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Gene Woodwick

Up the Beach — From a disastrous drought to beachcombing bonanzas

Huzzah! It is fishing time! The kids are back in school. Most of the tourists are back home and the rain has cooperated to put the fishermen back in the rivers. There are a lot of females gloriously celebrating that they have the house to themselves. Perhaps men think it is great for their species to be on a quiet river, but that’s peanuts compared to a woman in her own quiet house.

Up the Beach — Head out to adventures in our backyard

Well, dog gone. Just when folks have begun to look out for fresh crab from Larry Thevik on the Midnight Star at the Ocean Shores Marina the recreational and commercial Dungeness crab fisheries on the southern coast of Washington will close until further notice because of elevated marine toxin levels, state shellfish managers announced. The coffee drinking groups despairingly nodded their heads in commiseration until they read more carefully that the area north of Point Chehalis, including Grays Harbor, remains open to commercial and recreational crab fishing.

Up the Beach — The season of ambient light

This the season of ambient light on the North Beaches. That time of the year when the diffused sunshine sets a glow on the Old Man Moss and the lichens on the trees, and sets the yellow leaves of the deciduous bushes glowing like candlelight. Even though fall did not brush color on the vine maple, or on the Big leaf maples in the river bottoms, the sun brings cheer to the increasingly gloomy days. Makes one miss the glowing cranberry field that used to be a special, fall treat out on Burrows Road.

Up the Beach — Travel the backroads and admire autumn

Autumn has officially arrived according to the calendar, but the beachers all know it’s here because you can still drive the backroads admiring the beginning blush of fall colors and listen to the purr of Kenworths, the powerful growl of the Peterbilts and the heavy sounds of a Mack changing gears on a hill.

Up the Beach — Heading into fall on the coast

Up the beach’s back roads at this not-quite-fall time of the year, brings back old memories. Memories of Mom, memories of Gram. You can almost see them alongside the road. Mom with her apron gathered into a big pocket for her finds and Gram and the aunties with baskets or lard buckets swinging from their hands.

By Gene Woodwick

Ahh … at last … The summer days have dwindled down to September, which means summer folks have gone back to their urban abodes and beach folks are free to act like themselves again.

Up the Beach — The season between seasons

We have arrived at that peculiar time of the year when it isn’t really spring, not really winter, certainly isn’t summer, not graduation time, almost past beachcombing time, but a time similar to being thunderstruck, except there is hardly anything new to contemplate so may as well remember when it was like about 20 years ago.

Up the Beach — Spring is here

Spring has sprung. How do I know? About 12 varieties of local pussy willows are displaying catkins, birds are busy nest building, deer are shedding winter coats and the true harbinger of spring—skunk cabbage—is bright yellow in all the soggy spots around the North Beach.