I rarely make these statements, but I’d have to say that this picture is my favorite of all my own hoodoo images, east, west or anywhere in between. I do concede that it’s a gloomy scene, but for me it evokes the place, and I can smell the tide and the crumbling earth and the oozing out of spring.
They don’t call them hoodoos for nothing.
Have you ever been at Shadmoor and asked yourself, “How did they get here?” These formations (unlike their more famous cousins in places like Bryce Canyon) are not comprised of eroded sedimentary rock. What we have here is a mish-mash (my wife’s words) of sand, clay and gravel–also known as glacial till. Long Island itself is pretty much nothing more than a sandbar full of such debris left by retreating glaciers.
The formation of hoodoos here in Shadmoor occurs when water percolates down and begins to move horizontally in the ground. There it pushes out the softer deposits, which kicks off a process of slumping and erosion creating hoodoos out of the remaining harder sediments. In spring, if you hike down in front of the bluffs on the beach, you’ll often find water leaching out of the clay. In some spots, it forms rivulets which flow onto the sand below. The ocean takes care of the finishing touches with its own brand of erosion, chomping off huge vertical sections after storms.