The Wild Coast


Point Brown Jetty

I’ll say one thing for the west coast of Washington – it’s atmospheric. Well into May and many days are cool, windy and wet – still. Parts of them are anyway. Other parts are glorious.

Lots of  storm detritus too and even a shipwreck of sorts. It’s poetic. Lines from Arnold, Masefield, Tennyson spring to mind. Perhaps that old jingoist, Kipling. ‘Harp Song of the Dane Women’ – “What is a woman that you forsake her; line; and go to the the cold, grey widow-maker.” You get my drift.

Tide, storm, sunset, season, birth, death, renewal, and all that jazz. Still, it’s easy to get into a certain frame of mind, to begin to imagine how wild this coast once was, especially when Elk come down through the dunes to visit the sea. Years ago, an old timer told me that the Sasquatch used visit these beaches in the winter to harvest shellfish. I can just about believe it.


Roosevelt Elk


Lost Cargo


The Wreck of the Privateer



Red Knots (and friends)

The Red Knots, Plovers, Godwits, Dunlins and the other shorebirds passing through aren’t too concerned with poetry. Their lives are too short and purposeful, and the distances they travel from wintering ground to breeding ground too great. Some Knots travel from South America and back every year.These have probably come from southern Mexico and are on their way to Alaska. I doubt if they’ve heard of Kipling.



I’m kind of attached to Whimbrels and other members of the curlew tribe. One of my favorite boyhood books was ‘The Last of the Curlews’ by Fred Bosworth. It was also my first conservation book too. There were three Whimbrels at Bottle Beach when I was there. I took this picture just before a rain squall drove me under cover. The birds didn’t seem to mind the slanting, drenching rain one bit.


The Clouds Lift

And then, at the end of the day, comes the glorious part…





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