Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Trip to the Ocean

My sister Laurie and brother-in-law Arnie invited us to go razor clam digging with them on Tuesday. They go frequently, when central Washington beaches are open for digging. We are novices, having gone only once in recent history.

Tom and I decided to make a bit of a vacation out of it, so we rented a hotel room in Ocean Shores for Monday night and set off Monday morning to do some touring. 

For those of you who are not familiar with the Pacific Northwest, the map below shows Puget Sound in the upper right hand corner. Seattle is north of Tacoma, up I-5, on the east side of the sound. 
We drove south to Olympia, and then west to Aberdeen. 
Road trips always call for stops at Starbucks, which we did in Aberdeen. 

We also Googled antique shops and found one open on a Monday. 
Tom added to his watering can collection, and I bought another piece of McCoy pottery. 

Then we drove along the north shore of Grays Harbor and down the peninsula to the town of Ocean Shores, where we stopped to "wave" to the Pacific Ocean. 
Farther south, we stopped at the north jetty of the inlet to Grays Harbor. 

The large bay is pictured above, and below we are looking out to sea. 

Inside the harbor, along the bay we found this lovely beach. 

In the distance, below, you can see the jetty where we were earlier. 
We explored Ocean shores and about 4:00 we checked into our hotel, and after getting settled, we tried to follow a path across the dunes to the beach, but were thwarted by a bog, 

So we got into the car and drove to the beach, and out on the beach, where we went for a windy walk. 

If someone can identify these shore birds, please do. 
We had dinner in an Irish pub, the Galway Bay Irish Pub, to be specific. Pub tee shirts decorated the ceiling. 
Police and fire crew patches adorned the bar. 
We enjoyed a shared glass of Guinness and warn Irish soda bread before our meal. 

Back at the hotel, I went out on the dunes to capture the sunset over the Pacific. 

The next morning we were up and ready to go when Laurie and Arn met us at our hotel, and off we went to Ocean City Beach to join the other clam diggers. 
I had never done this before. The last time we came, two years ago, I was recovering from back surgery, so I mostly minded the bucket. But now, after Tom tried and failed several times, he gave me the clam gun, and I soon had the knack of it. 

Yay! Another clam!
I needed a bucket minder later on though, when I got caught by a sneaker wave that almost knocked me off my feet. I had to plant my clam gun and keep myself upright while ahead of me I watched the surf tip my bucket of clams. Fortunately I was behind the bucket, so when the wave receded, I was able to grab the loosed clams on the way back out.
I counted to make sure I got them all. 
After the four of us had our limits of 15 apiece, we walked the beach a while and then set off to find a nursery Laurie had heard of. Cedar Falls Nursery, kind of out in the middle of nowhere, was lovely. 
We both came away with a box full of plants. 
We made a lunch shop in Hoquiam at a brew pub (thanks, Google!) and then stopped at a small antique shop where we had a fun search for treasure and a visit with the shop owner, who is an in-law relative of Laurie and Arn's son. 

It was 5:00 when we got back home to Seattle. I unloaded the car and put stuff away while Tom cleaned clams. 
It was late then,and we were tired, so we just made a quick lunch for our dinner.

Today was a this, that, and everything day of catching up.

But for dinner there were clam fritters. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

"For the Beauty of the Earth...."

Lord of all to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise. 

Happy Earth Day! 

After an unseasonable heat wave, the earth is smiling today in the gentle re-occurring showers of refreshing rain. 

The tulips are cooked, and gone already, but they have been replaced by more bounteous beauty. 

Columbines and forget-me-nots. 

And rhododendrons. 

 Loderi King George is huge, and fragrant. 
And then there is this!
 When I wasn't watching, the wisteria bloomed!

 In the background, you can see the snowball bush and another rhodie. 
Lush new growth is everywhere, forming tapestries of color. 

We went to our usual Friday morning breakfast with friends this morning. Then we stopped by a temporary hazardous waste station to drop off  some disposables that need special handling. Next we went to a Fred Meyer store to shop for a few plants and to purchase our razor clam digging license. More about that later. Back at home I got sprinkled on a bit as I worked outside on the garden, weeding and beheading spent tulips. 

And that's how I celebrated Earth Day.

And now I offer my photos in "grateful praise" for this beautiful earth that we must guard and protect.