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Gene Woodwick


The bight yellows and gold of the Scots Broom along the waysides is saying it is time to get outside. Go for a ride. Take short walks.

Up the Beach — Spring season filled with an abundance of dichotomies

What a dichotomy of a season spring is turning out to be. Clamming is open except when it isn’t. Salmon is pouring out of hatcheries, but you shouldn’t catch salmon. Roadside flowers are bursting into bloom, but you can’t see them because the grass allergies are making your eyes water. The sun is shining down warmly on the beach, but about all that is coming ashore for the combers is plastic junk. The deer population is out in force with sleek, pregnant mommas, but last year’s fawns look like someone has taken a thatching machine to them due to tremendous infestations of lice. Birds are twittering as they build nests, but the crows continue harassing the eagles.

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.