the wrong stairs

My title sounds like an Edward Gorey book. I adore Edward Gorey’s books.

These are the wrong stairs. Don’t go down them.

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The stairs are on North Beach. The cliffs are sand and clay. Sections collapse.

People have stopped building stairs down to the beach for the most part. They don’t last.

I longed for a house on the bluff or the beach. But I don’t anymore. I think about collapse. When we have an earthquake, sections of the bluff will collapse. I walk the beach anyhow. I don’t feel protected, I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel lucky. I feel…. mortal.

 

 

beach tower

Sections of the dunes collapse. I stopped climbing them when I was sitting above my children and I was hit from behind by a collapse and pushed 5 feet forward. There was no warning, just sound and hit. I was not buried, but I realized how I could have been. I took my kids down off the dune.

There are sections of stairs left where the bottom sections have been washed away. Some days as it warms up, you hear sand sliding down, tiny trickles. I have a friend who saw a huge section collapse, all the way out to the water, with trees. He and another walker missed being buried by five minutes.

We walk the beach anyhow. This will collapse eventually but was standing on Saturday.

 

beach gold

Walking the beach Saturday at the -3.0 tide, the first bird we saw on the beach was… a pair of goldfinches. Only one in this picture. But there were two down enjoying the sun and the water and the seaweed. I don’t think of goldfinches as shore birds, but they didn’t seem to care what I thought….

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beach blues and purples

Yesterday there was a -3.0 foot tide at 12:47 and it was perfect for a beach walk. My daughter is home from college for a few days and an old friend came up from Portland. We headed along North Beach. I had my camera zoomed all the way out and was trying to photograph a crow right along the water line. I got kelp and rocks and water and blues and purples instead. It was a gorgeous day.