This is the time of year for exceptional minus tides around the Sound that don’t require a flashlight so for the third day in a row we headed to Elliott Bay, donning handkerchiefs or masks for the initial venturing forth but there was plenty of room to be had on the beach with so much exposed intertidal. Hardly any people, to tell you the truth. This particular spot may not seem like beachcombing in the classic sense, I’d understand if you were less than impressed. Still, the boys and I’ve always liked this rubble pile where back in the late nineties, half a dozen palatial homes slowly oozed off the bluff (little wonder this neighborhood is flippantly referred to as “the Malibu of Seattle”). We’re intrigued by the tangled, rusty rebar and crumbling concrete, some pieces of the rust garden have come from here. It’s neat to see the weathered bricks and decorative tiles. The graffiti’s always sort of interesting. Among other delights, the minus tides offer unexpected glimpses of the city, some downtown towers are barely visible in this frame. At any rate, nearby the crows were terribly pestering the heck out of a juvenile Bald eagle which was probably up to no good, maybe raiding crows’ nests. We walked all the way down to the dilapidated surf shacks where some razor clams were still sticking out of the sand.

May 2020 - Discovery Park 29-4

Sunday before lunchtime the boys and I headed south for the other end of Elliott Bay, along Alki Avenue. It was far busier here with the usual cruising but once again the beach itself was gloriously spacious. It was refreshing not crucking through cobbles and petrified barnacles, the three of us took off our shoes, rolled up pant legs and walked barefoot in shallow, eelgrass-filled pools. The boys have eagle eyes, they found some substantial shore crabs almost completely buried in the sand. We discovered an ochre starfish in nearly two feet of water, our only one for the day which would seem to indicate the species continues to be badly hampered by the dreaded wasting disease. Finally, this has nothing to do with anything except it was Friday afternoon when we got back from the beach and a mangy bunny sat in the backyard for a couple of hours and seemed to defy the laws of nature, vigorously nibbling from the mantle of coffee grounds which I’ve spread over time in the rust garden, for effect. She chased that down with a few crunchy dandelions, turning her ears to the sounds of Adam’s trumpet, upstairs. She keeps coming back. It must be the light roast. And maybe the horn?

3 thoughts on “beechcombing

  1. I think he was mostly into piano and banjo, and conducting of course, but I seem to remember so trumpet music on the Bugs Bunny show, definitely the William Tell Overture. So your son’s trumpet is definitely the draw, and the coffee grounds & dandelions are just a bonus, like popcorn for the show.
    I didn’t know the starfish have a problem, I remember hearing that some deer have a wasting disease, I just googled the starfish, and wish I hadn’t. But it sounds fun to run across shore crabs, the ones I’ve met on the east coast are pretty combative little guys. My dad & I tried crabbing near Chincoteague when I was a kid, with a string and leftover chicken drumbone, and we ended up running across a dock with one after us.

    • Looney Tunes…. lol! I tried having the boys watch the old cartoons once but we had to stop because the first three or four cartoons were full of really embarrassing racial stereotypes. We watched the original King Kong on Sunday, there was some explaining to do during that one, too. My ears are still ringing after Fay Wray.

      I’ve never heard of Chincoteague and so I just found out about the ponies. Wow. That’s really weird. Now that nature is taking over I wonder if the ponies will become fiercer and ornery, like western mustangs? Chincoteague could become less family friendly!

      • Yeah, some of the old cartoons have got a lot of wildly offensive stuff, I just always liked Bugs. Probably drove my dad nuts, every time we were driving around & he took a wrong turn, I’d say “I knew I shoulda taken that left turn in Albuquerque.”
        I guess every young girl on the east coast used to read “Misty of Chincoteague,” and I thought it was cool that horses would go swimming, although we didn’t see that, the one time we were there, they were just grazing, but pretty tame.
        If you were near the waterline, pretty much anywhere you stuck your hand in the sand, you’d find a mole crab, they looked kind of like those pillbugs that like decaying leaves, old logs, etc. I’ve never seen crabs like that before or since.

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