many rocks as I can gather from now on!


 COMMENT 375066 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 12:31 PM

I like my beach walks like my toilet seats, I know that there have been others before me, I simply do not want to be reminded of that by what they leave behind.


 COMMENT 375093P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 01:22 PM

I think mandalas are not meant to be permanent; like sand mandalas, for instance.


 COMMENT 375147 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 04:16 PM

It was probably more fun knocking it down than building it. Opa!


 COMMENT 375152P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 04:32 PM

Just wanted to note that THIS is what Edhat readers are concerned with. Just look at the consumption rate (number of reads and posts). Just like dog-related posts. It is understandable; some problems seem relevant to daily life and that they may be able to be affected, while the big social issues seem utterly resistant to change. Rational economics, incentives, and all...


 COMMENT 375178 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 06:04 PM

I like hoo-doos. I like to see them.
I find them charming, and there is an ANCIENT Pilgrim Tradition in the Celtic lands to add to them. On hikes to the tops of sacred mountains it is the accepted practice to put a stone in your pocket and carry it to the top. There, you add it to the cairn of stones, and say a bit of a prayer of gratitude that you are healthy enough to climb all that way. When you descend again you feel spiritually and physically lighter.
I think of the spirit of evanescence when I see them at the beach, the quiet concentration it takes to pile them up.
I would never knock them over, and pity anyone who thinks they are obtrusive, dangerous, or a problem.


 COMMENT 375194 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-16 07:03 PM

As we all know, human beings are destroying the planet, and rock art is just another example of our interference with nature.

I applaud these women for doing the right thing!


 COMMENT 375313 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-17 08:37 AM

Jeez! If you think this is vandalizing nature you might want to look at what you live in. If you live in a cave, you're all good. If you live in a house/condo/apartment, think about how much of nature was disrupted so you can have a roof over your head. If you're so concerned, knock your house down and give it back to Mother Nature.


 COMMENT 375602 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-02-18 07:58 AM

I like the rocks, but if they are "mandalas" then they are meant to be impermanent. So like, whatever man.


27% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.


*** 3 comments were deleted from this thread by the Edhat Board Nanny for violating Edhat Comments Board policy. Click Here to see them.


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