We’ve had our walks yesterday and this morning and did not smell smoke at all. I smelled only ocean yesterday, just purely ocean. Today, also chlorine in a stream and then something unidentifiable and sweet in the air.
Heavy fog when we went out just after low tide today—so thick we found the sweet spot where we could see neither shore nor surf. It is a rare thing and did not last till we turned around for home. The fog lifted as the sun rose. Every receding wave has left a line of spruce needles on the sand—a dozen lines—where usually there is only a single line of broken shells, seaweed, and feathers. Whole trees and shrubberies were nearly stripped of leaves during the wind last week. The sun was red coming up today, but my camera cannot capture that effect.
Overhead blue sky with clouds like thin curdled milk.
Gary was out scrubbing and refilling the bird bath yesterday. He says Steller’s jays have been picking up and moving rocks around in the garden. Not tiny rock, but rocks he thought were too big for them to lift. He watched them doing it but can’t explain why. Perhaps they are teasing.
There is a new pair of scrub-jays in the spruce trees next door. We have never seen them here before. (We saw them last summer in the NE corner of the state and so did others who were told by an officious biologist they were absolutely wrong because such birds could not exist there. Gary and I said nothing but exchanged a look and shrug. [photo below] I was told by a man in 2005 that I could not possible have seen Steller’s jays in Portland as a child or at the coast. He had lived in the PNW for a little over a year. “Men explain things to me.” Ha!)
The black oystercatcher pair have successfully raised a baby this year—the species is struggling but the juvenile seems well (see above). There were no birds resting at Asbury Creek north of our home this morning. [Current maps show Shark Creek as a tributary of Asbury, but my 1941 map shows Shark Creek reaching the beach further north where my online map shows a different, unnamed waterway.]
On the way home we saw several gulls eating stranded crabs.
The bald eagles have also successfully raised two babies.
Hundreds (Gary says thousands) of brown pelicans have flown over with fourteen in residence this season. When we moved here in 1979, we saw no brown pelicans because they were on the endangered species list. Today they are “of least concern.”
Thank Rachel Carson and her warning book Silent Spring.