Deer tracks on the beach. Out for the morning wander, probably to lick up salt. Or like us, just to enjoy the sunshine and mess around buy the river. Wild animals do what we were all meant to do: eat, sleep, enjoy themselves and try to stay out of trouble.
Speaking of trouble, yesterday I had my binoculars trained on a river otter, that was happily gobbling and throwing around chunks of fish. It suddenly stared at me, then - and there's no other way to describe this -- did a double-take and ducked under water, as my tiny view filled up with adult bald eagle. The eagles are hatching chicks right now, and no doubt it would have taken fish or otter, whichever course it could have pulled onto the table.
Day before yesterday, we walked in a wide arc around a gull. It was settled down on the sand in the chill mist. It looked sick or old. But it was out of the wind; any shelter, no matter how low or inconsiderable, makes a huge difference when you have no place else to go.
Yesterday we found its dismembered and plucked body. Today I picked up one of its wings and placed it in a tangle of dried roots, out of the sand, in the wind where it belonged.
The Clallam River changed its course this winter, back to its original bed, now that people have stopped trying to open it too early with bulldozers. Now most of the really nice sand beach is on our side of the river during the winter.
That's Vancouver Island beyond the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Bear Kill Ridge and Slip Point on the right. Or Radio ridge, because of the Coast Guard and Verizon towers. Every generation has its own names; we call Mussolini Head, on the stony beach around the ridge, "Octopus Rock."
Dan and our Junk Tree. We drag heavier items to this buried tree, by the end of the closed bridge (right). When the bridge is opened every spring by the Lion's Club, the heavy garbage is dragged to the dumpster in the park. Usually the Lion's Club beats us to it. Bless their souls.