Thursday September 16, 2010 | 01:38 PM

Nighttime is starting to encroach mighty early these days. Maybe you've noticed - and have starting bringing a flashlight to work so you don't get lost making your way back to your car under the dimming sky.

We're not quite into winter darkness yes, but the fact that I traded flipflops for socks at the office this week is a sign: Fall has closed up its summer house in Canada and is making its way south as we speak with a car full of fleece and long underwear.

But like sands through the hourglass, so are the frantic, grasping days of our fleeting summer lives.

When it comes to the beach sands of summer, we can vainly bury our heads in it, or we can relinquish the feet-burning grains with pride. And build something awesome.

This Saturday's Sandsations Sand Sculpting Contest at Crescent Beach State Park gives beachgoers (soon to be known as "former beachgoers") one last chance to frolic on the beach.

For $25 (or $35 the day of the event) teams of sculptors can take to the sand and create a temporary masterpiece the likes of which has never been seen before. The memory alone of their astonishing works of sand art will warm the hearts of Mainers throughout the long, cold winter.

For more information or to register in advance:


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Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.

Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.

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