July is all about the beach. Kids digging holes in the sand, teens flying kites and hanging out of car windows, old folks in lawn chairs taking in some sun, and all kinds of people doing everything between.
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Sometimes we just take things for granted on the North Beach. Like land forms… We just get so busy admiring the lushness of this year’s incredible foliage and flowers that we forget they are attached to land.
What is a day in May with sunshine and west-southwest winds? Bet you never in a million years thought it would be beachcombing weather. Well it is … What is the cause of all this beacher activity? All the Japanese tsunami debris washing ashore, of course.
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.
April showers may bring May flowers, but the best thing the showers bring are Canada goose and Mallard duck pairs. Now, that gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling, since they are symbolic of long lasting, faithful, loyal loving.
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.
Well, Dorothy, you are not on the old North Beach anymore, to paraphrase a famous movie line from the Wizard of Oz. Things they are a changin’.
Sometimes one should just keep his or her big mouth shut and his or her fingers off the computer keyboard. Apparently, my writing so smugly about no snow or Eastern cold weather at the beach resulted in last Saturday’s unexpected comeuppance. Ma Nature decided maybe the beachers needed a blast from the Arctic just to honestly appreciate what they live with the majority of the time.
What a January! The weather bounces around like a ball tied to a ping-pong paddle with a rubber band. Cold. Freezing. Windy. Spring warm. Warm enough to see daffodils poking up three-inches high in a lot of North Beach folks’ yards.
The cold weather has some folks sitting with their feet up against the fire or resting on the open oven door trying to get warm again. Beach folks live on the beach because it rains, not because the thermometer falls lower than 40 degrees.
The Christmas-to-New Year’s week brings to mind hardy local storm watchers and winter beachcombers, as well as those who flock to the coast from inland. This bunch is totally exhilarated with ice-cold noses, wet gloves, freezing water inside boots and shoes and a family dog hogging the car’s heater on the way home.
What ya gonna do on the beach when it’s freezing outside, ice is on the streets, you are wrapped up in a blanket, because, of all times, your heater has gone out, you are stuck drinking bad coffee and can’t do a bloomin’ thing?
Some of us beachers are of the firm belief that if God had intended everyone to see the sunrise he would have made it come up at noon. But one thing that is worth getting up early for is heavy frost on ferns, salal, cedar boughs and prickly spruce needles. Snow should stay in the mountains where it belongs, but frost that sparkles like diamonds, zircons, and rhinestones is just fine because it has enough sense to go away before noon.