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Gene Woodwick


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.

Messing with Ma Nature can bring a big comeuppance

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.

Gene Woodwick - Time for Jack Frost art, clamming, birding and a bite of barnacles

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.